That British 'yote's back again. In other words, hello.
I'm stuck in a bit of a tricky situation regarding my education and its driving me mad.
I train as a mechanic for a good part of my school time and if I was to assess how good I was at it, I would say I was mediocre, not too shabby, but nothing to write home about. Thing is, my mother believes that I am superb at it and that I can do it better than anyone else. Which I can't.
I went to do some work experience, I do it once a fortnight and apparently they think I'm very good as well.
I am a sort of glass-half-empty kinda guy when it comes to myself and my traits and abilities, so perhaps my opinion is twisted, but I generally am not that good at it. Most of the other kids in my class can tear breaks down and rebuild them about 4x faster and more efficiently than I can. But I am very good at the theory stuff, which isn't the most use in the real world. My only other strength over the others is that they’re all nasty bulling arsehole's and I like to think I'm not :P.
Should I stop thinking I'm bad at it and accept that people think I'm good and then run the risk of getting a job off other people’s merits and being rubbish, or just tell my mum I'm useless, even though I might just think I'm rubbish, but not be?
Thanks for any help.
Fred E Coyote (age 15)
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Welcome back, Fred,
In a world where people seem very eager and quick to tell others that they suck, when you hear the opposite then you should take that as a good indication that you do not suck. Now, if it was just your mother praising you, then I could see why you might have some doubt, since mother’s always think highly of their children (well, most do). But you said that the place where you went to get some work experience also had people who felt you were good at your job, so I would run with that opinion.
You are being too self-critical. You know it, too, which is why you call yourself a glass-half-empty person.
So some of your peers can do things faster, so what? Faster doesn’t always mean better. I can get a McDonald’s burger pretty quickly, but it tastes like crap. I would rather wait 20 minutes to get a delicious burger from my favorite restaurant in Palm Springs than a mealy piece of meat injected with chemicals from New Jersey so it vaguely tastes like beef between overly processed buns.
You’re good at theory? Well, perhaps you could become a teacher yourself someday, and that definitely has value. Or, perhaps you should continue your interest in things mechanical and consider studying engineering of some type, or maybe become a CAD/CAM designer. Don’t sell the powers of analytical ability short. This ability of yours might mean you are a little slower repairing a car’s breaks, but could lead to something greater than working in a service shop.
And you’re not a “bullying arsehole”? Well, bravo! There are far too many of those in the world and it’s good to find a person who is genuinely not an arse. That has value, as well.
To summarize: 1) people think you’re good at what you do, 2) you excel at theory, which is a skill that can be applied to more advanced types of work, and 3) you’re not an arsehole.
For God’s sake, don’t tell you’re mom you’re useless rubbish. You’re not. You’ve got a lot going for you. All that is holding you back is your bad self-esteem. Don't get in the way of your own success.
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