It was a random, off hand comment, made by a doctor this morning that made me stop and think.
I'm still thinking about it.
I went to have a varicose vein looked at - yes, I have a varicose vein, maybe more than one, and yes, I'm vain about it (haha) and yes, I'm well aware that this makes me an old person, as I was reminded TWICE this morning and whatever - and on the way out of the room, I made a comment to the doctor and he said, over his shoulder, what was probably a very casual
"Don't be so hard on yourself. I just met you and I already know that about you."
and, yeah, I am. Super De Duper Deluxe Mad Hard on myself.
The counselor I used to see, Sybil, told me the same thing. I have notes of her words of wisdom on my screensaver.
In fact, in conversation with a friend Tuesday night, I even said the same thing.
I know I'm not the only one who does this - but I would probably guesstimate that I do it more than most.
I think I fell into it as a self minimizing measure. Someone once told me that I was too confident, too obnoxious, about the things I do - and she found it to be bragging.
I probably was bragging - but that is a super tough line. When is the truth about an action just the truth, and when is it bragging? Different people draw that line in different places.
I know this about myself, and I've worked hard, over the past two years - since I saw Sybil (which was about a 6 month time frame for grief counseling) and she pointed it out - and I've had varying degrees of success. She encouraged me to weekly make a list of things at which I excel - and I try to do that - but I'm hesitant, because I'm always, always, always afraid someone will interpret it as bragging.
Nobody likes a braggart.
Self confidence in a woman, too, is different than self confidence in a man, I find. Women interpret another woman's self confidence as saying, "Look at all the things I can do and you can't!" We look on it as a reflection of who we are as individuals and don't feel as if we measure as well when another woman can accomplish (maybe easily, maybe not, you have no idea) things we cannot.
How to change this?
For me, I need to change my entire internal script
And the thought of that is overwhelming.
I also need to stop disparaging myself - I do it as humor, I think - and also as a sign to others that truly I don't think I'm all that wonderful
but I need to stop.
Just - don't know how.