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Being An Optimist With Insecurities

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve had some major insecure moments in my life, and my husband would be first in line to back that up. I believe it has something to do with the fact I have always had an active imagination, “a dreamer” as my family says. So whilst I have the capacity to imagine all the wonderful opportunities that might come by, I am just as capable of envisioning what could go wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely an optimist, a glass half full type of person. I love new opportunities, I strive towards my goals, I take risks.

For my 22nd birthday, I jumped out of an airplane at 15,000 feet and actually laughed during the freefall (don’t believe me? I have a video to prove it!). This was definitely not an insecure moment in my life. This was an exhilarating, rebellious, living-life-on-the-edge moment. I had excited nerves, but not scared nerves. There was a split second of pure fear when we first jumped out, but that was fast forgotten. It was a major adrenaline rush that lasted for weeks.

Joining a new playgroup with my two girls however – now that’s a scary moment. With both feet on the ground the entire time, I’ve got a million things running through my head before I even walk through the door. Of course I know why I want to join playgroup, I want Miss 2 ½ to make new friends and enjoy interacting with other children. I want to meet other mums who live near us. But those opportunities are overshadowed by the daunting “What If’s”. What if Miss 2 ½ pushes another kid over. What if no one eats the shared plate I brought for morning tea. What if none of the other mums are interested in talking to me. What if they talk about topics I have no idea about. What if Miss 5 weeks cries the entire time we’re there….

It took a mountain of talking to my mum, my husband, and myself to build courage to go. The night before, I made sure our bag was packed, our clothes were laid out, our morning tea was ready, so I couldn’t make any excuses in the morning as to why we weren’t going. I have to admit, I was mega nervous driving into the car park, getting the girls out of the car, and walking into the room. But it was Miss 2 ½’s confidence and excitement that helped me keep my cool. Turns out the ladies were lovely, Miss 2 ½ had a fantastic time (so much so she was in tears when we had to leave), and although Miss 5 weeks didn’t sleep at all, she didn’t cry either, so all in all it was an awesome experience. And we’ve kept going back since. What was I worried about?!

I sometimes wonder how I wasn’t afraid of the “what if my parachute doesn’t open when we jump out of the airplane”. I mean – that seems a little more extreme when you compare situations, there was a higher “what if” chance I could die whilst skydiving, than there was attending a playgroup for preschoolers. Yet I put more energy, thought and lack of sleep into worrying about what this new group of people might think of me.

I choose to believe the reason for this insecurity is the level of desire for a positive outcome. I had a strong want for Miss 2 ½ to enjoy playgroup, to build her confidence, to have new friendships, to enjoy new experiences and learning opportunities. I don’t believe this insecurity is because I don’t value myself enough (my family will tell you with raging confidence that I definitely do). Remember I’m an optimist, so even in this insecurity, I will always look for a positive meaning.

It’s pretty daunting being a parent at the best of times, and often we find a reason to feel insecure and inadequate as a parent. But don’t let this fool you into thinking you’re a glass half empty person. You just care so much about being the best parent possible, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Until next time,

Amy

  • Amy McLean

Amy’s life experiences have formed the values and ideals she lives by today. Coming from a desire to help others she has knowledge, passion and ideas to encourage change and personal growth. Amy is passionate about growing the strength of support networks, through appreciation of others and seeking to understand before being understood (S Covey, 1989). She believes in self-evaluation and constantly striving to find ways to grow.


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