“I’m really proud of myself, mom.”
“Yeah? Why, buddy?”
“Because I’m getting an award tomorrow night at my football ceremony. I worked really hard to get it. I didn’t know how to play football but now I’m good.”
I looked in my rear view mirror and watched Mario stare intently ahead as he spoke to me about his upcoming award. How is it that a five-year old could exude this confidence and pride so easily and I could not at age 41?!
I thought about Ri and how I could never imagine those words coming out of her mouth. Countless studies confirm that boys tend to be more self-confident and aggressive than girls. Every single time I walk in to my boss’s office to negotiate my salary, I think about my dad’s advice long ago: “You can’t feel bad about demanding a higher salary. If you think it’s what your worth, ask for it and don’t look back.” And this coming from a man with scruples and compassion and no desire to beat everyone up the corporate ladder.
I began to respond back to Mario with advice to not get too cocky about his achievement. But then I stepped back and stayed quiet. It’s not as though he was parading around chiding “I’m the best ever.” He was simply being honest in telling us how much he had accomplished and how excited he was about it. Good for him.
Something I should probably do for myself more often than I do – just like buying a new pair of running shoes or treating myself to a massage. A few kudos directly to myself be it as simple as getting Ri to school on time or reading Mario a cool book or as complicated as orchestrating a family Thanksgiving meal or pleasing an irate client.
Maybe the more I pat myself on the back, the more comfortable I will feel touting my accomplishments when necessary, and the closer I’ll get to that darn salary I deserve…!