Where does all the bravado and self-confidence of our early childhood go? Do you ever think back to when you were a young child? If your childhood was anything like mine, you were probably happy as a clam and had a bounty of self-esteem. I did. I vividly remember my childhood dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. I took ballet lessons three times a week and carried my ballet shoes with me to every family outing and special event. I was ready to perform anywhere and anytime. In fact, I remember asking the band at my cousin’s wedding to play a specific song and clear the dance floor so that I could dance in front of a couple of hundred people. No joke. I did. Of course, everyone indulged me and thought it was cute at the time, but when was it not cute anymore?
I can’t recall any specific time or event that caused me to lose that self-confidence of my early childhood but I do know my self-esteem eroded slowly but surely. Perhaps it was messages from my parents, teachers and friends over time. However those messages were delivered, directly or not, I certainly “got the message” that what was cute as a child was no longer acceptable behavior as a young adult.
It has taken years and a lot of self-work to bring back that self-confidence. All those messages about the need to be humble and take a back seat became hardwired in my subconscious mind and re-surface periodically to remind me that I am not as wonderful as I think I am. No one will like me if I brag and put myself in the spotlight. It is such an internal tug of war. Is this true for you?
As professional women, it is vitally important to re-connect with this self-confidence and talent. It is critical to our success to promote ourselves in the business world.
A success or bragging journal is a great way to keep track of your accomplishments and talent. Make a daily entry and review the entries each week. Take the time to write down what these accomplishments say about you.
Do the work necessary to make the connection to your value and talent and re-establish the self-confidence from your childhood. You are still wonderful. Nothing has changed but your perception of yourself.
Great post and you’re 100% right. I second-guess myself all the time and I didn’t do this when I was a kid.
The worst part is that the people who tend to bring us down the most are the jealous ones (i.e. the people whose opinions don’t matter, anyway).