I know it’s been quite some time since I wrote on my blog. Terrible – I let life get in the way! Right now I’m going to give you a scenario and let you use it as a food for thought kind of thing. The following is true, the names (only) have been changed, you know that “protect the innocent” thing.
I was talking with some friends and the topic of self-confidence and what effect it can have on one’s life and choices.
Daniel, the oldest of three siblings, stated that he had been giving this a lot of thought. He believes that most of his negative issues happened when he was small. Daniel explained that he was born at night (no, not last night…) he rolled off the time, somewhere around 9:00ish. He told us that according to his parents the month/day wasn’t the only qualifier for his birthday, the time of birth was needed. So, it isn’t his birthday until 9:00 whatever PM on July 23. So, Daniel got to go to friends’ birthday parties, but he never got one. His siblings – a sister and a brother – got to have parties because they were born at a “reasonable” time for kids to have a party. So, Daniel never felt that he was important enough. When it becomes time for him to list possible ideas for gifts (birthday or Christmas), he won’t give any, because he doesn’t believe he’s deserving. Daniel then told us that as a kid he was always told “no, you CAN’T do” whatever. The reason; just not capable, “you’re not stupid, you just not good enough, you keep messing things up.” Never mind that he got excellent grades in school. He was valedictorian in high school. When he got to his early twenties people started telling him how great he was at various things he did. He just didn’t believe them – still has a challenge with believing. It took a lot for him to tell us this, he rarely tells us about his childhood.
Then Carol spoke up. Carol is also the oldest, she has a sister. She said she never had any issues like that and was thankful she didn’t. She and her sister were allowed to make mistakes growing up – some were real doozies. The worst her parents ever said was to ask “what did you learn?” Of course there was the occasional “bet you won’t do that again” comment too. Carol was her high school’s salutatorian, and still has her National Honor Society sash. Carol is a very confident woman. She does say that occasionally she has strong bouts of depression, but she eventually gets thru them. Other than that, she’s very happy with her life. She knows she’s important, she doesn’t give a rat’s ass for what anyone might think of her. She knows who she is and likes herself and that’s all that matters. Carol never had to wait for her adult years to be told she was good/great at anything.
So folks, here is your food for thought.
How do you feel you handle life? Are you like Daniel, do you have a hard time believing when people say you did a good/great job? Or are you like Carol, more self-assured?
For the most part, Daniel had a great life as a kid. He may have been a bit nervous to try new things, but he found ways to have fun. Unfortunately, Daniel still feels undeserving.
So, something to chew on, ruminate over…how do you handle things? Do you think positively or negatively (about yourself) because it’s easier to believe what you were told in your formative years?
So, please share your thoughts. Dialogue about this is important. We need to remember words can hurt. We need to let kids make and learn from their mistakes, it only makes them stronger as they get older. But then, that’s just my thought.