Thursday, 2 September 2010

"I Believe I Can Fly...okay then, meow really loudly"

My lovely (separated-at-birth) writer-sister Fionnuala blogged about self belief/confidence today here and she couldn't have posted at a more appropriate time.

I my teens I had a book of Quotes.  The most heavily-thumbed section of which was self-belief/worth/confidence/ goal-achieving; that kinda thing.  And it didn't matter how many times I repeated whatever quote I liked best that day/week, it really didn't seem to have any major influence on how my life was going at the time.  And now I know why.
Because the words were just that.
Words.  On a piece of paper.  Whereas what was most important was how much I believed in these words inside.  And how hard I really wanted these things to happen.  And how much confidence I had in myself that these things could really come to fruition.
Which I clearly never did.
I was always too distracted by others achieving their personal goals and marvelling at the way they seemed to have managed success so effortlessly (it appeared to me, the bystander) that I lost sight of what it was that I really wanted.  And in the end I convinced myself that it didn't matter, it was nice that fortune favoured others and I was probably just destined to be part of the audience in this great performance called Life.  Even if that's all I had, it was still probably quite important.  But it's never felt quite enough.

And even though I vehemently oppose the whole "I blame my parents" adage, I am completely convinced that had I been brought up surrounded with a lot more (for "more", read "any") encouragement and support and just unconditional love of wanting the best for me, as a child and growing adult, then I certainly wouldn't still be beating my head against my literary blocked wall and wondering when it's all going to happen. (oh, I didn't say 'If'  I wonder if that means anything?).

But now I need to locate, pin down and trust in this elusive 'self-confidence' thing.  I was never shown where it was kept before.  And on the rare occasions I do think I 'found' it, I was told to 'stop being such a selfish show-off' or berated for 'having ideas above my station' or even (seriously) that I wasn't allowed to have an opinion whilst I still lived under my parents' roof.  And, no, I'm not blaming them. Anymore, anyway.
No, I have come to accept that that was the way they thought parenting should go.  After all, they must have learnt by example, so if I want to 'blame' anyone, then I could just keep going back and back through generations of them and still never stop. A pointless exercise and one which sounds too exhausting to begin.

That's why God invented  Support Groups, Friends, Counsellors (fee-earning Friends) Networks and the Internet.
Just for me.
I know He didn't really.  I thought I'd just write that to see how much more important it made me feel.  Which it didn't at all.  It made me feel a bit blasphemous to be honest.  Which is another childhood throwback.
Oh, and which is also why I get a lovely, encouraging Note From the Universe every (week) day, telling me how great I am, how much fun I'm going to have and how my dreams, if I want them hard enough, WILL come true.  And for the time it takes me to read it, I really DO start believing it.  Until I realise that a hundred million other people are also receiving the same mail.
But  if we went around believing in ourselves then we'd all be happier, wouldn't we, and everyone would be nicer to and love one another more, and really, isn't that what IT's all about?


Michele said...

We must be comrades in arms- that whole self confidence thing is quite elusive. HOw do you get it? When you find out, let me know.

Debs Riccio said...

I wish I knew, Michele, you might have noticed that even towards the end of this post I started thinking "what the HELL am I doing writing this nonsense, as IF anybody's interested in what I think about ME!" I mean!

Talli Roland said...

That IS what it's all about! Shame not everyone plays by those rules. They should!

jc said...

What is this 'self confidence' you think you don't have. If it's the kind of self confidence they bang on about in the 'X Factor' and similar drivel then you probably don't have it and are probably better of without it. If its the kind of self confidence that makes you keep doing what you love, writing, despite its highs and lows then you have it in spades.The very fact that you can question and write about 'elusive self confidence' must tell you (it certainly tells me) that you have some already. There is no way I could openly discuss my inner (or outer for that matter) most thoughts, and emotions on a public blog the way you do and even when you think you have it self confidence is transitory. It only lasts until the next challenge when it all disappears because of self doubt.

Join the club!

Debs Riccio said...

Wow, John, what a great comment! Made me very happy indeed to think that SOMEONE in my family thinks that I have what I always wanted (maybe that's all the visualisation I needed - perhaps I had it all along and didn't realise... too deep....) Anyway, thanks for cheering me up and making me feel better about myself...x