I was brought up feeling ugly. Not from my mum (primary care giver) but from other close relatives whom I looked up to greatly. I developed a sense of inexistent worth and it stayed with me all through my teens and my early twenties. My mum is a rock and I love her to bits (despite what she might think), just the other day herself, my sister and I were having our girly chat and she said in summary;
“I never reinforced your confidence because I was so sure you had it, it was like I didn’t need to. I don’t know how you lost it.”
It really got me thinking about how important it is to receive praise. Now I feel like I’m quite a confident person, I’m not afraid to try new things; I stand up and speak out for myself and others, although time has taught me to pick my battles, but her comments did strike me a little. Some say that it’s not how you see yourself but how others see you; it makes sense as in day to day life you’re dealing with others not yourself.
I want to take you guys on a journey, back to my teenage years, one of the most awkward times of your life. You are transitioning from an individual that decisions are practically always made for you to having to make relatively important ones on your own. You’re finding yourself, growing into yourself. I was a bit of an awkward teen, dark skinned, a bit heavy and I wore glasses! I kind of grew into this acceptance of not being the prettiest or the loudest or the most intelligent and that was okay for a while, or so I thought.
Looking back at it, I can see that if I had more confidence within me, there are MANY decisions that I would have probably done better with. The older I got, the more I could see that the lies that were fed to me by peers, teachers, aunties were exactly that – lies. You know when you wear shoes that are too small for you? That is how I began to feel with my whole being. I grew so uncomfortable in my own skin.
I see how confidence can be broken down over time. I’m currently training as a teacher and it’s the same thing all over again! Thankfully I’m older and can handle it a lot better than I did as a teenager. I know myself and I know what I am good at and what I can handle, despite what other people may think or say.
image from https://www.instagram.com/lambbofficial/
I thought I’d write this just in case there was anyone out there who has gone through or is going through times when they’re made to feel a little less special than they truly are!! To thine own self be true.
“Always pray and never give up.” – Luke 18:1