I’ve just crawled out of bed an hour or two ago, after arriving home at 2.30am after a 25 hours shift. I was utterly knackered when I got in but actually I feel worse now, all muzzy and woozy.

But what makes it worse is the crippling self doubt that follows on the heels of any enterprise I undertake. The feelings that I might have messed up or not pleased, or got things wrong and not noticed. In the cold light of day, it was a good trip; nothing went wrong as such, no one got hurt, lost, robbed or otherwise inconvenienced. I think the teachers were so tired when I left them at their school at 11.30 last night that giving the humble courier any real feedback was beyond them; the leader thanked me and that ought to be enough. But I have to do these things almost in a sort of vacuum, because I haven’t ever seen anyone else do it; I’ve just had to make it up as I go along and I am terrified, no, PETRIFIED that I am somehow making a hash of it all and people are too polite/kind/reluctant to cause trouble to say anything. That was my fourth European trip; my boss is trying to make sure I get new groups where possible and she tells me she has every confidence in me. That ought to be enough. But it isn’t. As well as being worn out, I’m in a kind of inner agony in case I didn’t do as good a job as I want to do. I do this in my other job too; I worry that because the kids don’t greet me as their long lost friend that I’m not a good enough teacher.

I think I fear at a very deep level that on every level I am simply not good enough.

And I hate it. I hate the day after a party, an event, an anything because I wonder if I did OK. It’s kind of a need for approval (thank you J!) and because I have a very thin emotional skin, it all hurts.

I’m getting ready to go out to a barbeque with our Bee group this afternoon so at least I’ll have something to take my mind off it soon. But for a few days I will actually be worrying that there’ll be a letter arriving on my boss’s desk saying I was rubbish or worse, complaining I did things badly or not at all.

I do hope there isn’t any alcohol at the BBQ that I might actually like, because I feel like getting drunk and that really isn’t a great idea.

6 thoughts on “Self-doubt

  1. This all sounds so familiar to how I have often felt and still do at times. I have had countless feelings of self doubt and a lifelong feeling that no matter what I did or how well I did it I never felt I was good enough. I have discovered that the reason for feeling not good enough is whenever I need validation from another person to prove that I am good enough. In other words, when I give myself credit for a job well done I tend to not need approval from others. I also find that when I am mentally and physically tired I somehow need approval more than when I have more energy.
    You said it yourself; It was a good trip and nothing went wrong! It sounds to me you did a sterling job…..

    Be good to yourself




    • Thank you, my dear.
      I think it was because, as you said, I was tired. I was expecting a few words of thanks and farewell from the teachers and they were far to tired to think of my over tender feelings by then. But that said, my that point, I’d been up since 12.55am and they had only been up since maybe 4am, and I still had hours to go. One member of staff was clearly not having a good day; he’d been taking his gcse students to do questionaires in the town and when I asked the kids how it had gone, they said, HORRIBLE. People had been rude and abusive and unhelpful at best so I suspect his nice idea of giving the students some real on the ground practise had backfired. he also was unhappy about the visit to the sweet factory, wayyy below him and his students(all the other kids were 11, 12 and 13) and obviously wnated to push on and catch an earlier ferry. We woulnd’t have cuaght the earlier ferry as there were huge delays anyway so our scenic route through the countryside that the drivers treated us to irritated him, even though we’d just have been sitting in the ferry terminal for hours rather than being in motion. There were dreadful delays. but we made it home half an hour early. You just can’t please everyone I guess.


  2. You are absolutely right, you just can’t please everyone and more importantly you are NOT responsible for other people’s happiness!
    People have different ideas and different standards and it sounds to me that this particular individual had his ego hurt by the fact that what he thought was a good idea didn’t quite work out.


    • I’d not had much contact with him and he wasa keeping aloof from the others anyway, and on occasion I addressed the coach in the words of Lola in “Kinky Boots” along the lines of “Ladies, gentlemen and those among you who have yet to decide” and the female staff members nearly wet themselves laughing and I couldn’t understand quite why, until a bit later in the day when they were talking about this guy and it became clear that he was in fact gay, something I’d kind of wondered about as he was a bit camp. I asked “is he then?” and they said, yes, to which I said, “Oh my God, I am so sorry; if he says anything about what I said on the coach I wasn’t taking the piss”. They reckoned he wouldn’t have cared. I did something similar today at the BBQ by naively remarking that someone would make a good straight man in terms of the comedy role, who then turns out also to be gay. I only open my mouth to change feet sometimes.
      I’m trying to work out now whether I did do a good job or a total hash of the whole thing; I just cannot tell anymore!
      Oh and I am still sober. But I have a glass of rose now so that may change too…


  3. These are the sorts of things I never can seem to scrub from my memory, though happily, I’m not bringing to mind anything specific at the moment. I just generally fret. If we saw these pratfalls on TV we would think they were funny. Imagine yourself as Bridget Jones. Actually, I was too good at putting myself in her shoes and tended to squirm when she was making a hash of it.


    • Me too. I don’t tend to do the Bridget thing of keeping on when it’d be better to just withdraw. I found it hard to watch her films too; too close to home for me!


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