Fake it ’til you make it. We’ve all done it, here are some of mine:
– I can do this job
– I deserve this partner
– when I’m smiling, I am happy
– I know what I am talking about
– I know what I want
– I like the taste of alcohol
I grin writing this list because I know that I have done these SO many times. The first time I walked into a classroom to teach a horde of teenagers, I did so in defiance of an ex-boyfriend who told me I would suck as a teacher. I strode in with sod-all confidence, just a desire to prove him wrong in a job that I’d always wanted to do. I had ab.so.lutely NO idea if I could do it or not. Turns out I could.
We’re all seriously good actors when it serves us to be. But now try these ones on for size:
– I am a beautiful person who has something meaningful to contribute to the world
– There is no one else who can achieve the things that I can, in the way that I can, at the time that I will
– When I look in the mirror, I love what I see
If you’re anything like me, your visage is now scrumpled into a curious mix between sheer confusion, shock as if you’ve just sucked an invisible lemon, and eyebrows raised so high that they’ve nearly surrendered to your hairline. Not so easy now, huh? I also never wanted to be able to say those things for ages as I felt them superficial and arrogant. Yet I found it hysterical that we can fake something external that required massive action, but not anything internal which would be essentially imperceptible… So I have, quietly, stealthily, surreptitiously been trying.
Believe it or not, for the very first time in my 36 years, last week I saw a skinny leg. I looked down at the floor as I sat and I saw a skinny leg. Wierd. Tiny and yet almost mindblowing. Bizarre, as I acknowledged that I was pretty sure that that leg has been attached to me for 36 years. I know it’s changed, but not much. But this time, my eyes and brain did the maths and the equation yielded a new answer. Could it be that I’ve stopped picking on myself?!
I’ve also tried to stop that Tourettes monologue that I’m so good at (not to belittle a serious condition). You know, the one that goes along the lines of : “come on girl, surely you’re not such a dumb ****. Surely you can ****ing well get ****ing dressed this morning without being ****ing inept”. (APPLICATION: take any situation you have been annoyed with yourself and say one nagging sentence to yourself, throwing in as many of the very worst swear words you know. Your choice as to if you actually verbalise or keep it silent). I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a master at talking to myself in a way that I would NEVER use at ANYONE else, no matter what they’ve done. I can issue forth a venom train at myself with some crazily efficient insults. Now? I get dressed better without that voice. Fancy that!?
I’ve always said that I’ve wanted to change things about myself but that I couldn’t do it. Turns out, I can. Not all of it, but at least with the things that I can’t change, at least I have faith that I can now accept them with good grace instead of living with a grudging self-deprecation.