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Monday, 9 November 2015

Epiphany

Linking this old post with #IMUSTCONFESS because for some reason I thought the theme for this last confessional was 'a post that was hard for you to admit'. I think I somehow just invented that whole theme in my head but never mind.  I like this post now because I can see how far I've come. Still a long way to go but in much better place...so thank Kirsty for all the years! And good luck on the new ventures.

I was listening to the radio and the announcer  (I think it was Emma from The Edge), a young woman tells a story how in a past relationship, her partner never complimented her. Then one day, she was with some girlfriends who were saying 'I love it when my husband tells me I look hot' or 'My boyfriend says I'm sexy' and so on, and she realises "I'm with the wrong person. He doesn't appreciate me" and so they broke up.

Two things struck me with this story, firstly, she had such great self esteem that it hadn't been eroded by his lack of compliments, and her first thought was 'He doesn't appreciate me' rather than 'He doesn't find me attractive' or worse 'I mustn't be attractive'. I know I would definitely, especially as I age, be taking it as a flaw in me, not a flaw in him. I would love to have such strong self esteem - I don't know how you build it, but I'm working on it.

The second point that the story raised, was that she decided to break up with him when he wasn't present. They didn't have a massive fight that prompted it, she didn't limp the relationship through the unhappy death knell in an attempt to change him. She just decided she was worth better, and freed herself to seek it.

My ego has been taking a battering over the last few years, writing and aging are not kind to self esteem, and the weak just get weaker. (I've spoken before on the difficulty of keeping your head high after the multiple writing rejections). However, I've decided to work on it, as it's the new body I'm stuck in, so I may as well learn to love it, instead of hating what I see in the mirror.

The last few years have slowly chipped away at my self esteem, eroding it to unhealthy lows. I was surprised when I heard the story and I realise that must be 'normal' perception of self worth, and mine is the painfully distorted one.

There's a lot we can learn from Kanye. Stop laughing. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to never even hear the criticism, because your self belief is so great that you drown out the external negativity with an internal cheer squad? He said “Society has put up so many boundaries, so many limitations on what’s right and wrong that it’s almost impossible to get a pure thought out. It’s like a little kid, a little boy, looking at colors, and no one told him what colors are good, before somebody tells you you shouldn’t like pink because that’s for girls, or you’d instantly become a gay two-year-old. Why would anyone pick blue over pink? Pink is obviously a better color. Everyone’s born confident, and everything’s taken away from you”. Look at little kids at the school dance - they're loving themselves sick over their moves, there's not an ounce of self conscious judgement holding them back. Whatever they do is great, and they believe it. I want to get a little of that confidence back.

Why do we let other people take our confidence away? Why does society want to set so many limitations on our sense of beauty and value? It seems so mean and pointless. And if we can't keep our head above it, so self defeating.

So day by day I'm working on it, and hopefully one day I'll begin to believe it too.

I'll leave you with this quote “I believe in myself like a five-year-old believes in himself. They say look at me, look at me! Then they do a flip in the backyard. It won't even be that amazing, but everyone will be clapping for them.”  We'd all be happier with a little Kanye in our head.


48 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post to start my morning. I think it is a constant labour to keep our self esteem above the erosion of society. That five year old analogy at the end is perfect - perhaps we all need to be that kid! xx

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  2. I've never found Kanye inspirational before. I always thought he was a bit of a douche. But the quotes you've shared here? He may not be that douchey after all!
    As for self esteem- I have no tips, really, other than to reject people who treat your more poorly than you would treat them. It has been, for me, the first step in realising how much crap I would put up with- it was a much higher level than I'd ever dish out.

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    1. I think that's good advice....it's surprising what you accept and don't even question until you witness someone else taking a stand.

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    2. As for Kanye, he's awesome...but people LOVE to hate him (and he makes it easy at times)

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  3. I love that you love Kanye. You are teaching me things I never knew about him.

    That quote up there! I am going to have to use that with one of my clients who is feeling the way you are. I will reference you of course.

    Keep believing in yourself. Keep focussing on your strengths, You get what you focus on and your strengths will keep you strong!

    Great post :)

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    1. No need to reference me! I love Kanye...will work on the right focus...

