For anyone who’s every heard of this one book called “the Bible” (It’s super old, and printed on transfer sheets, real helpful stuff), this next piece of insight might connected with you at a deeper level; for those of you who haven’t heard of this book it will still resonate.
“Pride Comes before the Fall” – Proverbs 6:18
Selena So Strange:
There was this young woman named Selena. Selena had just transferred from Idaho University to a prestigious private school on the East Coast.
Until the majority of those who attended her new school, Selena used to show up to her college classes in all types of strange attire; unlike the usual hipster attire of her peers. On one occasion she came to class in a cowboy hat and boots, and on another day she would have a fur jacket, fur boots, and shorts on.
Selena was often the center of attention, though she was kept to often herself. Most of her peers used to talk about her behind her back, speaking on how strange she was while at the same time wondering what ridiculous outfit she would be wearing on that day.
The number one source of such gossip came from a girl named Gabriella, who was most likely the loudest girl in the entire Sophomore class; she also happened to be the most poplar girl in her class due to some of her more physical aspects. She dressed like everybody, talked like anybody else, watched the same shows, and did her make up like her favorite celebrities; the only thing that stood out about her her air of superiority to her.
She viewed herself as the standard for beauty, and therefor felt as if it was her place to put people in theirs; whether it was ranking them, categorizing them, or getting others to talk about them. Yet no matter how much gossip was going on about Selena she would not remove the smile from her face, let alone change her style.
After three weeks of classes rolled by Gabriella finally approached Selena and asked her is she was “doing it all for attention”, as rude a statement as it was Selena simply smiled and replied saying, “no, not at all. My mom and I go to the goodwill and we just pick out stuff we like. Sometimes I might find a fur coat, and other times a cowboy hat.”
The answer amused Gabby, and instead of feeling sympathy for Selena she went around telling everybody how Selena shopped at the Goodwill. The majority of those she shared this information with didn’t find the humor in it, others went along with it in order to win brownie points with Gabby.
After the news spread about Selena not only did more people begin to approach her and compliment her on her clothes, but other students in her class began to wear “strange” clothing to school.
Students pulled out everything from rainbow socks and tap shoes, to tutu’s and fedoras; the things they always wanted to wear out of the house, but felt to embarrassed to wear out were now fair game.
Gabby continued to speak down on Selena due to her increased jealousy of Selena’s newly found popularity. Selena on the other hand gain more friends that she knew what to do with, while staying true to herself.
This is the story of the prideful, and the confident.
Verbs and Nouns And Such:
Taking pride in something you do, or being proud of someone can be a beautiful thing; in fact it can open you up to being a better person than if you did not take pride in someone. Stronger bonds are build between those who take pride in each other whether it be intimate partners, or parental positions. However, the state of being prideful can be a toxic wasteland where nothing grows but ones own ego.
Heres an example a parent who is confident, or proud, in their child will go out of their way to make their child feel special, and loved regardless of their performance in a given task; they will give their child motivation, and indulge them with physical and mental gifts to show the confidence they have in them. A parent who has confidences in their child takes the time to listen to their needs, opinions, and perspectives with open ears.
A prideful parent, however, will more often than not neglect their child’s well-being, and will seldom go out of their way to create true understand between them and their children. A prideful parent will see himself or herself as being the one who has no flaws in the relationship, meaning they cannot learn anything from their child, so they will not listen.
It is very easy to confuse prideful behavior with confidence, since at the surface they seem as if they are close relatives; but pride takes on an air of selfishness, and a lack of self-awareness where as confidence takes on a believe in ones abilities from a realistic perspective.
The danger of seeing ourselves in this light of perfection is the fact that we will close ourselves off to any type of constructive criticism, leading us to a place where we even ignore our own soul’s yearning for growth.
A pride in self may seem like a remedy for insecurities, but in fact it acts as a layer of paint over an old molded wall; the paint will eventually crack off and expose the corroded surface.
Pride-fullness can even be seen as a form of self doubt, due to it’s internal insecure and protective nature. From the outside it seems as if the prideful person is sure of themself, and is bursting with confidences, when in reality they are masking the fearful child within them.
Selfish natured people often give off a sense of pride, and I would know because out off all the 7 Deadly Sins, this was one that I struggled with the most in my life. I believed that sh** didn’t stink, and saw it as my “confident nature”. Out of my group of close friends I was the dreaded know it all, and around every other acquaintance I was Mr. know more than you. This was the the full manifestation of my pride masking as confidence.
I used to try and push my ideologies on other people to the point where they would actually begin to believe them, well that or they would resent me and lash back. Yet I myself was not even fully grounded within those same beliefs; they were drenched in the gravy of insecurity, and peppered with a dab of low self-worth.
