You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens. - Louise L. Hay
Old habits are hard to break. Very hard. In my marriage and relationship prior, I had never wanted to be the center of attention. Honestly, I never wanted people looking at me. Ever. I felt self conscience, awkward, and unworthy of anyone’s attention. I wanted the person I was in a relationship to WANT to put me first. Somehow I always felt so selfish about that. Who am I to be put first? His needs were always more important than mine. Right? No. Not really. That is the lack of self confidence talking. That is my lack of a strong female role model growing up talking to me about being confident or vocal about what my needs are and how they can be met. The only thing I wanted to be was loved and cherished. Isn’t that what everyone wants? The negative conversation in my head was usually why should he treat you well? What have you done to deserve love? To deserve his love?
This old habit popped up tonight with an important person in my life. I texted don’t worry about calling me or texting me after your dinner. As I am texting this, I feel disappointed. All I’m thinking is I’m sure this person was entirely too busy to call me. Why would this person to go out of their way to talk to me or respond later after dinner? I’m sure they will be much too tired or busy with something else. I don’t want to be needy. Needy isn’t attractive to a male or female. Seriously?! What the hell? There is that old way of thinking creeping in. Keeping me in my ‘place’. Why is this negative side of me hell bent on talking me into putting me last and I then talk others into putting me last? The confidence I have gained over the last few years went right out the window! Until I stopped, took a breath and thought what am I doing?! I AM important. If anyone wants to make our friendship or relationship a priority, he or she will make the effort. Just like I make the effort in showing others they are important to me. Now, start acting like you’re worth the effort! Good grief! Words only go so far. Actions are what matters. I responded back with a very blunt text that yes you can contact me. In fact, you should want to contact me. I’m positive the recipient of this text is thinking what the hell? I’ll have to explain that later.
These lessons of self worth and value are critical not only for me, but for my children. I have a 15 year old daughter and 12 year old son watching and listening to me. My daughter needs to know her worth. Thankfully, she does. She has not been witness to my previous lack of confidence with her dad or anyone else. She is very confident is saying what she wants and needs. My son also has not seen how I have put myself aside so many times to please another person and end up just being disappointed in myself. He needs to understand that a woman’s value is not based in what he thinks of her, but of what she thinks of herself.
This inner voice will creep in again. Coaxing me or reprimanding me for valuing myself or reaching for something that is beyond my expectations. I will smile and politely tell the voice to go straight to hell where it belongs.