, ,

nature-vs-nurture-tradingHow come some people have confidence and others don’t?  It is said that we are all a product of our environment. Do we lack confidence because we had shy parents? Or is confidence some innate part of our personality?   It is suggested that confidence is an attitude or state of mind and it can be developed.  Then there is the opposite side of the coin – “Contrary to accepted wisdom, the researchers found that children’s self-confidence is heavily influenced by heredity—at least as much as IQ is” (psychologytoday.com, 2009).  There is supposedly a self-confidence gene.

It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.  ~Sally Field

That’s my problem. I worry too much about what others think of me.  I am unable to even walk down the street without wondering, “Does my hair look okay? Do I look frumpy?”  I know it shouldn’t matter, and I tell myself that, but I still wonder and I check my reflection in windows, zeroing in on my flaws.

self_confidenceMy self-confidence seems to waver and depends upon how I feel about myself.  Unfortunately, it often depends on the scale.  If I weigh in, and I have lost weight, I will leave Weight Watchers feeling great.  It also depends on my appearance.  I usually come out of the hairdressers feeling like a million bucks. I look good, and I know it. Why can’t I sustain that feeling?

My self-confidence suffers in other areas, too. I worry about my writing. Is it good enough?  I read what other bloggers post and think, “Oh, I wish I could say it that well.” It’s hard not to compare your blog to other blogs and think that yours is lacking in some way.

qc-pat-on-backHubby keeps telling me I need more confidence in my game. I think he has a point there.  If I keep telling myself I look great, I can do it, or I’m smart and funny, I can convince myself of it.  Positive affirmations feel kind-of silly, though, and my arm does get a little sore from patting myself on the back.  “…the ability to lift your own spirits is a skill worth cultivating” (ehow.com, 2013).  Those pep talks really are worth it, though.

What it comes down to is shutting off that negative voice inside my brain.  When I feel fat, I remind myself that I’ve lost 18 pounds so far.  When I feel old, I remind myself of all my accomplishments and count my blessings and feel proud and pleased to be where I am at this point in my life.  When I feel stupid or think I just can’t get that homework assignment figured out, I remind myself that I went back to school at age 51 while working full-time, and I have maintained a 4.0 GPA. When I doubt my writing, I go back through my blog.  Yes, I do cringe at some of it, but there are other postings that I read and think, “Wow, did I really write that?”  When I feel lonely or alone, I look around me.  I have a wonderful husband of 23 years, and I have two handsome (and hysterical) young men for sons.  I also have two wonderful feline children and a yard full of critters whose antics at the birdfeeder keep me smiling. Life is good.

“Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.”