Have you ever wondered how the world would look like if we stopped altogether with the fake and forced humility? How your life would turn out if you never once felt guilty for enjoying yourself, for priding yourself in your accomplishments? What advancements we would observe if people practiced being inspired, instead of envious, in face of success of others?
How many children are put down for being enthusiastic about their bad, five years old drawings they felt proud about? If these kids who struggle with math, were encouraged and celebrated for making an attempt? How many industries would collapse if we practiced gratitude and acceptance over nitpicking every little flaw in ourselves and others?
What stops you from being genuinely proud of yourself? Do you feel like you have to hide your success to not outshine others? Do you feel like you need to exercise complaining about yourself and your life, to join others in the misery party, and to be relatable? If so, why are you letting negativity be the only thing you can relate to others with? Is it really worth keeping relationships that base on bringing each other down?
Do you feel the need to complain a lot? Do you feel the need to make unnecessary comments that do not bring any real value other than hurting someone’s feelings?
Or maybe are you letting others to get to you with such behavior?
I really do not appreciate the fake and forced humility culture. We are expected to always bow our heads down, limit our light to not outshine others, keep our moments of satisfaction to ourselves, because ‘nobody likes an arrogant peacock‘ around. Especially women – we are expected to receive compliments as godsend, while never believing them, leaving us working our entire lives for a little acceptance. Yet, everyone just waits for a sign of insecurity to hit where it hurts.
If you were waiting for a signal to start not giving a crap – let me provide one for you. Stop giving a crap. Think about yourself, you have only one life, one flesh prison, and one mind. From harsh life truths – you will never achieve perfection in anything, but something is better than nothing. You will not build confidence and self-love if you listen to the unhappy people who love putting others down. Why do you listen to them? They haven’t, and never will achieve genuine confidence and happiness, so if you want to get there, you need to stop giving those people the power to hold you down to their level.
Be prepared – the moment they see the spark in your eyes, the straight line in your spine, your fake friends will turn against you. My only advice is – do not fight this. You are going to waste your time should you want to convince them to your new way. Their lives are their responsibility. Maybe one day they will see that only they have the power to lift themselves up. But it’s not your battle to fight. Focus on yourself. Once you do, you will be a great help to the ones you love. But you have to start within.
You might have overheard somewhere that people who go to therapy or seek any other type of help start with small exercises, such as writing 5 things they love about themselves. You might have thought at the time that this is silly. Have you ever wondered why you find that silly? Maybe it’s exactly that spark of negative energy that surrounds you and makes you hesitant to find anything you truly love about yourself?
Basic exercises such as that, or few minutes of gratitude meditation, or writing a journal, are always helpful. You might not notice the effect at first, but in few years you will. Remember that your brain shapes your thoughts just as much as your thoughts shape your brain.
The next important thing is the people you surround yourself with. Pay attention to those who react with genuine appreciation when you inform them about your little success of the day. Who will you contact first if you find a new job? Or would like to share enthusiasm over getting a new pet? This is the type of people you need in your life. The best exercise in my opinion is to first start appreciating them. Positivity in your life will only increase if you share the joy over your own and other’s happiness.
An important step to reaching this genuine affection towards success that is not yours is to learn to be inspired over envious. When you get down to it there is really no valid reason for you to feel bad after learning that someone succeeded in something. Comparing yourself to them will not help you as much as if you just focus on surrounding yourself with this productive energy. This is what you need to tune yourself to receive. That way when you see someone making a step forward, you will want to take one as well. Surrounding yourself with successful people shows you that nobody builds a success overnight. You get to observe their day to day actions.
It gives you a necessary perspective to really plan out your goals in your head. Don’t think that you can study efficiently by making a crash session for 5 hours right before the exam. Sure, you will probably pass, but is it really something that will help you out in life? You will forget all you’ve learned very fast. And having that ‘barely passed‘ grade will mean nothing to you, and again you will start feeling bad about yourself, because of lack of real competence behind it. You don’t need to study for 5 hours a day to make it work. You just need to pay attention and study for 30 minutes a day. I guarantee you, this adds up to way more than most people usually pull off, because people have the tendency to overwork themselves, aim at studying for 2 hours a day, but any time the studying session comes it just ends up with procrastination, postponing, or distraction.
This is just an example, but when you surround yourself with people who succeed, you will learn those tiny habits from them, that really add up to their big accomplishments at the end. And if they are genuine, confident and kind-hearted people, they will provide you with emotional support and motivation to reaching your own goals. If they’re not – why would you want to be around them?
To spot the confident, well-driven people who may aid you in living your best life, look out for these traits:
- they are not afraid to be assertive, they know when to say yes or no,
- they don’t play stupid mind games,
- they don’t make you feel like you need to say ‘the right things‘, and worry what if you say the ‘wrong‘ ones,
- they don’t put other people down,
- they make time to pay a compliment,
- they offer their assistance and you can count on them,
- they are responsible for themselves, but also take responsibility for their surroundings,
- they don’t seek for whom to blame, they seek to resolve a conflict or a problem,
- they don’t hide who they are,
- they aren’t afraid of being disliked,
- they don’t feel the need to lie, or even exaggerate, unless for comedic purposes,
- they don’t feel the need to be superior to others,
- they aren’t afraid of admitting they are wrong,
- they do not intend to hurt,
- they know how to apologize without making excuses or making you feel bad about requiring an apology,
- they respect themselves and others,
- they aren’t afraid of failure – while it’s not pleasant, it also teaches a lesson,
- they are consistent,
- they do not run away from who they are, or from the truth,
- they wish people well,
- they focus primarily on what they can or should do, instead of always complaining about other people, yet doing the exact same thing.
Those are just a few traits that usually accompany truly confident, and kind people. Personally I find kindness to make the difference between confidence and arrogance. Arrogant people aren’t kind, because they lack confidence, and with that in mind you will be able to quickly differentiate between the two.
Genuinely feeling love towards yourself, accepting yourself as the imperfect human being you are, never should be mistaken for arrogance, so long as you remain kind towards others. Should you be called out for arrogance – you may be certain that you just encountered one of those people who are happy to take away your spark, because they don’t want you to be happy.
Be inspired by those who are worthy of being called an inspiration, but don’t compare yourself one to one. This will only hurt you because you will oversee the people you’ve surpassed, and you will never run out of people who surpass you. The other way around as well – don’t compare yourself to others for the false sense of superiority. If you need to make yourself feel superior, you have a long way to go before you reach genuine confidence. You don’t know if that person you think is a lazy slob maybe is dealing with loss in a family, or with major depression. Perhaps leaving the bed today took them the effort and energy you wouldn’t be able to put into anything. Focus on your own demons, and practice the cliché but true mantra: only compare yourself to yourself from yesterday.
Also remember, progress is never linear. That shit only works in statistics.
So, start bragging. Tell all about what a good day you’ve had. Brag about how you enjoyed your outfit today. Be openly gay for yourself. Take pride in your accomplishments. Note to yourself what you did today, and give yourself the permission to enjoy your time with something considered unproductive. Try to create something. Make bad art. Share it online. Get excited about how well you’re doing in your average job. Compliment a stranger. Dance naked. Be proud of your uneven muffins (I meant as in baking, but the euphemism works too, I guess). Pose nude for photographs. Hang them on the wall.
If you need a confident asshole that is going to use rational arguments to rip apart nonconstructive criticism, or mean comment that someone made at you – I am here for you.
Never let anyone shame you for being you ever again.