The Confident Girl’s Struggle with Confidence

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With all this confidence talk, you’d think that I’m confident in myself all the time, right?

Well, you’d be wrong. And I’d be a liar if I didn’t talk about my struggles with confidence.

One of my philosophies is that the day you stop growing is the day you die. Maybe it’s not the day you actually die, but the day that you believe you’ve reached perfection or are better than someone else, that’s the day you just start to wither away emotionally, spiritually, maybe even physically. We should always be on a quest to be better than we are.

That means you have to be unafraid of your shortcomings, your inadequacies. You have to be willing to look them in the face and say, “I’ll overcome you some day and then conquer the next thing.”

Some people are good at that. Some people love the quest and tackle it with passion.

Then some of us know our inadequacies and we look just far enough past them that when a time comes that we have to face them, we’re knocked on our padded butts. There are some of us who are so afraid of our inadequacies that we face them for a while, stumble, and forget to look at them again as we get up.

It’s kind of like the whole weight loss rollercoaster thing. We lose weight then think, “Darn! I’m doing great! I’ll just have this dessert. Then have another tomorrow. And ice cream for lunch the next day!”, and the next thing we know, we’ve gained all of our weight back and then some. 

There comes a time when you have to face your inadequacies, painful as they might be. For me, it came this week. I am in a do or don’t situation with some contract work, and it comes on the cusp of our move to a tourist town where I know effectively nobody. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a complete social butterfly who wilts when she’s in solitary confinement. OH – and of course this all happens just days before I start my period. Lovely.

Basically, the way I feel about confidence is that it is the sum of the things that you feel you have to offer the world. We all have something to offer, and we all have things that we can work on. My strengths and inadequacies are different from yours, or perhaps they’re similar, I don’t know. The point is, we all have strengths and weaknesses and it’s important to know what they are.

Before the move, I had my gym, my friends, my routine. I had lots of work and had just come off of one brand event and one super great conference. Then work slowed tremendously, I couldn’t find the motivation to work out, I had to sever a friendship due to her incessant, pathological lying (it sucked regardless), then the ball dropped and Kyle was scouted for this fantastic job – at the beach.

Yeah, you read that right. The beach.

The move happened way faster than we thought it would and I let things go here on the blog and with my work. I had to pack the house alone, clean the house alone, and move here to the beach with my family – alone. I’m not exactly all alone, I realize I have my kids and Kyle. For me, it’s not enough.

Now I have no gym, no friends, no routine, and hardly any work. I feel like I have nothing to offer the world. Furthermore, I live in very close proximity to the beach where scantily clad, bronzed skin, tight assed, slim thighed women roam. Not that there weren’t super hot, fit women in Raleigh, you just see a lot more of them here. And by “a lot more of them” I mean a lot more of their bodies. I’m suddenly painfully insecure.

I do contract work so I don’t have an actual 9-5er. This contract work depends on me being good at what I do. The bloggers I work with, for the most part, really enjoy working with me. I thought I was doing a pretty good job because nobody had told me otherwise. After digging around looking for more work, I had a little bit of a review on Friday that left me reeling. Some coworkers were asked about the pros and cons of working with me. The only positive? My personality. I have a great personality. The cons? I’m not organized, I’m inconsistent, I miss deadlines, and I go over my managers’ heads. Everyone seemed to agree that the pros outweighed the cons, and maybe that should make me happy but it doesn’t.

To me, that just says, “You’re charming enough to scoot by in life.” I don’t want to be charming enough to scoot by in life. I want people to actually like me, and for there to be more pros to working with me, to being my friend, to being my spouse, and to being my kids. I don’t want people to say, “Gosh, that Summer sure was a lot of fun to be around but Jeez, she just wasn’t really very good at anything, was she?” Or for my husband to say, “Summer’s fun to be with most of the time but it would be so nice to be with someone who is as educated and attractive as I am.”

Because that’s exactly how I feel right now.

Like I’m not very good at much of anything other than being me. That’s just simply not enough.

Kyle is happy. He’s so happy. He loves his new job, he is making a lot more money, he gets to see views of the sweeping Emerald Coast every day, he works with some gorgeous people, and he gets to see even more gorgeous people every day.

You guys. I feel like I have nothing to offer anyone.

