If you could compare motherhood to formal education, you might say that about eight months ago I joined some extra-curricular activities.
I committed myself to these activities with the hopes that I would impress people, or gain their respect. A great part of my insecurities stem from my perception of other’s opinion of me.
A marvelous thing has occurred over the course of my extracurricular journey. I found a new self-confidence arising, which was exactly what I had hoped for. But a couple weeks ago I realized something very critical. I realized that my self-assurance didn’t come from the respect and admiration I had been seeking. To be honest I have no idea if my peers view me any differently knowing the new ways I spend my time.
My confidence came from knowing that I was capable of hard things. It came from knowing that I had set goals and accomplished them. And the beauty of it was that I didn’t have to consciously tell myself those things, I just knew them, and it changed the way I felt about myself in wonderful way.
I’m still a long way from not needing outside approval. But progress…
Yesterday I ran my second 10k. I cut ten minutes from my original time and I was on top of the world. I am not a psychologist. But I believe that you can read book after book about self-respect but nothing will really change inside you the way that going out and doing something hard, and then doing it again will change you.
So whether it is putting together a delicious meal, taking a yoga class or volunteering somewhere the sacrifice it takes to get you there will be worth the emotional reward. In the words of Dr. Laura:
“Get off your butt and go sign up for kick boxing.”