I never felt that I was good enough from my early years. I was a child that frequently struggled in school. No matter how much I put my heart and soul into projects or homework, I felt constantly knocked down and wondered: "What's wrong with me? Why can't I get this?" In 2013, after numerous days of testing, an answer finally revealed itself: I had a learning disability. Even though I had an explanation, the school struggles did not cease. Soon, I became regularly angry as I would clutch a report card full of C's; at the same time, my friends showed off theirs, complete with A's. Situations like this made me doubt my abilities further, and soon the hesitation started bleeding into my work life.
When I began working, my self-doubt became overwhelming. I constantly battled with poisonous thoughts of how I wasn't good enough and destined to fail. This thinking led to many work errors, which sent my brain into a frenzy. To put it simply: I had no confidence in myself.
A mix of excitement and dread came over me when I was notified that I was accepted into the Knowledge Network Co-op. Unfortunately, my inner saboteur began bubbling up again, and soon I felt miserable. I became sure I was going to butcher the fantastic opportunity I had been given because of my learning disability and self-doubt.
Well, how the turntables...... - Michael Scott
"You're the fastest learner we've ever had here,” a compliment bestowed upon me from my supervisor during our-midterm check-in. At that moment, I felt that every hardship I had gone through, whether in school or working, had melted away. I was a new person, with a new job and a new attitude that had been recognized for something that I had never thought in my wildest dreams would be noticed.
Working at Knowledge as a Brand Marketing Intern is incredibly affirming; working with social media has allowed me to focus on my strength of being creative. Finally, I feel that my saboteur's loud voice has quieted due to my work habits and efforts. The new environment I explore through social media platforms is eye-opening. I explore strengths I never knew I had, such as copywriting for advertisements or posts. My talents are in writing and creative expression rather than calculating Linear Algebra or memorizing the beginning of the First World War.... and that's okay!
The lesson I learned most about working at Knowledge is that it is genuinely comforting knowing you're on the correct path when you find something you're good at. Another lesson was that it's okay to make mistakes. Not everything will be perfect the first time; it doesn't mean you're not good; it's just maybe looking at a different way of approaching the situation. Approaches that have helped me have been to take care of my mental health by seeking therapy and reminding myself of small achievements I've accomplished, like getting up and making my bed or even having a good hair day.
My saboteur occasionally still rears its ugly head. To this day, I'm attempting to remind myself of my successes rather than my failures. Still, it takes time to focus on the good rather than the negative. I try to stop letting my fears hinder me and accept that I live with a learning disability, but that does not define every aspect of what I do. I've embraced it as a part of who I am, but it only takes up one small part of the rest of the mosaic I call Eden.
The motto that I am living by is something RuPaul excellently describes regarding overcoming your inner saboteur and how to acknowledge your negative voices without succumbing to their control: "You can look, but don't stare."