Confidence Story

I share this story because sometimes I forget there is a process to gaining confidence.  I remember when I was Basic Training while I was in the Army.  In training, one of the tasks is you have to learn how to put on a gas mask.  You put it on clear out the air, then seal it.  I was having  a lot of trouble.  There was a 3 step process, and it had to be done within a certain time limit.  This was 30 some  years ago!

However, I remember in the final test, even after numerous training exercises, I still didn’t have the process down.  I was so scared and nervous going into the final test.  We had to go through numerous field situations where I had to properly put on my gas mask.  I failed in the first one.  I ran straight into a tree when we got tear gassed.  I was trying to run away from the gas.  An officer helped me up.  When I got up, holding on to his arms, I said, “Officer, officer, I can’t breathe!  I can’t breathe!”  He said, “Obviously, you’re breathing, soldier, if you’re talking to me right now!”  This was the funniest moment in my training.  Well actually,  I had numerous funny moments but this one takes the cake.   He helped me to calm down, then showed me how to put my mask on properly.

So in the next test, I remembered what he had shown me.  I had been putting it on improperly which is why I couldn’t breathe or I was taking in the tear gas.  My point is, that is how you gain confidence;   you learn, practice, and do it.     If you don’t get it right the first time, keep on trying!  Ask for help if you need some extra assistance!  It’s all good!   Deep breath….

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