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  4. Self esteem is something I think we learn to facilitate as we get older, but it can be hard to do when you keep getting knock backs for writing or you're not happy with where you are or the body you're ageing with. The thing about self esteem is if you don't have it, it can suck the joy out of life. I always enjoy your writing Lydia and your view on life. Don't give up. You're better than you think you are. X

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  5. I love this post! It is so true that as we age we lose that 'look at me' self confidence we had as a toddler! I think we can all learn from 5 year olds!

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  6. This is such a wonderful post. I'm so glad I clicked through! Great post. And YES. I want to be more like Kanye. Because we are ALL that awesome. All of us. (Just maybe not all the time.) #teamIBOT

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  7. What a fabulous post and a wonderful message.

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  8. I think a lot of people suffer from low self-esteem. Not many people are able to write about it. You've done it beautifully! Well done. Makes me want to reach out and give you a hug! Not in a pitying way but in a 'I get where you are coming from' way. I find that surrounding myself with good people helps. I also seem to care less about what other's think of me as I get older. Hold your head up and back yourself. Do what makes you happy x

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    1. Btw you'll see my link here goes nowhere! Lol! I have tried leaving comments on your blog before using my Wordpress log in and OpenID many times without success. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. If you've any clues please let me know!!!
      My URL is http://www.shaunaroundthecorner.com
      email shauna@shaunaroundthecorner.com
      Thanks Lydia :-)

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    2. Not sure re the comments - I would have thought it should link to your blog but always feel free to post your url in the comment (hassle but no other idea).
      I've decided to back myself a little more. We shall see....soon I might be jumping on stage and telling people Beyoncé was better...;)

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    3. Oooh oooh! I think I've fixed it! You beauty. You wouldn't believe what relief that it is! You might hear from me more often now! Ha!

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  9. Have you ever read The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris? He has an interesting theory about letting go of self-esteem. He says if it's high then you are constantly straining to maintain it and worrying that it might fall. So what if you just completely let it go and stopped judging yourself as a person?

    I think for most people self-esteem is always going to be something that waxes and wanes, unless you're a little bit conceited like Kanye (sorry, I still think he's a douche). I'm not saying I've totally mastered this myself but it's certainly something I'm trying to do. Just let it go and stop judging myself. Mark Manson also wrote an interesting piece on being average. I'm not saying you're average... I'm just saying it's an interesting read! http://markmanson.net/being-average

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  10. I never thought I would hear smart thoughts coming from Kanye. :) Although I think some of that thinking is flawed, mostly the 'look at me' part, we really can learn from his confidence.
    It's always been something I've struggled with, some days more than others. I would love for it to not be a hard thing to believe in myself more.

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  11. Lydia I love this post and it's a bit like my own post and where I'm at at the moment.

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  12. What another great piece of writing - I haven't read many blogs recently but I try not to miss yours because they nearly always make me pause and think. I've not been a Kanye fan in the past but what he says make so much sense. Bring back the 5yo in all of us !!!!
    I try to stay away from people whose main aim seems to be making me look ridiculous / silly / stupid in order to make themselves look better - I definitely don't need them in my life. If everyone was a little more empathetic and a little less judgmental and let others be without trying to change everyone who had a different opinion to their own, the world would be a better place.
    Sending heaps of hugs your way - you are one amazing lady - believe and back yourself every day of the week because you are totally worth it.

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  13. I always struggle with self confidence and hope to instill a healthy dose of it in my children - it's a hard slog when you struggle to believe in yourself to teach little ones to do the same of themselves.
    Kanye is practically my least favourite person of all time but the quotes you have shared here are much deeper and thought provoking than I've heard from him before.

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  14. I love this heartfelt post of yours. I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling. I've never been the most confident person and don't have great self-esteem either. It doesn't take much to upset me and a simple comment can have be rehashing it in my head for ... years :( My husband rarely compliments me on how I look, but it never bothers me. Our relationship is something I am sure of and confident with. I know he likes the way I look and I don't need him to say it out loud. I can tell by the look in his eyes and the way he acts. Thanks again for this great post. Hugs to you.

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  15. What a wonderfully reflective post! I can vouch for aging chipping away at self esteem. I'm 51 now but inside I still think and feel like I'm 35 so I get annoyed when things don't work like when I was 35 or look like when I was 35 and weight gain and trying to lose weight. Don't start me! Self confidence is a fickle thing. It all comes back to loving and accepting yourself and making the necessary mindset shifts to make that possible :-) x

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  16. I hope it's one day very soon, that you'll start believing it, Lydia. We all deserve to think highly of ourselves.
    In a past relationship, I was told daily how worthless I was, and it took me a few years to overcome that. Every now and then those feeling creep back in, but I shove them out.
    Isn't it just the best watching little ones dancing? x

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    1. Have you written about rebuilding your self esteem? Can you post a link here please?

