Friday, March 7, 2014

How You See Yourself

 Through blogging, I have met some incredible people.  Some of these relationships have developed into real friendships.

One of my friends that I have met is not only super smart, but she is kind and helpful.  She has been so generous with me, but most of all she has been honest when we discuss personal things like writing relationships.

I often think how lucky I am to have met her in the big wide world of the Internet.

One thing that I have noticed is that she says things that let me know she doesn’t see herself in the same light as I see her.

She sees her mistakes, her past, her flaws.

It makes me sad that she doesn’t see this incredible person that I see, and I wonder how our perceptions are so different.

And then I started to self-reflect as I often do about people and relationships.

I have been feeling very insecure about a variety of things, one being my audition for the Listen toYour Mother cast for Metro Detroit.  Ever since I learned about the production a few years ago, I hoped for a chance to audition.

And I got it.

erin janda rawlings is in listen to your mother michigan cast
This feels like a dream.

I was elated . . . until I started to overthink why they picked me.

I write pretty consistently, but I would never say I am a great writer.  There are blogs out there that are far better than mine.   Their writing is more powerful or more funny, their communities more engaged.

Then I started to spiral and question any bit of success that I have enjoyed.

Why am I chosen for to be a part of the Mom Panel on Live in the D?  There are people that I feel would be more qualified than me.  I am by no means an expert on motherhood.  Case in point: I go upstairs to brush my teeth, and this happens:

 I wanted to be mad, but how could I? He loves the cat
 and that structure took some serious planning in a short amount of time.

I continued my downward spiral and began to recall my freshman year at the University of Michigan.  People who I went to high school with, the same people who were in National Honor Society and AP classes with me would say to my face, “If they let Erin in, they will let anyone in.”

These comments basically confirmed all the negative self-talk bouncing around in my head.  I never was revered as the smartest kid in class, and I was laughed at when I asked questions. 

I guess I never saw myself as something great. I just showed up and worked hard.  There is nothing special about that.

And I still do that – show up and work hard. 

But yesterday I was writing a bio for a speaking engagement and I was struck my all of my accomplishments in the 4 ½ years of blogging.  If I were reading that bio about someone else, I would think she was pretty awesome.

Then I circled back to my friend who I wish could see herself as I see her.

And that’s when it hit me – people might see me differently than I see myself.

I see myself through my past and feel the scars left behind from those mean comments about my abilities.

I see myself through my flaws as a mom who can never strike that balance of spending time with my kids and investing in myself.

I think it is time to believe that someone sees me differently than I see myself and own what I have accomplished.

Do you struggle with negative self-talk?  How do you deal with it?


Erin Janda Rawlings said...

This is a test for commenting since some are having trouble leaving comments.

Anonymous said...

Another test from my mobile device

Anonymous said...


Jenn said...

Hey Erin, I used to struggle with my negative self-talk and the how. When it's negative, I'll think about something positive. If it's about a (bad) person, I'll think something funny... things like that...

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Jenn, that is a great strategy! Thanks for sharing!