Johanna von Hertzen
I realized on the skating rink that courage and good self-esteem are two different things
One winter morning I took my child to skate with his school class. When the skates had been wore and it was time to go on the ice, the child stopped at the edge of the track.
“Mom, I cannot skate”, he stated and began to move himself back on the bench. The situation was special, because child had learned to skate the previous winter and I had seen with my own eyes him skating and even playing hockey. So it wasn't about skill.
But brave personality and good self-esteem are two different things. And even if they usually exist, sometimes there may be a short lack of one or both. No matter if you are a child or an adult.
I said to my child, that everything starts believing ourselves. If you keep repeating to yourself that you cannot do something, you will make it difficult or even impossible to be done. I also said to him, that I know he can skate, because I have seen in my own eyes. I said to him that he will become better as long as he dare to practice. And all of his friends encouraged him.
Then I left for work. I sat into car, I spent a moment thinking about our conversation and my own behaviour. How many times I have stopped to believing in myself, even I know I can? Many times. How many times I have started feel fear just before the moment of action, even though I know I’ll do well? Many times.
How many times I have compared to myself to other people – more experienced, older and more advanced. How many times have I thought, that I´m pretty good at many things, but I´m not great in anything. How many times during my life I have tried to get along by myself, even I have had the most best friends and family around me all the time. Many times.
It is much easier to encourage another dear person than oneself. What if we just talked to ourselves in the same way we talk to loved ones?
This conversation was also timed funny into a situation, where in my own life is going big changes. In recent weeks I have described my mood as follows:
I´m standing in the swimming pool´s jumping tower. I want to jump into new in that deep end. I'm not even afraid of the jump, but something in me still makes me lean on the railing and something in me makes excuses to dim little more.
Maybe now it´s right time to put those skates on your feet and sink to the track. Or to jump from that jumping tower to dive towards new adventures!
And oh, yes. My kid wanted to go skating again the right next day.
The writer is a songwriter, mother and former swimming hall worker.