by R.H. Ramsey
Why do we, myself included, carry so much doubt? Our eyes, our hair, our noses and mouths, the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we speak, our talents — we doubt so many things about ourselves. And when it comes down to a negative comment from one person, and compliment from someone else, what do we often do? We shun the good and run with the bad; it is almost as if, we are befriending our insecurities.
I think of a time when, as children, running wild and free, mix-match socks, rain boots and tutus, life was so simple. If there were scraps of paper and crayons, your jovial spirit was pleased, as you could create your own little crown. If there was a sheet or blanket, you were happy, as you could carefully construct your own castle – a castle and crown, because you knew deep down, that you were a prince or princess.
But do you recall the first time the cloud of uncertainty descended upon you, caused you to doubt yourself, and piece by piece, confidence was a fair-weather friend? I do – I think it began around middle school. Suddenly, more than ever before, I was aware of everything I did not like about myself; the cloud – the “friend” – never left me.
I often wonder – often ask myself – when do we stop, take a moment, and focus on what this toxic relationship with our insecurities has done? When do we close that door on darkness and love ourselves? More importantly, what are our children observing – how often are our children comparing themselves to the media’s ideas of beauty?
I don’t want my children (or any child) to doubt who and what they are. But how do we, as parents and guardians, intercept that cloud of doubt?
I am no professional, but it is my opinion, that there is no other way to describe the root of self-doubt, than fear. Fear of the unknown, differences, flaws, rejection, failure, and the list goes on.
- We have to raise fearless children. Not reckless, but fearless children. Children who are not afraid to ask questions. They are not afraid to embrace their differences – be it skin tone or hair texture. They should never, ever, be so afraid to fail or experience rejection, that they don’t try.
- Assuring our children that they are beautiful, handsome, intelligent, is paramount. But what about nurturing their young spirits – their hearts? Compliments are nice, but what about giving our children the tools that will keep them secure in what we have instilled, even as they watch innocently while sex sells and lust is confused with love? They must know that they are beautiful, inside and out, and know this for themselves. Confidence must come from deep within.
- I believe children need to know that they are here for a reason and that they have a purpose. I find that identifying and cultivating their strengths, molding everything in between, reminding them of the importance of humility, even at a young age, brings them face to face with their own abilities. They should believe they are more than conquerors.
And over time, I hope, that their talents, their hearts, their way of thinking, becomes not wrapped up in what they see, but in the self-love which has been instilled. I hope we can all learn to treat insecurities the same way we should treat an unhealthy, toxic relationship … release it. And take back our crowns.
BMWK – what are you doing to instill self -confidence in your children?
R.H. is a military wife and mother of two, who has written many novels and short stories. She has three published books: Just Beneath the Surface I, Undone, and Into the Atmosphere, with many more to come. Just Beneath the Surface 2: Landon’s story, will be published in Winter of 2013. Just recently, her books have been acquired by an indie publisher. With a passion for people, helping and learning, she hopes to continue in her quest of learning from and inspiring others.