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    2. I actually haven't written about it, even all these years later, it's still too raw. There was a lot of physical violence, and even now I have flashbacks of things that I don't even remember happening. Maybe one day.

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    3. I'm sorry. It was insensitive of me to ask. I just wasn't thinking. I'm sorry if I took you back there, even momentarily.

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  17. What a powerful post. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been so down. I have a long history of 'putting up with' and 'making do', but I'm starting to break away from it as I get older. You really do have to be your own cheer squad. And I NEVER thought I'd be turning to Kanye as a role model - but you do have a point!

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  18. This is a great post Lydia - I can really see (and feel) what you are saying. Let's all drag our self-confidence up together, with Kayne as our cheer squad - I can't believe I haven't realised how powerful his words and thinking is. Go you 5 year old - you can do anything.

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    1. To borrow from Kanye we'll 'touch the sky' (cos we're 'extra fly')!

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  19. Who knew Kanye was so wise?! It's like Kid President says "you were made to be awesome." And I say, awesomeness doesn't come with a use by date. Channel your inner five year old and a little belief and a sprinkle of awesome will go a long way! Great post - I'm so pleased you linked it up to the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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  20. Such a great post and message and something that definitely resonates with me and where I am in my life at the moment. I definitely need a bit of self-belief but not sure I could handle Kanye in my ear (although I do love those quotes you have mentioned and I know that Ellen loves Kanye so I figure he can't be all that bad but I just can't seem to warm to him!)
    Good luck, I'm with you!

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  21. I can't answer why we let others take our confidence away... It's mine and I need to protect it

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  22. Look, I think Kanye is a complete tool so I'm surprised he has come up with some actual sense but he does speak truth. I hope your self-awareness leads to greater self-love and self-esteem x BTW off to dig up an old xmas post to link up!

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  23. Kinda reminds me of that song by Orianthe, "According to You" (which I love!). Yes we could sure learn a lot from little kids!

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    1. Interesting to see what I commented last time around. This time, my thought was "wisdom from Kanye?!" but indeed it was!

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  24. Oh hun I so LOVE this post. So many times I have said I wish I had even a tenth of the confidence my kids have... why do we lose that? xx

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  25. Such a great post . The confidence to just put yourself out there and jump in with both feet can be huge . I love it when I hear kids yell out look at me . X

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  26. WOW Lydia that was an Aha moment. Thank you for sharing. I nearly burst into tears. Can't believe I am saying thins by go Kanye!!!

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  27. I'm still troubled a little by the thought of a little Kayne in my head but if that's what we all need to reclaim our confidence and self-esteem, let's do it!

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  28. So good to re-read this one again. Again I got a lot out of the Kanye quote!

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  29. Self belief is something that I also struggle with yet those around me seem to have it in me. I need to have confidence in my abilities.

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    1. If only we could see ourselves through the eyes of others...

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  30. Self esteem is a constant struggle for me too. I talk about confidence on my blog but I still need to work on it all the time myself. Aging is hard in these modern times where images of body beautiful's and youth are in our face constantly and it seems anything less is not good enough. If only what is on the inside was what mattered more than what we look like on the outside!

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  31. I've heard a few profound things from Kanye recently. There was an interview with Ellen which everyone condemned because they thought he was saying he was like Micheal Jackson, but I could see a different point. He was saying that african american kids seeing a person with the same colour skin making waves and progress gives them hope.

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    1. He does say a lot of really good things, but then throws in a clanger and that's what everyone jumps on. I have to say I loved his interview with Ellen when he finished with 'Sorry for the realness'. It still makes me chuckle just thinking about it. I spent a week finishing almost every conversation with it...best way to leave a conversation, every single time...

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  32. I wish I had the self-esteem of the person who realised the problem was with her partner, not with her. Ageing sucks...

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  33. WOW you sound just like me in this post. The past few years have not been kind to me either. And who would have guessed that through all Kanye's rants, he actually said something that had worth. I hope this lady you write about found her one, and that you learn to love yourself a lot more xx

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  34. Thanks so much for linking up all these years - I've appreciated your support of the linkup and your always thought provoking posts!

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