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.