Confidence

My dark chocolate today said ‘it’s OK to be fabulous AND flawed.’ The irony being I flawed in eating the chocolate…

I’ve been doing relatively well on my nutrition and fitness habit-building, except for when I have visitors in town. I got really excited about some food-tourism stuff with my dad, namely liquid nitrogen ice cream and a gourmet rice krispy treat store. I also didn’t make it a point to delay our plans for me to work out. As a result, I’m not feeling super great about my weekend in terms of my plan, although it definitely was fun and great to spend time with my dad.

I’m struggling a lot with my mom, too. It was really hard to have my dad in town and not her. I’m so used to planning around things she’ll enjoy. I’m used to shopping, and as materialistic as it is, it’s sad not to have someone to buy me things anymore. My mom was the one to send me money sometimes, or if she knew I was looking at a sweater or dress but couldn’t afford it she’d buy it and send it to me without me ever asking, or she’d suggest or proactively get me some of the necessities – toiletries, haircut, bras, etc. – when I was in town or the same place as her. My dad doesn’t proactively spend money on me, it’s a request, must be a necessity, and even then is rare. It’s an adjustment, and buying those random things reminds me of the loss. Sometimes I’ll get excited to tell her about something before I remember I can’t. I want to ask her for advice or get reassurance before a new thing, and I can’t. I was so nervous about meeting my boyfriend’s mom, and I wanted nothing more than to talk to my mom about it, but I couldn’t.

It’s hard, too, because I can’t really fill in the reassurance/validity gap. I get that in an ideal world, I’d be so majestically self-assured that I wouldn’t need anyone to reassure me or validate me. My nerves or anxiety are usually based around other people’s thoughts, opinions, or reactions, and at the end of the day, my thoughts, opinions, and reactions are the only ones that should truly matter. I generally know how I feel – I’m that self aware – but I do still like to get others’ opinions to inform my decision, and it makes me happy to please those around me. Does that make me insecure? Maybe. Generally, though, I got that validation from my mom, and that was enough to keep me from seeking it out elsewhere. Now, when trying to seek it out elsewhere, I’m getting comments about how it seems insecure to need that type of reassurance or validation, and those comments are right, which sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I do generally like myself. I’m happy with my strengths and personality, and I am thrilled with where I am in life. I don’t mean that sarcastically – for real, financially, professionally, romance and friend-wise, etc. – it’s all amazing. Currently, I’m unhappy about the loss of my mother, and I’m unhappy about my weaknesses. I’m always unhappy about my weaknesses and trying to improve on them, it’s a constant struggle, but lately other people have commented on some of them. With the loss of my mom’s cheerleading, having these things commented on is like a sucker punch to my confidence.

Basically, I need to work on improving my self confidence. I think generally working on my fitness and nutrition help with that, as it gives me a ‘proud of myself’ cookie. Moreover, I need to find ways to accept that in life, there’s no ‘right’ way to do something, I’m never going to be doing something right or wrong or good or bad. I can’t seek out guidelines by seeing what pleases people around me or what fits into society’s norm. My metrics have always been the following, and I need to refocus on that:

  • whether something would make me happy,
  • if I’d regret not doing it,
  • if I feel happy with how much energy I put into something, and
  • if it will improve my life more than take away from it.

Some handy advice to keep in mind or try soon (from lovely various internet sources):

  • Get crystal clear on the things that truly matter to you.  If they’re not in your life, you need to bring them in.
  • Write a list of the things you’re tolerating and putting up with in your life, then write down how you can remove, minimize or diminish each one.
  • Take a few minutes each day or just each Sunday (or any day that fits you) to use a journal to write down how you have grown, how much closer you are to your goals now, what you have overcome and learned and so on.

The last one, in particular, I think may be a good exercise to add on to my gratitude journal. Instead of just saying the great things in my life, focusing on something – just one thing – that I’ve improved or done well or learned can shift that a bit to be more introspective.

In the meantime, revisiting strengths and weaknesses will be helpful in me identifying which strengths to use to overcome weaknesses.

Strengths:

  • Loyal
  • Give good, unbiased, logical advice
  • planning/logistics
  • organizational skills
  • connecting people
  • seeing the positive in things/easily amused
  • diverse interests…musical theater, books, writing, reality tv, board games, stand up comedy shows, outdoorsy adventures, classes, food/restaurants, travel, movies
  • leadership
  • my job – synthesizing lots of information, research, data analysis,  writing, questioning people/data procurement
  • research
  • my passion…for public service, my family/friends
  • enthusiasm/energy level

Weaknesses:

  • Stubborn
  • Impatient
  • care too much about what others think
  • over-commit myself
  • don’t always communicate my needs effectively with others
  • don’t always properly prioritize my own health/fitness

I had a rough day thinking about all this, but ended it well. My lovely boyfriend talked me through things, and was really understanding about my needing certain types of validation/positive reinforcement for a while. He also emphasized that it isn’t weak to ask for compassion and encouragement from my friends, that actually it’s totally natural since we all deserve love and compassion. It kinda drilled home that I can ask others for those things I don’t think I’m getting directly, and maybe they won’t think less of me for it, maybe it’s just that they don’t 1) realize I need things or 2) know what to do that could be helpful.

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