Being Your Own Biggest Fan
Self-confidence is fleeting. It’s euphoric and yet can disintegrate at any moment. It’s like every day the tube of toothpaste is full and plentiful till one day it’s empty and you’re squeezing it against the counter for last drops.
Make one mistake and your words tremble. You instantly become self-conscious of your every motion and movement. You criticize the way you said something, the sound of your voice, the hand gestures you made. Your imperfections grow into monsters.
A slight hint that you’ve done one thing totally and unbelievably correct. A compliment, a smile, trace of validation. You sit a little taller and forget what your hands were doing or what you said three minutes ago. You begin to see things brighter and even you would like to hear what you have to say. You try on a shirt that looks phenomenal and costs only ten bucks. You read a heartfelt comment on your blog post. You are told you look nice when you thought you looked like crap. The dog at CVS shared an equally meaningful look with you.
But you apologize profusely and feel guilty and can’t explain why. You revisit the ugly parts of your day and dread when more will come.
Why is it so difficult to forgive yourself and treat yourself for what you are: a human being?
I excel in mistakes. I wish I could put it on LinkedIn. I would probably endorse myself. I’m notorious for jumping ahead, overthinking a simple thing, wording something incorrectly.
But the biggest debacle is myself. I don’t support myself.
I’m the first to criticize myself, the first to doubt my decision, the first to agree with someone who says I’m wrong or I should think about something differently.
One of my best friends recently said to me, “You are your own biggest critic, but you’re also your biggest fan.” She understands the continuous seesaw in my mind, the ever-present struggle of one fleeting moment of confidence instantly spiralling into disdain for my own actions.
I can try to be my own fan. Support myself. Love myself even when I know it’s not my best move, brightest day, wisest decision. Follow me like I gave into the Transformers franchise or dated Taylor Swift then had a total 180 and found Katy Perry. (These are hypotheticals but hopefully you understand this universal struggle.)
I’ll take an effort to be my own back-up, to step in when I’m too tired and too beaten down to stick up for myself.
There is a gap between total understanding and complete confusion, and straddling this space while transitioning into adulthood is messy and misleading. If I don’t hold my own hand once in a while, I might just lose grip. I might need a bit of guidance after all, and who better to lead me than myself.
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