  • My husband works with educated, beautiful women. I have an associates degree, I’m a wannabe writer, and not conventionally “pretty”.
  • My contract work has slowed because all-in-all, I’m really not that great to work with.
  • I live in a beach town, and as comfortable as I act in my own skin, I really don’t look that great in a bathing suit, at least not by most people’s standards.
  • I’m a lackluster housewife.
  • I haven’t found a gym yet that doesn’t cost $200/month.
  • I haven’t a single friend in the entire county, though I do have one a county over – Hi Stephanie!
  • I don’t even have a car in my name.
  • I’m the least successful person in my family.
  • I have few measurable skills. I’m great with people and a good writer. That’s about it.

Maybe it’s the move and my solitary confinement talking. Perhaps it’s my good old Aunt Flo. Or maybe I was just due a cleansing phase in life. I’ve cried countless tears in the last three days and I really don’t like crying. Like at all.

Whatever it is, I just wanted you to know that this generally confidant woman, she struggles. And she doesn’t always know how to tackle her insecurities and shortcomings, she just knows that she must.

Your issues might be vastly different from mine, but whatever they are, you’re totally not alone. We all go through peaks and valleys from time to time. It’s what we do with the lessons in those valleys that determine the height of our peaks.

Though it’s hard while you’re going through it, don’t let it get you down. Because you are worth something, you do have something to offer, even if it’s hard to see at the time. Don’t miss out on life. Push through the pain, even if you have to shed a tear or 5 billion.

 

Don’t miss this three part article on the 15 things every woman needs to hear.

15 things every woman needs to hear – Part 1

15 things every woman needs to hear – Part 2

15 things every woman needs to hear – Part 3

 

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Comments

  1. Wish I could say something wise & profound…but all I can say is, I get it and I end up feeling this way more often than I care time to admit. You hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph. Thanks for writing this – I needed to see that I’m not the only one who feels this way and has to pick myself up and try to get on with it. :)
    Stephanie recently posted..Beyond Sandcastles : 5 Beach Sand ActivitiesMy Profile

    • Stephanie, it’s REALLY good to know that I’m in good company. Sometimes I feel like Eeyore and nobody wants to be around that, so I just put a mask on and pretend things are great, when really they’re not. I think it’s important for us to be honest with the people around us from time to time because other people need to know that they’re not alone too. Thanks for your honesty!

  2. I relate to all of this. Sorry you are feeling down about the new changes. I’m sure once the dust settles you’ll find that perky confident lady we all know and love again. <3
    Rachel recently posted..Skinny Piña Colada Flavored Slush!My Profile

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Rachel! And I’m glad to know that I’m in good company. You’re an inspirational, wonderful woman.

  3. Leeann Tagsip says:

    I realize you wrote this blog post about your perceived short-comings, but what you may not have realized is that when reading the post, what stands out most is your strengths. Yes, your strengths. Your strengths that you didn’t even mention in your narrative. I’m talking about the strengths that are just you. Just you, being you. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list capturing each of your strengths, but rather those that shined the brightest in this post, amongst your feelings of inadequacy.

    I’ll start with COURAGEOUS! I can’t even begin to fathom the size of balls it takes to put yourself out there, pointing out what you feel to be your faults, for the whole damn world to see. Ginormous balls (figuratively speaking, of course). Then how about EDUCATED. Um, an Associates degree is a hell of a lot more uncommon than you might guess. Uncommon as in, there a billions of women (and men too), who haven’t even taken a college course, let alone earned a respectable degree! And how about GENIUS? Any woman who can manage to rattle off a list of undesirable traits she feels apply to herself, while managing to unintentionally allow her strengths to overshadow the undesirables, is a f’ing genius. Then there is the MENTOR in you that says, hey, I feel shitty sometimes too, but rather than ask you to feel sorry for me, I’m going to let you know you are in good company and I’m going to empower you! Dust off your damn knees and get up and do yo’ thang! Your feelings are normal and okay and you wouldn’t be human without them. Let’s not forget about your INTEGRITY, your SENSE OF HUMOR, the fact that you are EMOTIONALLY OPEN, KIND and CONFIDENT (even when you think you aren’t). And last, but certainly not least, STUNNING, AND GORGEOUS. I don’t even need to go in to the bazillion ways you capture the meaning of those words.

    I already knew all of these things about you, but I don’t know that you realize that when reading this post, THOSE are the traits that stand out and ultimately define you.

    You are such an amazing and inspirational woman, in more ways than I can articulate. You keep doing your thang girl, cuz you’re killin’ it just the way you are. Keep your damn chin UP – because that’s where it deserves to be!

    mad love – always

    xo – Leeann.

  4. I can relate. I would consider myself a confident woman but the wind has been knocked out of my sails quite a bit over the last year. Hope that your path to wellness starts with the confession of where you really are.

