It’s so funny how our culture works on us to sow seeds of loathing and self-doubt when things are going well.
I grew up in an era when, apparently, the worst possible thing to befall a child was that he or she “had a big head.” God forbid that you would be perceived as conceited, or self-assured, or content. Someone, often an authority figure, was always there to take you down a peg. No wonder we have people running this joint who are cynical, irresponsible, and kill-joys. No wonder we have an insatiable appetite for other people’s misfortunes, and are so ready to discount our own legitimate achievements.
My personal history is full of self-judgment, as well as the judgment of others. I was the girl who had a big mouth, who was outspoken, who was full of herself, overbearing, you name the unflattering adjective. These judgments were devastating. Without a foundation of self-confidence, how is one to be effective in carrying out one’s work? I eventually learned that other people’s judgments were warning signs to take stock of my behavior and motivations — and, that, mostly, other people’s judgments were a projection of their own insecurities, having nothing to do with me.
I back pedaled, watered down the full essence of myself, for years. However, when I faced the inevitability of my own extinction, I finally dug down within myself and decided to live MY life, as I wanted to live it. I needed to surround myself with people who were equally intense, equally outspoken, equally committed to excellence in outcomes, in relationships, in overall happiness. Once I departed from the dregs of negativism pravalent in my surroundings, I was on the “up elevator” to a magnificent life. Not a life without problems and challenges, but a life that could be lived without regret, and without ever saying, “If only I had. . .”
And so, last night, I had occasion to celebrate and acknowledge my growth. I felt so full that I had to go to sleep — and so did not make a post yesterday on this blog. The events were tiny, actually. Dwelling on them might seem self-important, However, I think the care and nurturing of a healthy ego depends upon acknowledging one’s own part in creating positive outcomes. I was working on two projects, both presented a significant challenge — even a roadblock — and I figured out solutions, all by myself.
One was going down the road of connecting GoDaddy hosting with WordPress.org. Simple if you know how, not simple if you don’t and if you are relying on the directions on the site, which were written by people who know how. I persevered, resisted temptation, did not click on red-herring links that beckoned, and eventually won the prize — GoDaddy and WordPress are now talking to each other via my new website. Now all I have to do is decide on a theme and get to work on the content. But the technical problem was solved. I felt proud. Blonde, soprano, non-techie ME figured it out.
Another problem and project involved receiving a new piece of information that might or might not involve a considerable expense to stay on track and comply with a new law. I researched the issue and determined that we were probably in the clear. I communicated with those who needed to be informed, and confirmed that we were in compliance and no further action was needed. Yes, I had a momentary heart attack, and a few moments of anguish where I wondered who would come and rescue me and the situation. But a few moments of calm and perseverance yielded a surprising result: we didn’t need a rescuer. My resources were sufficient.
It’s an amazing feeling: genuine accomplishment It makes no difference whether the accomplishment is big or small. The feeling of confidence, of capability, of personal power to change events for good — priceless.