Growing up, I was extremely shy and very self conscious. I had little self esteem and worked quite diligently to “hide” from people. Speech class in school was the worst.
The days leading up to my speeches were excruciating. My stomach was in knots, and I could think of little else except how I was going to be a failure in everyone’s eyes. I proved myself right with my 7th grade speech. My words came out shaky and all askew. My not so sympathetic teacher didn’t help. “We couldn’t understand anything you were saying,” she said to me, with the whole class listening attentively . Or at least I assumed they were. They were 7th graders after all, so now that I think about it, it was quite unlikely they heard anything I said.
Anyway, with proof under my belt that I was worthless, I continued to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible.
So I am in complete admiration of my daughter’s confidence. From the time she was little, she loved to be in the spotlight. At three, she hopped up on stage with a friend and sang “You Are My Sunshine” in front of hundreds of people. She came down, full of smiles, and exclaimed, “I love being on stage!”
And she’s kept that up throughout the years. She’s auditioned for many plays, and has acted, sang, and played piano in front of people all her life.
Her social skills are a hundred times better than mine ever were, and I have to say, I am SO relieved. There are times when I think she may be too self absorbed, but I’d much rather her be that way, than grow up meek and timid like I did.
Last week, she had to deliver a how-to speech to her Junior class. She baked cupcakes to bring in so she could teach them different ways to frost a cupcake. Her teacher recorded the speech and let her bring it home to critique herself for extra points.
When I asked her how it went, she answered, “When I watched my video, I thought “I’m adorable!” I mean, there were places I repeated myself, but overall I was good!”
I had to laugh. There is NO WAY I would have watched a video of myself when I was 17. Even now, though I’m more confident than I’ve ever been (which doesn’t say much), I would NOT want to watch myself on TV. I don’t even like pictures of myself.
And here, she says she’s adorable.