Over the last few months, at least five different people have told me that I am too hard on myself. What I like to think of as my self-deprecating sense of humour has drawn comments like the following:
“Stop that. Why did you say that?” A colleague
“You shouldn’t say things like that about yourself.” My friend Joanne (paraphrased because I don’t remember her exact words).
Je pense que Finola est trop dur envers elle-meme. My French teacher (any error in the French is mine due to my bad memory. Oops, there I go again).
“She doesn’t give herself enough credit for how capable she is.” Husband Tony, whom I quoted on a recent blog post.
“I’m not joining your writing group unless @Finola stops putting herself down” from @coffeewithjulie on Twitter
I am used to hearing that I am too hard on myself from Tony, but now I have heard the same message many times over from a number of other people too. It was my French teacher’s comment first, and then Julie’s comment after that that gave me the most pause. My French teacher sees me for only four hours a week in a small classroom setting, and he had me absolutely pegged. And although I have met Julie in real life a couple of times, most of our interactions have been on Twitter or on the blogosphere. I must be very good at putting myself down in 140 character or less.
So it is not only people who are very close to me that are sending me this message now, but also the people who don’t know me that well who are picking up on this side of me. This must mean that I must be putting myself down much more than even I realized., This may be because I have been trying so many new and different thing lately, and so pushing myself way outside of my comfort zone. For instance, I started a blog; I am starting to write fiction; I ran my first half-marathon this spring; I have been going to events for bloggers and meeting a lot of new people; I am starting a new weight training program; I changed jobs several times over the last couple of years. New things are stressful for me, and I worry a lot about failure, so if I tell everyone that I am failing at something, then they can’t tell me that first. I am protected.
I am seeing now though that I need to stop doing this for the sake of my daughters. I don’t want my girls to pick up on this habit and start putting themselves down, as girls can tend to do. I know that I won’t be able to change overnight, but as a step in the right direction, here are eleven AWESOME things about me:
1. I am fit. I ran 13K today and I have started a new weight training program at Marshall’s gym.
2. I write, and I am working hard at improving my writing skills.
3. I love.
4. I do interesting work.
5. I make a mean leek and potato soup.
6. I am friendly and I like to smile.
7. I am a good Mom.
8. I enjoy making a good list as much as the next girl.
9. I floss.
10. I do my best to be a good person.
11. I am not (usually) boastful!
So here I go – a confident and fabulous new person. You have my permission to swat me if I slip up.