I’ve been struggling through some thoughts these past few weeks, so I thought I’d share them here. As I do.
It’s mainly about confidence. Like, how do you teach your children to be confident when you struggle to look at your self in the mirror every morning? How do you teach them to be able to walk into a room and feel OK when your natural reaction to the same thing, is to feel so sick you may puke into your purse before you’d actually work up the courage to talk to anyone.
For me these issues stem from childhood, before I even had skin issues.
I have ALWAYS thought too much about what other people think – even though I don’t like to admit it. When I was younger I couldn’t even order my own food from a waitress or pay for things at a teller because I was too afraid to make a mistake. It was so scary that I’d make my brother do it. Talking to new people was a no go and don’t even get me started on talking in public. The fear of messing up and having people laugh at me in my face (or worse – behind my back) had me paralysed.
Somehow through meeting Seth, becoming a parent, progressing in my work and starting this blog, I’ve worked through a lot of those issues. In fact I’ve worked through so many that I’d even go so far as to say that I’m a fully functioning human now – I don’t think I could have said that if I’d continued the path that I was on.
What I’ve learned over the years (and many of these awkward encounters) is that no one is perfect. And this is better than just OK. If everyone were perfect it would be so freaking boring that I’d want to punch my eyes out. I love the quirks of my friends – the ones that fall asleep on our couch because they’re comfortable (and maybe we’re a little heavy handed with the wine). I love the friends that speak their mind because their filter is a bit wider than others. I love the friends that can walk into my messy home without flinching because they know their home is just as messy.
Being perfect sucks, being real is what I’m after.
SO back to “how do we teach our kids to be confident” when we’re not naturally that way inclined. How do you do it?
Well, I think you fake it till you make it.
That’s what I’m doing anyway. Every day I’m faced with something that I’d rather not do. From talking on the phone (why is this still a thing we have to do), to standing in front of a crowd at the #CTMeetUp and welcoming them, to even facing my worst fear and going to embarrass myself on TV (yup – the whole family and I are going to be on The Weekend Edition on SABC 3 on 22 January – EEEEEK!!!).
I’ve learned that being scared to do things is normal. And doing it anyway takes confidence that I may not always have readily available. But so what? If I mess up, I mess up, because the other thing that I have learned is that it’s not the end of the World. No one really cares and even if they do, being a person that can laugh at themselves is way better than taking yourself too seriously.
So to help my kids, I tell them about things that freak me out and how I did them anyway. I tell them how scared I was but how well it turned out. How nervous I was feeling but how awesome I felt afterwards. Letting them know that these feelings are normal may just help them to move past it sooner than I did.
And so that leads me to pushing my boundaries and sharing my story with Abigail K. I’m over many things that used to keep me back and here I chat about the one thing that still gets me down. If you haven’t watched this video yet, then here’s my story…
I think it’s hard to share these kinds of personal things so openly and yet so many of us face the same feelings every day. If sharing any of these things online has taught me anything, it’s that we’re not alone. There are so many other people in the same boat.
Here’s to be honest with our children and raising our kids to being more confident individuals.