Self-Confidence Tip: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously

mom and son
Feet to pavement, I move.

Morning air crisps my cheeks, my neck, my back.

A cyclist passes, a bird chirps, a car speeds.

Another early riser runs past. I hear the thwack of her feet thwack, the faint tint of her music. We nod at each other and half smile. A runner’s greeting.

I tip just past the point of uphill. I can now go on without counting the tight muscles or the deep breaths or the moments until my morning coffee.

I hit a light and remember to pause my time, my distance, the app’s robotic voice telling me I’m doing a good job and to keep going and, my favorite, no turning back now.

Not paying quite close enough attention, I hit the little button twice and turn off my run.

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Not sure what to do, I start playing a math game in my head. I went this far… This much more would be… If it says this distance, that means…

It’s ridiculous — I’m ridiculous – but when I figure it out, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m proud. Really, really proud.

…the truth is, we’re all too busy living our lives one step in front of the other to worry about how hard running math is for someone else, aren’t we? 

I’m still running, and maybe still a titch unsure of the math, but I’m congratulating myself for figuring this out, and I can’t wait to tell someone – anyone – about the silliness of the way too hard morning math.

And that’s the rub: I’ve come a long way to get here.

I haven’t always been able to tell these moments, or even be in them, with ease.

For many years, I took myself too seriously, kept my head down, and my face set. I worried what others thought, or would think. I boxed myself in in this way, without breathing room.

But the truth is, we’re all too busy living our lives one step in front of the other to worry about how hard running math is for someone else, aren’t we? We’re keeping our own heads down and our own faces set and treading far too carefully through life’s ridiculous moments.

Life is filled with ridiculous moments that are meant to leave us with our cheeks raised and our stomachs hurting from laughter that comes from deep inside.

And some of those moments are truly ridiculous, and are truly meant to be shared.

Two decades ago, I got lost at a high school cross-country meet. As in, I was running a race and went off the course.

Within the last decade, my husband made me laugh so hard and in the most real way – the kind that’s unstoppable — that I had an accident. In the kitchen. Next to my children. They tell this story all the time.

And just a few years ago, I unknowingly turned on the music on my phone in an airport bathroom and thought how fabulous it was that my favorite song was playing. In my stall.

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Life is filled with ridiculous moments that are meant to leave us with our cheeks raised and our stomachs hurting from laughter that comes from deep inside.

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When we do this, when we walk away from any sort of perception or feeling and want or need of perfection, we’re free to laugh in this golden way.

Actually, we’re just free.

And that’s exactly where we want to be, isn’t it?

 

What do you think?

Self-Confidence Tip: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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1 comment

  1. Jessica says:

    Good perspective!

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