Posts Tagged ‘self confidence’

For years I was always asking others to tell me what I should think.   I wanted them to make me feel better, give me confidence and tell me how I looked.   No matter what they said, deep down I was not satisfied and was not sure if they were telling me the truth.  The truth is that there was probably not anything they could have said that would have made me feel better or that I would have believed deep down.

David, my old trainer, was tough.  He educated me on how to work out, pushed me to my physical limits and I LOVED IT.  I did not like how he pushed me mentally and emotionally.  I was used to people telling me what to think and feel and he would not do it.  I remember talking to him one time and asking what he thought about my progress and he told me it really did not matter what he thought, what did I think.  I was so hurt and mad at him.  I wanted him to assure me how great I was doing and was losing weight.  He was blunt and it seemed a little harsh to me, he was supposed to be helping me!!  I tried a couple different questions to get him to say something nice and he would not budge.  I left dissatisfied, hurt, angry and sure that he was just having a very bad day  (trainers do have bad days)  but this happened on more than one occasion and eventually figured maybe it was me, not him.

Mulling over, “it really does not matter what I think, it is what you think” made me panic, how was I supposed to think if others did not tell me what to think or feel, what if my thoughts and feelings mattered. Oh my, I was 43 and never been a free thinker, I was always doing what others told me, believing what they told me to believe about myself and anything else that mattered.   The truth is that I had no confidence in myself, I did not believe I was significant enough, smart enough or important enough to have my own opinion.  I thought I NEEDED THEM.

I was driving home from the gym a few months ago and called Keith, my husband, and said, “What do I look like?”.  There was silent pause, he said, “You are a lady that wears black a lot.”  Oh my, this is not what I wanted to hear and hung up quickly.  Once again I was hurt and mad.  What I meant but did not say, I am having a bad day, everyone at the gym looked perfect, I felt fat, my extra weight was not coming off quick enough and I wanted him to tell me how great he thought I was doing and looked.  Keith is a smart man, knew I did not seem happy when we hung up and called me right back.  He said, “I guess that was not really what you were looking for?”.    I told him to forget it, I would be home soon and got off the phone.  My past conversations with David came flooding back and I realized once again I wanted someone else to make me feel better about myself.  It was a great moment because I talked myself through what I really needed to be thinking about–to be patient, continue working my plan, it takes time and I was worth taking the time to take care of myself, I was doing great.   By the time I got home I was so happy,  confidant, still a little impatient with the process but knew what I thought mattered most.

There is nothing wrong with encouragement from others.  Encouragement is a good thing, I need cheerleaders, but it is wasted if the whole time in the back of my mind I do not believe what they are saying!  I lived by my emotions for years and was depressed.  Now when I go there the thoughts comes quicker, What do you think Ruthie?,  What do you know to be true?, Why are you needing outside affirmation?  I have a conversation with myself, I talk through the things I know to be true and my confidence starts to build.  MY MIND IS A BATTLE GROUND, I am a work in progress, getting rid of old thought patterns that had me stuck, exploring that I really think and believe about all aspects of my life.  It is scary and exciting.


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