Updated: Jun 15, 2021
During my university years, and through my first working experience in a big international company, I was scared to death to ask questions.
I was constantly scared that the other person would discover how little I knew about a topic, and conclude that I was stupid. I was basically overwhelmed with self-doubt and lack of confidence. This mindset leaves very little room for growth, since the only way to really evolve is by accepting your lack of knowledge at a given moment.
Even the smartest people don't know a lot of things
When I did my Master in Wind Energy in Denmark, I noticed that super smart people with PHDs and more, would constantly ask very basic questions to people working in other fields.
This made me realise, that not knowing about a specific topic doesn't make you stupid, it simply makes you inexperienced in that field. There's not need to feel bad about yourself due to lack of knowledge or skills. These things are gained with time, and it's something that you just can't rush!
Realising this was truly life changing to me, because I understood that the way to become experienced is by accepting that you're not there yet, and that's okay. This new mindset allowed me to start enjoying every step of my journey, while loving myself at whichever stage I'm at.
This is a mindset that makes room for unconditional self-love, and which allowed me to regain my self-esteem and let go of overwhelming self-doubt and lack of confidence.
Smart or experienced?
We often confuse being smart with being experienced. Most people that look smart are actually just experienced.
However, they're also smart, because you need to be smart to be patient with yourself and have the courage to embark on the learning journey that leads to expertise.
No need for comparison
I learned that there is really no need to be comparing yourself with experienced people. They have obviously done things that you haven't. Be humble enough to accept this, and slowly embark on your own learning journey, by asking them the questions that you need to ask.
They're just people who at some point in the past, knew as little and felt as lost, as you do right now. So get back to your own learning and growing journey, and embrace every part of it. Don't let self-doubt ruin the beautiful learning process that you've embarked. Understand that others looking super smart, most of the time simply means that they're just very experienced, and that all you need to get to where they are, is to stay in the game, give yourself some time and be patient.