I don’t know for sure, but I’m betting I was a worrier from the day I was born… ‘When is my next meal coming? My diaper is wet! Where’s mom? Am I crying enough? Am I crying too much?’ My worry and stress are circular things – each both causes and results in the other, and after the two of them do the dog-chasing-tail routine long enough, it almost invariable leads to a crisis of confidence.
Everyone has their moments of worry and stress but mine seem to be the creation clay of my personal nemesis, who aims her arrows with unfailing accuracy at my unique Achilles heels (yes, I have more than one) – no matter how miniscule. I am, in short, my own harshest critic. As a kid, I had looked forward to being because I thought I would finally have it all figured out. Well, I am an adult, but I do NOT have it all figured out. Still, I’m working on my nemesis. We do battle at least a couple of times a week and I guess you could say I’m making slow, steady progress. It’s just a fact, however, that there are those of us who punish ourselves for our failings more than society does, and then there are those of us you couldn’t beat the confidence out of with a big, wooden stick (…and there are those out there on whom I’d love to try out this theory). I am convinced that strength of confidence is more nature than nurture.
Why, if it’s not a huge chunk genetic, do I see my kids struggling through the same battles? Shouldn’t they at least have the advantage of starting with the confidence level that I’ve struggled so hard to achieve throughout my life? I’ve been told by many people that I’m a calm, laid back sort of mom so I don’t think their struggles are a reaction to my demands. They are so sensitive – their feelings are so easily hurt. “Why didn’t I make the chorus, Mom?” “Mom, I can’t spell in English, how am I going to spell in Italian?” I try to calm them down, and bolster them up. I try to get them to see things as they really are, instead of how they look through in the harsh-critic mirror. I'd prefer to don some armor and slash through armies for them like Joan of Arc, but all I can do is support their efforts and wait for their skins to toughen.
It sure would make me feel better to beat one of those confident guys with a stick, though.