Confidence

23 Aug

I hope to raise my child(ren) with confidence. I think confidence goes a very long way. I would hate my child(ren) to sit out because they did not feel as they were able to do something. I want my child(ren) to be fearless to a degree.

In my every day interactions I see way too many people hesitate to try something new, take the reins, stand up and ask for things because they feel as if they may make a mistake. Making a mistake is never fun but you need to make mistakes to learn and grow. Mistakes teach us lessons and they also remind us of who we once were.

Everyone makes mistakes. Its a part of life. More often than not I see people feel as if everyone’s see them as stupid because they made one mistake. Unless you have killed someone or severely injured someone, most mistakes can be righted. And if you cannot right your mistake, you have learned.

Personally there are things that I will not do because I have no desire to do, not because I am scared… like White Water Rafting. Its not on my bucket list but if I had the opportunity to do it (like, literally I am right there and it wasn’t alot of money), I would do it. Its an experience. I may be horrible at it but at least I tried. I think that is a part of inner confidence.

At Work, I will pick something up and try to figure out what is wrong, what to do… not only does it help my co-workers (hopefully, and not harm them because I got into a huge mess) but it also makes my job interesting. I learn. I grow.

In School, I raised my hand. I tried to come up with ideas. I was not the most outgoing person (I actually was perceived as a bitch because I was alone alot and always walked so fast to class) but I wanted to participate in my college education. Now in grade school, I was scared to make a mistake because I didn’t want the boys to think I was stupid or the popular girls to think I was not good enough to come over their house this weekend for a sleep over. I don’t know how I will approach that with my child(ren) but I will try to be active in their lives and show them when I make mistakes how I handle them. I would not want my child to think they had to be perfect. Its the imperfections in people that make them interesting.

When I do make a mistake, I own up to it. I acknowledge it was wrong and then shake it off. I put that moment behind me. I put that moment in my memory. I put my best foot forward and try again.

I was not always that way. I used to dwell on mistakes, dread new experiences because I thought way too much about what other people who think about me. I learned, no one is watching you. No one is going to go home and make you the topic of the dinner table conversation. No one is going to say remember that time when you epically fucked up xyz… Unless they are joking 🙂 Sure, at work it may be brought up in a review but you need to be able to understand how you righted that wrong and make sure that it never happens again. You may also get a failing grade… just dont make that mistake again. The failing grade will not effect you when you are 70 years old. The poor work review will not either (maybe it got you fired, maybe you had tough times after that but I promise you, at 70 it wont matter). At 70 years old you will look back at your life and try to remember the smiles of your child(ren), your spouse, that home-run ball you caught during the world series, the way you felt when you put your toes in the ocean for the first time, a smell, a song… things that make you remember who you are and how you got there. It took me about three years to realize that. I sometimes have days when I am much harder on myself than anyone else. I find myself saying “sorry” but realizing that you say sorry, the next 100 or so are less effective. And if I get hung up on the sorry part, I sometimes have missed the boat to fix the mistake. I am human. It happens. I do mentally remind myself, I am my worst critic. I also ask myself “how did I get here” and “how do I get out”.  Lastly, I shake it off. Usually by going in the bathroom and just taking a breath. Promising myself that when I walk out that door, I am a new person. New chance. New second to live. I do allow myself those moments of fear/loathing/pithy but only for a few seconds.

I want my child(ren) to do that. I want them to raise their hand in class and answer. I want them to volunteer to be the leader. I want them to say “I’ll try that”… Not only in school/work but also try new foods, listen to each side of an argument even their mind is already made up. I want them to be open. I want them to understand when a teacher says “no that’s not the right answer” why… I want them to WANT TO UNDERSTAND the why… I want them to be told that you cant do that, only to prove that they can… or to ask why not. I want them to be bold.

Confidence does not have to be overt but I hope I am able to teach my child(ren) to have a good sense of self. That whatever they are good at… math, science, language, literature, art, theater etc… that they should continue on that path but also try the ones they are less good at because who knows, they could learn something about themselves.  I want them to know that their own confidence should never overshadow someone else. I want them to respect their own selves and other people.

I also want to make sure that when I do correct my child(ren) I also show them why it was incorrect, how to make it right, and the reasoning behind the right thing. I dont want to ever just tell them they are wrong. I think that makes for bad practice and low self-esteem. It makes people feel little. Each second of the day is a learning experience.  I plan to take advantage of that and make them feel big.

What do you hope to teach your child(ren)? This of course is only one small portion on a list of “what I want to teach my kid”.

 

One of my most favorite moments from Lost – Yes I am a TV Buff is below:

This is Jack Talking to Kate, telling Kate to suture the wound on Jack…

Well, fear’s sort of an odd thing. When I was in residency my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a sixteen year old kid, a girl. And at the end, after thirteen hours, I was closing her up and I, I accidentally ripped her dural sac, shredded the base of the spine where all the nerves come together, membrane as thin as tissue. And so it ripped open and the nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I… and the terror was just so crazy. So real. And I knew I had to deal with it. So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that’s all I was going to give it. So I started to count: one, two, three, four, five. Then it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up and she was fine.

 

That is confidence.  Not that it is real life but you get the point 🙂

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