I look at my daughter and see a world of confidence and can’t help but wonder if I had even half that much confidence at her age. I know by the time I was 7 or 8 it was gone, but what about before that?
My daughter, if anything, has too much confidence. The first instinct is to say not possible, then you reflect on ego, and second guess yourself. The thing is, if she has this much confidence as an adult, yes, she might be a tad bit annoying. Right now? Well, it’s still annoying. But…
She has her first bully to live through. Middle school to survive. She has not yet felt her first heart break. She has yet to be teased for wearing Skechers when Nike is the brand of choice that month. (Don’t worry, daughter, you’ll be ahead of the game when Skechers take their turn the following month.)
She has many years to come of people tearing her down before she becomes an adult, and I imagine it won’t fully stop there. I can only hope that she has half the confidence at 23, as she does at 3. If she does, I will have successfully raised her to be a confident adult. Hopefully validating will help build that confidence in her. And while I don’t want her to be egotistical, confidence makes for a strong individual. A woman, or man, who knows what s(he) wants and how to get it without hurting others.
Where does the line between egotistical and confident lie? I’m not quite sure. However, I’m also raising my kids to know that we are all equal, no matter who we are. Neither race, gender, sexuality, religion, nor social economical class makes anyone better than anyone else. Hopefully, the line between ego and confidence lies in there somewhere. As does knowing where strengths and weaknesses lie.
I have found, though, that for every weakness you point out, you need to also add two strengths. It is a lot easier to shatter confidence than it is to shatter ego. That is what I’m going wrong with Thomas.
I lack confidence so deeply, that I struggle to hear anything positive about myself. Be it a result of my illness, bullying, or lack of validation, I don’t know. I just hope to help my kids be the opposite of myself in all the way it counts. Because I have to tell you: I would rather my daughter be egotistical at 33 than the confident mess her mother is at 31.