confidenceHaving taught children for a number of years now, I’ve often witnessed the damaging impact that a lack of confidence can have on a pupil’s performance and level of participation in classroom activities. That’s not to say that it always manifests itself in the same way.

There’s the kid who makes up for a lack of self belief in his or her ability by acting up and sticking two shaky fingers up at the teacher (often literally). Then there’s the kid who you know knows all the answers but is too crippled by the fear of their classmate’s judgment to raise a hand or proffer an opinion.

At primary school I was fortunate enough by dint of DNA to be one of the brightest, and as a result, was irritatingly self confident in most lessons, safe in the knowledge that I would always be Top of the Class. The problem is, as we get older, doing well at school tends to be of secondary importance when compared with things which more acutely define the image we have of ourselves: how we look, how people perceive us in public, our talents or lack thereof.

Musing on this made me wonder about the things we might achieve if only we could believe in ourselves a little bit more. Kids and big people alike.

I decided to write a poem about it:


Confidence is quite the thing
It makes you feel so bold
Like you could lift a hundred weights
Or turn volcanoes cold

The problem is, I don’t have much
And often feel too shy
To talk to girls or speak my mind
Or give new things a try

If I possessed more self belief
I’d love to write a ditty
And sing it in a public place
The middle of the city

I’d tell the world just how I felt
I wouldn’t care a bit
What others thought or what they said
Or if I looked a twit

I wonder what my friends would think
On reading this wee poem
I wonder if they’d publish it
(I’ll prob’ly never show’em)


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