Mothering Monday: Series on Self Esteem & Confidence, Part Two

Part Two: Building Self-Esteem at Any Age.

I run the risk of being highly hypocritical in this article.  I believe confidence can flow from a healthy self-esteem.  And theoretically I know some ways to build self-esteem  Yet, I am still battling self-esteem and confidence issues at the age of 35.  To the extreme point of fighting the desire to be a complete recluse, and shun social interaction completely.  Relationships are hard work.  Being confident and believing in yourself can be even harder work when you've been met with many set-backs.  That little kernel of life/purpose deep within my heart, is how I picture my confidence and self-esteem.  As long as that little kernel can still be found, there is hope to build on.  Building that kernel can ride the roller coaster of life's up’s and downs and require a lot of work sometimes.  So I include myself when I say we all need lessons in:

Learning how to lose.

I will get this off my chest right off the bat…I DO NOT like children’s games that are highly competitive but also DO NOT like games where everyone wins! If I never learn to how to lose with grace, how will I learn how good it feels to WIN fair and square? Life will not always turn out the way you hoped and dreamed. Learning to deal with the disappointment of losing is IMPORTANT.

Working hard at a job for ten years and then being replaced is a hard lump to swallow.  This happened to me last year and I felt like a big LOSER.  After a few months of sniveling and wondering, “What if I had done things differently?” I decided that it was time to pull up my socks and stop crying.  I may not have control over losing a much-loved career, but NO ONE can take away the wealth of knowledge and experience I have poured blood, sweat, and tears to build.  I had to convince myself that I wasn’t a loser, and it was time to take my treasure elsewhere.  The alternative was to let my "kernel" die, and fall to the way side.

Learning confidence through tackling new skills.

If I never experience disappointment at missing a few notes during choir practice, how will I know how good it feels to practice harder and get them right next time?  After ten years of investing in a career I was passionate about, I was forced to find another job. After months of looking within the teaching field, nothing suitable was coming available.  Low self-esteem and lack of confidence had to go out the window because there were bills to pay.  I found a retail sales job and was required to tackle new skills.  Well, actually, they were skills that had been learned (ie, cashier skills) when I was much younger, but hadn't had to use these skills in years.  When I started my Christmas Cashier "boot camp",  I made mistakes and left work feeling discouraged more than once.  Confidence was shaky, but grew with each successful shift.

Learning through success.

Each success will feed your self-esteem and build confidence too. After exercising confidence, and achieving success, it will inspire you to have confidence in other areas too.  Even if you try a new skill or task and it doesn't turn out as well as hoped, that's not the time to give up.  Getting positive feedback on a job well attempted helps build confidence to try again.
17 Kids and Counting: Trading Places, TLC, October 2009 

My favourite TV mom, and mentor for me, is Michelle Duggar.  She accomplished things with a large family, that I can only dream of accomplishing with my teeny family.  Michelle, on letting her boys help prepare lunch for her family; We may not have lunch on time, but that’s okay.   And later, as her boys learn to clean bathrooms, she encourages them with;  Practise makes progress.  One major lesson I get from watching this segment- Giving positive reinforcement on a job well-attempted, will inspire children (and timid adults too *blush*) to WANT to try again another time.

If you missed Part One, you can see it here.  Stay tuned for Part 3.

1 comment:

RoryBore said...

hi there and thanks for nice comment on my post today for Fallen Heroes...especially since it was a tough post to write. support is most appreciated! And absolutely link to it if you like. It's a great way to honor them! thanks.