I was out midweek with a few girlfriends, crafting it up and throwing back a few brews. Our convo was all over the place — as many momversations are when we are attempting to catch up without constant interruptions from the little people in our lives. Sometime between painting our latest wooden wall sign and staining it, we started discussing self-confidence and self-esteem. I blurted out, “I’m my own biggest fan.” I also said I’m not apologizing for it — I love me and think I’m the greatest. To which they agreed (much to my surprise). Here I was — almost 40 years old, surrounded by my friends — and I thought I was the greatest. Of course they are great, too, but there’s nothing wrong with loving yourself to the max. You may be wondering, how am I my biggest fan? And better yet, how can you grab this confidence for yourself? It’s easier than you might think.
Doubt is never a word I use. Doubt is defined as a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction. Nope, not me. That word escaped from my vocabulary years ago. I don’t doubt myself or what I know, and neither should you. I’m not saying I’m the smartest or prettiest person in the room, but I am saying I’m the best me I can me. I try hard, love hard and follow through on my commitments. I give myself a pat on the back when I complete difficult tasks. I allow myself plenty of sleep and down time. I don’t surround myself with people who bring me down. I choose to be around friends who are always striving to do better and be better. Loving yourself first means you are constantly competing with yourself to be the best you.
Comparison is the thief of Joy. These words were once said by President Theodore Roosevelt, long before the days of social media. Nowadays, you can literally see what complete strangers are doing all day and all night. Wait, let me rephrase that. We can literally see what complete strangers want us to see 24/7. Case in point, have you ever watched someone take multiple photos of themselves over and over again? Which picture will they decide to post? The best one, right? Don’t compare your everyday life to someone’s edited one. Stop asking why you don’t have something that someone else has. You’re not on their path. Stick to your own plan. Live in the here and now, because tomorrow is promised to no one.
My crappy childhood made me love me. I was surrounded by people with low self-esteem growing up. My mother was terribly insecure, which isn’t the best thing to broadcast when you’re raising children. I knew I could do one of two things — soak up her loathing and self-doubt (yep, hate that word) or do the opposite. I could love myself so much that there would never be room for anything negative in my brain. I chose the latter. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that your past doesn’t define you. You don’t have to be full of self-loathing because that’s the way you were raised. Let that sh*t go. Leave it in the past and start realizing all the things you are vs. what you are not.
I know what I do well. I get paid to plan parties and kid events. I am good at it. Am I the best at it in Jacksonville? Probably not. I’m also asked to do TV segments — everything from back-to-school shopping to dollar store crafts to an entire Halloween episode of non-sense. Do I have a degree in broadcast journalism? I wish! Am I thin with perfect hair? Far from it! But I sure am funny and know my segment topic. I am present and prepared. I think I’m a really good mom. Now, am I a really good mom to your kids? Nah. But I am a really good one to my son and daughter.
Dang, Jes, you sound a bit cocky and conceited. Do I? I haven’t noticed. I haven’t slowed down enough to hear any negativity coming my way. I don’t think I am cocky or conceited, I just think I’m confident. Now that’s not saying I’m not open to feedback. I love event recaps and honest discussions with friends. And yes, I do make mistakes, and I own them. No one is perfect (shocker — even me!). But the difference is that I am going to be the best Jessica I can be whenever I can.
Fake it ’til you make it. Now if you’d read this far, you deserve to know my big secret. I truly fake it until I make it. No, I don’t mean I lie about my qualifications or mislead people about what I can do. Fake it until you make it simply means you are convincing yourself of your own self-worth and awesomeness. But Jes, self loathing and being melancholy are my thing. Okay, no problem, you do you. But I won’t apologize for being me as much as I wouldn’t expect you to apologize for being you. Don’t believe you’re amazing? There are people in your life who would sincerely miss you if you weren’t there. Most of all, there are small little people watching you. Watching the way you speak about yourself. They hear you complaining about your hair, your hips and how you just can’t wait for that glass of wine after they go to bed. It’s such an eye-opening experience to see yourself through the eyes of your children. I never forget that I’m raising two humans who are forming their own opinions about themselves. If that’s not reason enough for you to fake it until you make it, I don’t know what will.