I have worked for years to change things I don’t like about myself…or things that would improve myself. My weight. My hair. My clothes. These seem shallow, but they are the outside manifestations of some inside brokenness. I thought by losing weight, dressing nicer, looking better, that I would somehow gain approval. I may have gained others’ approval, but not my own. The negative self-talk was (and is sometimes) still there.
Self-confidence has been my nemesis ever since I can remember. How does one become self-confident? I know I’ve been trying for years. Self-help books. THE Book (that’s the Bible, in case you didn’t get the reference). Talk therapy. Prayer. I have tried both secular and religious avenues to get to the road of reliance. Self-reliance, that is. To my credit, I HAVE made improvements. I’ve learned how to recognize negative self-talk, and try to combat it. I’ve learned how to receive a compliment and not shrug it off.
And yet, on Monday, I was told by my boss that I lacked the confidence needed to do my new job well. The new job that I’ve held for 3 ½ weeks. How could I argue? How could I persuade her that it wasn’t true, when, indeed, I’ve been battling this demon for many years? I attempted to argue that I didn’t have enough time to train and it was quickly brought to my attention that I’ve had more training than any of her other employees. Along with that, the boss noted that I’m too emotionally involved with the people (mainly because I teared up AFTER I had to fire my first associate). [Anyone who knows me is probably proud of the fact that I didn’t tear up DURING the firing of that person]. She then added I needed to quit looking to others’ for approval. Yet again, this is a flaw that I have known about myself for quite some time, and continue to try to change this. And yet, I’m 43. Will I be able to drastically change myself in these ways? Or am I just who I am? Should I just be confident in the fact that I’m not confident, that I am emotional and that I do like to please people? Or should I continue to be willing to try to change?
Although what she said wasn’t untrue or unknown, it still hurt. So, I’ve been knocked down. Hard. It feels like failure, even though, ultimately it was me that said it was best that we part ways. I knew I would not be able to be who she wanted me to be. And certainly not overnight.
Easy come, easy go, I guess, right? It sure didn’t feel easy going. It felt like someone slapped me across the face. I can still feel the burning handprint, stinging my cheek. It hurts even worse when my own hot tears roll down over the wound . Hurt and damaged, I am now on the hunt for my next position. Knocked down, but not out. Though this time, I have another battle scar that has taught me how to fight. I WILL get up again.
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. ~ Winston Churchill (1941)