As stated in other blogs, I am totally Twi-ddicted (addicted to Twitter)! One of my favorite people to follow is The Single Woman. This morning she posted the following tweet and it fit nicely with a blog I have been working on:
Dressing yourself in confidence means never hanging your self worth on the hanger of someone else’s opinion.
This is such great advice but often so hard to follow. Everyone wants to be accepted, loved and thought to be special, it is human nature. Often we allow other peoples opinions of us to impact our self confidence and most often in a negative way. Lord knows I have allowed others attitudes about me affect my view of myself in the past, both positively and negatively.
The problem with allowing anyone else’s assessment of us to influence how we feel about ourselves is their view is always tainted by their personal feelings about us. Someone that likes you is going to naturally boost that ego and make you feel good about YOU. They will build you up, and sometimes more than they should. If someone dislikes us they will do the opposite, they will purposely find faults, inflate those and play on the little things to make us feel bad. Sadly, those that tear others down are usually suffering from feeling inferior to the object of their assault, and it makes them feel better about themselves if they can find things wrong with that person, it is pure jealousy.
How we feel about ourselves will impact not only our self confidence but how we live our lives. The less self assurance we have, the less we will take chances, we build walls around ourselves and become introverted. Every area of life can feel the touch of that lack or abundance of fortitude. I was a homely kid, I’m not going to lie. As a very young child I was cute but in the school years up to high school, lord did I go through an ugly duckling stage. I also just sucked when it came to athletic ability, I have none to this day. Between being plain and last one picked for teams it took its toll on me growing up. I was a complete misfit and I knew it. If you are familiar with the Christmas show, Rudolph, and the Island of Misfit Toys, then you have a glimpse of where I felt I belonged, I related well to Rudolph, Hermey the elf and the whole host of oddball play things. Maybe that is why that show is one of my favorites during the holidays, like them I discovered there is far more to me than the limited perspective of others. After my first marriage ended my self worth was shot to hell. It took time to rebuild, but in time I was very bull headed, strong willed, and had plenty of self esteem.
Sometimes, like Hermey and Rudolph, we reach for independence and grow, other times life forces us into a place where we have to suck it up and become more independent and we build confidence. For 23 years I had the benefit of a husband to take care of things for me. Being a very directionally challenged person I hate going places when I am not familiar with the general area. If he couldn’t go along I would often cancel, it was that paralyzing for me. Cars and all that is under their hoods is another area of great fear, and purchasing anything major without his discernment and financial analysis of our budget just did not happen even with his permission. Years of being a single mom and not being able to make ends meet swayed my ability to make purchases especially if the things I am buying are for me.
Since January I have had to start making my own decisions and had to ease out of my introverted comfort zone. I drove to Columbus, alone thanks to Google Maps. Sure, I missed a turn but righted my directions and got where I needed to be and home again. This was huge for me. Yesterday I went downtown, an area I hate to drive, located the fire house, alley behind it and the parking lot they use and then found the domestic relations courts. Another seemingly small achievement to some but was a big hairy deal for me. I have purchased a smart phone, my BlackBerry, and a new Dell laptop (biggest expense I’ve done solo in my life), both big steps in my world. I can check my own oil and add some when it is low, can check my tires, and replace windshield fluid. Beyond that, I have a mechanic. Little by little over the past 7 months my self esteem and confidence has grown. I used to hang my self worth on the hanger of my husband’s opinion, which did not hurt it but definitely stifled its nourishment. Now that I have it hanging on my own hanger, the fiercely independent me that he met 24 years ago is re-emerging.
I was also guilty of hanging my self worth in others closets of discernment, but not anymore. I used to pay attention to what those people said and thought, and it would hurt sometimes quite deeply and other times anger me. Slow learner I am, but I finally just stopped looking, wondering and with that stopped caring what they thought or said. If something I eat makes me break out in hives, I don’t eat it. If the trash stinks, I take it out and remove it from my presence. If someone else’s words or thoughts cause pain or discomfort, then I remove them. It is that simple, freedom. Well meaning friends would try to tell me what was being said, blogged and tweeted, until I broke them of sharing. I just didn’t care anymore. What I do in my life has NO impact whatsoever in their lives. Who I see, what I do, if my photos are airbrushed or not, what the facts vs. their lies about my marriage and divorce, the contents of my tweets and blogs…NONE of that in anyway, shape or form affects them and their lives or happiness. So why, one may wonder, did they keep bringing it up? Shallow, boring lives led? Jealousy at insane, unhealthy levels? I don’t know the answer, only that love me or hate me, either way if they were still thinking about me, paying attention to me, and then talking about me. BUT I no longer had to give it all life, so I stopped and turned away. With that pivot in attention my confidence began to grow and my self worth again returned.
I am the only one that matters when it comes to my self esteem and worth. What I think is now the only force in guiding who I am, what I become, how I think, function and most of all what I think of MY worth. And guess what, I’m priceless! I’m attractive, even with some mild scarring on my face from adult acne in my 30’s, average in build with 10 pounds I could afford to lose but then I am fond of my jiggly parts and curves. I am fun, funny, don’t take myself too seriously, I’m loyal to a fault, loving, kind, and have a big heart. I have a temper, a foul mouth, get impatient, and lack self control. I am perfectly imperfect and I like me.
I am number one, and in charge of my own self worth and confidence now, which is hanging on MY opinion, and I am pretty damned confident in me!