Funny thing though, I am very good at advocating for the sake of others. After all, I have dedicated my career to helping others. This is something I am passionate about. I can think of many situations in the past where I've confidently gone to bat for others. But even the idea of confronting people in order to assert my rights, or setting boundaries to protect myself, gets me anxious. I have spoken out several times in workplace situations, on my own behalf, but only because (1) I felt I had nothing to lose, and (2) I was speaking out against something (or someone) that affected not only myself, but many others too. This, I have come to realize, is due to low self-esteem issues and that nasty, negative voice in my head that always says, "You are not deserving of this (whatever it is I want to ask for)!"
On a daily basis, this affects me most with my parenting. The girls don't respect my authority at all, and its only recently I've realized just how obvious it is that I lack confidence in my parenting abilities. They obviously have picked up on this as they don't listen to me, are not scared of me, and often don't even pay attention to me. I have noticed that when they are really pushing me, I become really anxious, my mind goes blank, and often I will defer to Adam (either call him to intervene virtually, or to ask his advice about what I should do). Ugh, this is not good!
In general, I would describe myself as someone who highly values kindness. I cringe at the idea of being perceived as unkind. This is what makes it difficult to assert myself outside the home. While I don't think this is the issue with my parenting struggles (although Adam sometimes tells me I'm being too nice), I do think my general inability to assert myself has left me with inadequate skills in this regard with my kids.
So what am I going to do about this? Well, like most things I am seeking help with, I am going to start by researching and reading everything I can get my hands on.
I hope to find some answers and as soon as I do, I'll get back to you!