(Warning: this is pretty long.)
So today i am pondering the question ‘where does self confidence come from?”
After some responses from a few lovely ladies about my swimming post and their reluctance to go, I realised I am one of many with low self esteem. What can we do about it and more importantly, what can we do to ensure our children don’t grow up with confidence issues?
My main issues:
Firstly, i have my fear with mirrors. Have you ever looked in one mirror, done your make-up or whatever, thought to yourself ‘hmmmmm, not bad’ or in my case ‘acceptable, for me’ then looked in another mirror, with different lighting and gone ‘AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGHHHH’. I always do, therefore I will only look in my bathroom mirror, where I am used to the lighting etc and avoid all other mirrors at ALL costs. Changing rooms, public toilets, shops, diy shops with aisles of mirrors (my worst nightmare), reflections in windows are all avoided, pretty successfully.
Secondly,over the years, my fear of having my photo taken has gotten worse and worse. To the point where on a family outing where my cousin was trying to force me to have a photo I actually CRIED! (shame) Now it’s not so much the taking of the photo it’s SEEING the photo that is the worst. And with digital you are faced with the image immediately. Not like the old days, when it would take months/even years to get round to developing them. Giving you plenty of time brace yourself.
A lot of the time, I feel so bad about myself that I imagine people wondering how I’ve got such beautiful children when I look like I do. Or I think people see me and my other half (who, by the way, looks like a male model, he is gorgeous, so obviously the children have ALL his genes) together and whisper to each other ‘he could do so much better’. Even though I got engaged last year all excitement about a possible wedding is marred by the fact that to go dress shopping you have to look at yourself in the mirror – a no no, and also people take photos at weddings, another no no! I have considered that I am very short-sighted, so without specs I wont see the full extent of myself in the mirror, just the shape/outline of the dress. Also, I could always get the wedding ushers to strip search every guest for their camara/phone at the church entrance and they can then collect them on their way home at the very end. Cunning eh?
Now, because I do not want my children to grow up like this, I tell them every single day how beautiful and clever and talented they are, but I let them know that beauty isn’t everything. I never interrupt the girls, and more recently, Frankie, when they are gazing lovingly at themselves in the mirror (which by the way is pretty often, is that normal?) and pulling poses. And I let them know, to the point of smothering them, how loved they are.
So please, what do you think? Are you confident, where does it come from? Can you relate? What are your thoughts on raising your children to become confident but not image-focused young adults? I would love to hear from you.