    Megan

    • Thank you, Megan! I hope that this is the start of my path to wellness too. I hope that your path to wellness begins soon as well. Don’t let the wind’s change of direction get you down.

  5. You hit the nail on the head. I feel like that a little too often. Last week I was talking to Jared about my “career”. I told him that what I do isn’t a conventional job like when I was in banking. It had hit me that I didn’t really have any “real skills” besides being good at marketing and okay with writing. After I started trying to branch out and talk to more people (because I love my girls to freaking PIECES, but I need more to keep my blog alive) I suddenly found myself with more successful woman on the business end and a lot of cute teens talking to me about the fashion blog. This normally confident person withdrew into a shell and started acting shy. Not good with such a socially-driven career. Add to that hearing my son say something mean to his brother and actually being able to pick out my voice, and my words, in what he said and I haven’t felt too confident lately either. For what it’s worth though, I love the hell out of you. You’re not just “good with people. You’re strong-willed and you always seem to manage to get things done. You keep that family going through job changes, big moves, and huge life changes (sometimes at your own expense). You’ve always been a giving person and you’re someone I’m very proud to call a friend.
    Brooke recently posted..Massive Summer Reads Book GiveawayMy Profile

  6. This woman/mom/wife struggles with the same lack of confidence at a regular interval – it’s hard for us that value our self confidence, when we waiver for even a moment it feels like the world is imploding. Summer, I appreciate your writing and enjoy keeping up with you and your family – you have undeniable style. Remember to breath and don’t be surprised if this family of six shows up on your beach in short order. We’ll reciprocate with a ski vaca :-)

    • Skye, it’s SO great to know that i’m in good company. It definitely feels like the world is imploding, that’s a perfect way to put it. PLEASE show up on our beach. Our house doesn’t have the room that yours does, so we might have to put you up in the hotel Kyle’s restaurant is adjacent to, but YES. Please come. It’s very pretty here. And I will be knocking down your door for a ski vaca this winter, guaranteed.

  7. This post literally has me with tears in my eyes…and hit so close to home, it’s so hard to find friends when one moves somewhere and then to have to struggle with work and everything else on top of that? It is just the worst. I just wanted to let you know that for me, you have been nothing short of a HUGE inspiration and support system, and we’ve never even ‘met’, to me you’re just this totally gorgeous blogger chick that I wish lived close to so we could hang out!! And having actually worked with you, I have the complete opposite thoughts…you are so responsive and I always have the feeling like you’re just doing it all! Chin up gorgeous lady, I’d much rather see you on the beach and sit there laughing and joking about sand getting in not so fun places and talking about blog stuff than anyone else :)
    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog recently posted..Triple Chocolate Oreo CookiesMy Profile

    • OH Phi, you really are such a light in my life. I wish we lived closer too. When you and the hubby get to a point where you do want to visit the beach, you are more than welcome to come stay in our guest room and we can laugh into the night. PS: My earrings came today. <3

  8. Girl, you and I have WAY more in common than you even know. Fake it until you make it has been my mantra forever! And for the record you were hands down my favorite person to work with on campaigns because you can appreciate a raw sense of humor.

    Feeling uprooted and isolated isn’t easy for anyone. Just hang in there girl, you are amazing, awesome, and smart as hell. You know where to find me if you want some online support. Hugs! Ash

  9. I read the post, but didn’t get a chance to read all the comments. Confidence is not a permanent condition or state of being. It fluctuates both based on set situations (I feel confident playing trivia games; I wouldn’t feel confident playing softball) and everyday BS (trying to pick out an outfit that makes me feel good even when it’s that time of the month). I like to think of myself as a confident person, but every so often, something will really impact me. And because I am generally fairly confident, it catches me off-guard and makes me feel like the nerdy, helpless child I thought I was when I got picked on back in school. It totally sucks. That + not having local friends where you are now is hard.

    But don’t ever underestimate your amazing/unique qualities. You’re an AWESOME writer, super-fun to be around, a confident dancer, you have such a cool/funky style that is all yours. It seems like you’ve faced a lot of difficult situations, and not only nailed them, but shared those experiences to help others. I think that’s a whole lot to be confident about!
    Carrie recently posted..Homemade Gluten-Free Oreo CookiesMy Profile

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  1. […] It was one doozy of a move and suffice it to say, I never want to move again. Kyle darn well better just start moving up through the ranks here at the Watercolor Inn & Resort because this gal? She’s done. […]

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