This is a tough subject for me. I was raised in such a way that I had little to no self-confidence or belief in myself. I was the one who at a young age not only shoveled my driveway and sidewalk by myself, but the elderly neighbor who lived across the street’s driveway and sidewalk. You would have thought she would have been happy that I shoveled for no compensation, however she would call and complain when I took “too long” to finish my own driveway and sidewalk. My Mother had a bad back, my sister had scoliosis and was in a back brace and my Dad was at work. My parents were perfectionists, so whatever I did it was just not good enough, whether it was school related or housework related. I grew up with the knowledge that whatever I did it was going to fall short. As an example, if I got a 100 on a test, my Father’s response was “Why didn’t you get 101?” This was not a jokey comment, but the only comment. When I graduated from college with two majors (B.A. and B.S.) in 4 years, they were upset that I hadn’t declared a minor.
It really seems ridiculous that such a thing can follow you around for a lifetime, however I do know that I’m not alone. Many people have been influenced by such things, and these feelings unfortunately can last a lifetime. When I was working with the elderly I was shocked at how many people would bring up feelings like inadequacy, or low self-esteem – and these people were in their 80’s and 90’s. They had been battling these feelings all their lives. Most of them had lived full lives and accomplished much. But they still had low self-esteem. This was one of the saddest parts of my life. People had lived so long, done so much, yet truly felt that they weren’t worth anything.
If you, too feel this way, please find some Affirmations. Say them to yourself over and over as many times a day as you can. Please, don’t hit your 80’s and 90’s feeling terribly about yourself. It only hurts you.