After reading this, you will trade all your money for confidence

I was born shy

Tobiloba Adejumo
Tobiloba Adejumo

Was I actually born shy? Quite literally a tabula rasa.

As a young lad growing up, I couldn’t approach a babe. Due to the unanimous standards created by the society, I think I need to be more specific with the use of words like ‘babe’ — I’m talking about the opposite sex. Some refer to it as fear, I call it an affright occasion of excessive presentiment.

I still vividly remember my final year in high school. While my mates were having fun during the dreary inter-house sports competition— I retired to the classroom, busy with the eight edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, cramming jaw-breaking, deep rooted, long winded words, rehearsing for my big day — The day I will be a speaker in a multinational event. My career path was to become a computer wizard, thinking that was a course in college, and my overly ambitious naive self felt it was possible to peruse all the entire books in the world! I didn’t also participate in the school’s extracurricular activities, even those that were so educational. This was because I was terribly shy and at that, I avoided such ritzy or laying bare activities. I noticed my life was a bit paradoxical — wanting to speak in multinational events and not ready to accept small challenges. Feeling sui generis and thinking no one understands me; perhaps an enigma designed for a very few to understand, I felt being a quiet achiever was possible.

I have long abandoned the ink-horned dictum that tries to console you to believing that “Good speech is silver but silence is pure gold”, neither is this also a validation for baleful or chintzy discussions.

Photo by Claudia on Unsplash

Some will tell you, and also encourage you with a mocktail of prevarications to be a quiet achiever. The thing about these kind of information is that there are always loopholes. One cannot seem to get enough of them.

Being a quiet achiever is possible, but you should be mindful of the kind of career path you choose before hopelessly concluding that you want to be one.

Okay, okay. You as well might be confused where all this is leading to. Why the excessive tirade about my shyness? Why talk about myself in such a delimiting manner? You might also be wondering if I ever gained enough confidence to approach a babe. The truth is, I didn’t. Now you are even more confused. Even the writer hasn’t seen it all. He can’t even approach someone as ordinary as a babe. What gives him the assurance that after reading this, I will trade all my money for confidence? The only assurance I need is your belief in something greater than you.

If you don’t believe in God, then believe in magic. If you don’t believe in magic, then believe in miracles. If you don’t believe in miracles, then believe in love. If you don’t believe in love, then believe in art. If you don’t believe in art, then believe in humanity. Believe in kindness, compassion, faith, and courage. Just believe in something, but promise me that you’ll believe. —Nikita Mor

As a self-help writer, I have entered an unmindful covenant with my readers to do everything in my power to produce something that will help. Regardless of this fact, I also have to come out clean to my readers by providing original and veracious contents. Let’s create a positive mindset now, shall we?

What story best teaches confidence?

Frank is an HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) engineer. His primary job duties include the design, installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, cooling, and refrigeration systems. I forgot to mention, Frank is also a gluttonous winebibber but that didn’t stop him from being excellent in his vocation.

Frankie, as I always call him, exhibited so much confidence when he came around to help fix a broken pipe from one of the AC connections in my apartment. I marveled at his ability in climbing tall buildings without the thought of slipping. I understand that it is in their job description to have the aptitude for heights, but with Frankie this was different. To understand me better, Frankie is like the Cristiano Ronaldo for air conditioning and cooling systems. Some might prefer I use Lionel Messi, but I’m indifferent 😄 — as far as my point is clear and limpid enough to be understood.

I couldn’t let Frankie go without him letting the cat out of the bag, how he managed to do his vocation more than others. Frankie told me about the experience he had that molded his life. In his words:

It was yet another day. I was assigned to the mortuary to fix the cooling systems that got impaired. I have been in this line of business for so many years, but this day was different because I was the only one in the mortuary. I honestly didn’t want to go. I didn’t know when I accepted the contract because I was drunk.
I got to the mortuary. The stench coming from dead bodies was effusive. Although that wasn’t my only concern, I could hear some footsteps too. Whenever I looked back, I found no one. There was no place to run to… It was already late… I drank some more wine to ease off the fear. The footsteps increased. I could hear people talking sporadically. I felt my life slip over.
There was only one thing I needed to do — confront them. I wondered what else I could have done — run away? I don’t think that would have been possible because they were positioned closely adjacent the door. I held my breath, mustered my courage and confronted them. Nobody ever believes me whenever I tell them those dead bodies were alive. They were surprised I could see them. I was surprised they could see me. Frantically, we were all surprised. I told them to lower their voice as the discussions and noise caused by their haphazard movements were insanely distracting. They agreed without much ado.
Few months later…
I had another contract job. Everyone was practically afraid of accepting the job offer because the news of the demise of my colleagues had spread like wild fire. Sadly, they fell from the precipice of the building. I haven’t seen any building like this before. It was really tall. From that height, it felt like the ground did not exist. The owner of the building tripled the price because of the risk involved. I believed in myself, had faith in my abilities and took the job. My colleagues that died could honestly do that same job. I am sure they doubted their abilities when they reached the precipice of the building. I am sure that doubt in their abilities led them to their untimely death.

The Bottom Line

Frankie wasn’t born with confidence. In fact, the big success he had was because of the small successes he had acquired in the past. It is practically okay to be shy, to lack confidence. But when you refuse to do anything about it, that is when it is unacceptable. As long as you keep going, you will keep getting better. And as you get better, you gain more confidence.That alone is true success.

🌐 Life

Tobiloba Adejumo

Doctoral Candidate, Research Assistant at The University of Illinois Chicago | Biomedical Optics and Ophthalmic Imaging Lab