I have always battled with confidence. You know, that thing people have, where they actually believe in themselves? Apparently it's really empowering.
I watched a movie last night called "The Help". Its about a woman who writes a novel about African Americans who worked in white people houses. These women basically open up and tell all these crazy stories about what they encountered in their work that they would NEVER normally tell because they were afraid of what the repercussions would be for them and their families.
Now the part of that movie that stuck with ME last night, was one lady who was a house-maid/nanny. She would look at the little girl every day and say "You is kind, you is smart, you is important". She gets the little girl to repeat after her everyday. She makes this little girl feel great about herself.
Later on when my Husband got home, we had a talk. I think one of the most important things I want to give to my children is confidence. We started talking about our younger years. I was a pretty good discus and shot-put thrower back in my day, but I didn't really work for it too much. I relied on my natural ability, and I was pretty good. When I think about how hard I am working NOW, and how little I did THEN, it seems CRAZY!. How good could I have been, if I had only put my everything into it? An everything I didn't even know existed in me? Jeff was saying basically the same thing, except he played baseball. He relied on the ability he had, but didn't work as hard as he could have to get to his potential.
We both believed that at least part of that was confidence. Even if we put everything into it, it wouldn't make a difference so why bother? I was also too busy feeling like the fat girl, and trying to make myself feel better that I didn't really have the drive to make myself physically better in an athletic nature. Um, HELLO, boys don't like me. All my pretty friends will hang out with me more if I do things for them. They are "cool". I spent a lot of time wishing I could live in this alternate universe where I was pretty, boys liked me, and I was COOL.
Ok, ok I know that's part of how teenagers think... but seriously, I wasted a LOT of time on nothing productive.
I've come a long way from then. I actually AM pretty darn cool. I can be funny, I can be a good friend (without compromising myself, ok maybe I hold back a little now because I felt so taken advantage of in the past but that's another blog post), I'm pretty well-rounded, I'm open minded, I've met many different kinds of people, and I like to have FUN.
Bottom line, is I want to keep working on it to set an example for my kids, and I think I'm on the right path!
When my son got up this morning, I told him. "You are kind, you are strong, you are important" probably 10 times. I even told my daughter, but she wanted her bottle instead ;)
Here he is showing me how strong he is :)