The different between me then, and now is the fact that when I give out a piece of advice it is only my perspective, it is not the whole truth but a version of it. And it has turned from a thing that would boost my ego, to something that comes from a place of wanted to truly add to others lives.
Who is this, “Confidence”
Unlike pride, confidence is based in true self worth, and self-love. When you are confident, you seem to radiate an energy that is positivity contagious; unlike pride which repels people from you.
Much like Selena-So-Strange, confidences will bring people into your space and have them feel better about themselves by simply begin around your energy.
Confidence does not base it’s intentions on whether a people accepts you or not, confidence will dress how it wants to dress without fear of what responses may come of it.
Confidence is the bridge between being able to take a compliment fully, and taking a harsh criticism with a grain of N.G.A.F (I’m sure you could put that one together).
Individuals in the media such as Beyoncé, Will Smith, or Adele are people who have “mastered” the art of confidence. This can be seen by the lack of controversy that surrounds each of them. They do not react to negative publicity in hopes of gaining attention, and instead chose to be heard through their art, which helps give confidence to millions of young women and men across the globe.
As opposed to those in the spotlight that require constant press, whether it be good or bad, to stay relevant. These are the prideful; the ones who do it all for attention.
Confidence is not something a person is born with, but something that can be developed over a period of time. Its a muscle that works in reverse, ironically enough it’s development comes from your own personal growth; in other terms it grows out of growth.
When you work on being a loving, more giving, and driven individual you can only feel the sense of self-worth, that is confidence, expand within you. When you know that you can control your emotional state then confidence will show itself. These all being aspects of your life only you can control.
A leader is not defined by how many people follow them, or how big their empire is; a leader is defined by how they can keep their composure under the line of fire.
When Selena was being talked about she kept her cool, and continued to smile in the face of scrutiny. She was mastering the art of not giving a f***. She did not allow the opinions of others become her own internalized beliefs, since what she wore/looked like had nothing to do with the root of her actual confidence.
The more you base your self-worth on an external part of yourself such as your looks, body, or other “ass-ets” the less stable your foundation of confidence will be. Beyoncé confidence is built around her ability to use her talent to give inspiration to those around her; the booty is just a perk. Whereas Im Arashian’s career is built around her backside, which is a fleeting trait that will be forgotten as soon as the next generation of big booty girls come into the spotlight.
When you base your value on your giving nature, your empathetic heart, your compassion, understanding, your knowledge base, and other intangible things then you will never feel the need to compete with, or compare yourself to anybody; nor will you feel a need to compensate with pride for those things that you feel are lacking within you.
The fact that confidence is rooted in you means that it stays with you far after anybody around you is done giving you attention. You can walk outside and not have a single person look at you but still feel acknowledged.
The irony in it all is how the radiating energy that confidence gives off actually draws more people into your space, because people want to feel a sense of assertiveness, even if it is from a second hand source. The less approval you need from others, the more they will approve of you; it’s the nature of the yin and yang.
Defense in Confidence:
Pride is a very easy destination to reach, because it is a band-aid approach to a low self-esteem. Whereas confidence is a trait, characteristic, and skill that take’s time to develop, but once it is a part of you it will work as a defense system.
Society will tell you to blend into the background, and forget about what makes you different. Confidence is the defense mechanism that will protect you from the negative chatter from outside, and within; it will tell you to stand out, and not fall into the mundane routings that you have been told to follow.
I am not saying that the attacks will stop coming because they wont, but when we create a strong line of defense for ourselves we will be able to combat against anything that will tries to break us down.
Must like it says in the good book, “Pride comes before the fall” which means you will always lose in the battle against yourself, or an “enemy” when you are equipped with pride. The false army that is pride will run scared once faced with the true enemies of doubt, lose, and fear.
As the old African proverb goes “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside cannot harm you”…(I’m dropping gems right now, ya’ll better do your best Indiana Jones impression.)
Confidence will stand up for you when you feel as if you are at your wits end, it will show you another way to do things, a better way; and most importantly it will show you that you have the power and strength to continue to move forward regardless of whatever is happening around you.
Be the Selena in the story; the who does not have to go our of her way to get attention, but instead draws it in naturally due to her air of confidence.
I often look at young kids as the most confident human begins on earth, they do not fear wearing a superhero costume, or a tutu to a 5 star restaurant. And when they laugh they will do so at the top of their lungs, unlike us adults who reserve our laughs in fears of being judged.
So whether it be going out in a Halloween costume when it’s not Halloween, jumping into that puddle of water post rainstorm, or going again the normalities of society and following you hearts desire; take a step towards confidence, and remember that what they say around you should only make you more sure that you are heading in the right direction.