Will a woman’s self-questioning ever end ?

I have passed the exam I wrote in September, – unexpectedly- because I fully expected to fail miserably, after assessing my performance in the test. Surprisingly I got confirmation recently that I passed.

For a few days after this I was in a state of shock and disbelief- at times, I even thought that perhaps the results were not mine. Now that it has sunk in, I realize that somehow, I have managed to get re-certified in research ethics- for a period of 3 years’, I am in the clear. Perhaps after three years, I will not need to be doing this anymore.

After this phase passed, I enrolled myself to give the IELTS exam, which is an English Language exam for people whose first language is not English. It cost me a pretty penny but now I am set to write the exam on December 12. My husband is questioning me constantly and wanting to know why I want to give this exam- he asks me if this is an obsession. I have no answer to give him but my secret is I am applying to an online Masters’ course in Science Writing for which a basic proficiency certificate in English is a must.

But the issue is I am constantly battling with myself to prove to myself, more than anyone else that I am good- I am worth it, I can pass any exam within reasonable limits. Why ? Why do I have to do this ? I would like to develop myself as a writer and since I am a doctor, I would love if my writings came out in scientific publications. So far, the few publications I have are ones’ I have co-authored with others. I would like to have my own writing and see myself in print, for my own sake.

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But above all, it seems to be a remnant of my days’ of being bullied and thrown around at my previous work place. I was told constantly that I was not good enough for promotions, my degrees were not from reputed universities and basically that I was no-good.

Will we women ever stop battering ourselves ? Why can’t we be ever satisfied where we are ? Do we always have to prove ourselves. In the family, do we have to prove to be a better cook, a better house-keeper, a better person even ? Is constant competition with one-self good or is it self-destroying in the long run ? As children we have been taught to excel in everything and to do our best but as adults sometimes we are made to feel that perhaps our best isn’t really enough.

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