Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Full of it

No, it's not what you're thinking. It's self confidence. I'm loaded with it. I always have been. I'm not sure why.

I was talking to my friend the other day. He's not American and we were talking about how American parents bolster their kids and that fosters self confidence. I believe that's a good thing. To a certain extent of course. I never understood parents telling their kids they were really good at something that they really weren't very good at. Let's take sports for example. I love my sons more than life itself but they sucked at sports. Not just one, all of them. I never told them they were good as that would have been a lie. I told them the truth though. I told them they were the heart and soul of the team as they were. There wasn't anyone that tried harder than my boys. They never missed a practice, they never quit what they started (another lesson I insisted on), they gave it their 100% all. I hope they learned from that to think well of themselves. I think it takes self confidence to keep doing something you love even if you're not very good at it.

My parents were never ones to say 'oh you did good' or lavish praise. That being said, I never really did anything that earned lavish praise. I just slid by in grade school as I hated school and, well, really, why bother? Mom would take me out of school and we'd go shopping or up to the cottage. School wasn't a priority. No praise there. I was fat so didn't participate in any sports. No praise there. I was a Girl Scout. Did a damn fine job with that...but not really a praiseworthy thing. I was loved for sure. Maybe just knowing that I was loved is what instilled self confidence in me. I just don't know, but I know I've always had it.

I was reading some Weight Watcher blogs the other day about the low self esteem and low self confidence that a lot of them have. It just got me wondering where mine came from. I mean really, when you're as big as I was/am, where do I get off thinking I'm just as good as anyone else? I might have been huge, but I never thought less of myself. My brain was just as good as the skinny bitch next to me, and in most cases, better. I wasn't shy to let them know that either. On many more than one occasion the words 'I'M FAT I'M NOT STUPID' left my lips. It was always met with awe. Like wow...I never thought you could think through all that fat!

When I looked in a mirror, I of course didn't like the whole package I saw, I still don't. I was never totally disgusted like some though. I could always find something I liked. I loved my long hair. I thought I had pretty eyes. Where did that confidence to think that come from? Why did/do I have it and not others? I so wish I could share it with them.

I read blogs of people that are so deserving of their own self love. I wish they could just stand right up there and feel proud for who they are. What they are. Fat is only one aspect. Ugliness is only one aspect. Why can't they see past that one little flaw and recognize the good in the rest of them? I would never make a psychologist for sure as I just don't understand. I so wish I did so I could help them.

How is it that if someone tells me I'm fat and ugly and stupid I can say 'Fuck you asshole' and not believe them? Yet, say that to another person and they believe it and that leads to a lifelong spiral downwards into self loathing?

If you know the answers to this, could you please patent it as I have some friends that I would buy it for. I want everyone to know they're worth their own love. We have to love ourselves as we're who is most important. We can't expect to command respect and love if we don't first give it to ourselves. There's some good in each and every one of us.

Today, if you're one of those people that have self doubt, self loathing, low self esteem, low self confidence, find one thing you like about yourself. Come on, you know there is one. Let yourself find it and bathe in it. Say it out loud when nobody is around. I like this about myself. Keep telling yourself that until you believe it. Then find another thing. Next time some idiot tells you you're fat or ugly or whatever, you can say 'Maybe, but my brain works like a steel trap' or whatever you found that you love about yourself.

Last time someone looked at me and said 'My God you're fat', I just looked at them and said 'No shit???!!! I didn't know that! OMG thank you for telling me.' They didn't know what to say then. I walked away, they looked like an idiot. I won. In my mind anyway, and that's what counts. What I think of myself. That's all that matters.


Daphne said...

A great post and really made me think about my own self-confidence and lack of it. I think I was mostly praised for schoolwork, but not for anything else, even though I KNEW I was very loved - - but never really FELT it. I don't know why not! So I'm confident in work-related things - - but in nothing else. You don't know why you're confident - - (though, of course, you have plenty to be confident about) and I don't know why I'm not: but it's probably down to British reserve in Sixties parenting, and nobody's fault.

Luanne said...

My girlfriend Barb always starts out her comments by saying I may be wrong but..

So borrowing from Barb let me say I may be wrong, but from what I've observed the people that are the most critical of themselves usually are very critical of others as well. My feeling is that we over use the word low self esteem when its really pride issue. The world seems to me to be one giant competition.

I guess your/our parents used up all their competitive nature playing pinochle instead of using us kids to feed their ego's.

Sadly I didn't inherit that trait from my mom. I did think my kids needed to be maybe not the best but right up there close to the best. Somehow I thought that would make me better or more important.

I spent a lot of years being disappointed in what my kids weren't, instead of rejoicing and being thankful for who they were.

Took me along time to understand what I was doing. Glad you didn't miss the boat in that department.

Lynn said...

Great for me, self confidence is a back and forth thing...some days it is up and some days it down. I have learned a lot now that I am well into my adulthood (how did that happen?) but I know I still have a lot to learn. I read an interesting book a few weeks ago about forgiveness (forgiving yourself for becoming what you are) is the next step after acceptance. Eventually, I will blog about it but I am still working on it in my own head.

Fried Jeff said...

Self confidence is the key. I'm happy that you have it. It's been a struggle for me to gain it, but I have come a long way.

Thanks for your comment on my angst post yesterday. I'm really sorry to hear about the struggles your sons are facing. I knew it was bad, but I didn't realize it as THAT BAD.

Your post helped snap me out of my self and remember that I do need to laugh and appreciate the good things in my life (which are many). I can't thank you enough for taking the time to write and I wish I could give you my extra points. It would be really cool if it worked that way. Thanks again!