There’s a cultural stigma around pride.
On one hand, we want our children to feel proud of who they are – genuinely confident and fundamentally secure within themselves. We want them to understand that even though they will make mistakes, the core of who they are is good. We know that this helps them retain and express their curiosity and thereby builds their critical thinking; they develop healthier relationships with their peers (because they have a healthy relationship with themselves); later in life, they tend to make more loving and aligned choices in career and partnership.
And yet, when a secure and confident adult enters the room, some will shrink in their presence or relate to them as being “full of themselves.”
Wow, she’s amazing. I could never be as confident as she is.
Who does she think she is?! Ugh, she’s so full of herself.
Of course, not all who behave confidently are confident. Some will be [mostly unconsciously] “performing”, in order to mask hidden insecurities. We’ve all been there at times. I know I have.
If we dig deep, we can feel the difference between real “I know, like and trust myself” confidence, and false “I desperately hope you like me” confidence.
When we feel someone’s genuine confidence, the healthy response is to feel inspired, grateful and encouraging.
…Unfortunately, genuine confidence is often met with unchecked jealousy, gossip or criticism.
When we feel someone’s false confidence, the healthy response is to feel compassionate and well-wishing.
…Unfortunately, false confidence is often met with pity, mockery or disgust.
And so, appearing confident – let alone actually feeling proud of ourselves – can bring up all sorts of fear and confusion within us. The mixed messages we hear and see throughout our lives can cause us to shrink for fear of judgment or “making” people feel badly about themselves, or can spark states of anxiety-fueled performance, in order to prove ourselves.
We might even cut ourselves down, in an unhealthy attempt to motivate ourselves to push harder. This is unworkable in the long run, however, as we may accomplish external achievements, but without a grounded sense of pride in ourselves, nothing we do will ever be enough to create the feeling of satisfaction we crave.
Being proud of who you are is not a means for seeing yourself as infallible or superior to others. If you are seeing yourself in those ways, you’re not seeing yourself clearly. We’re all human and messy and that’s okay. This is simply about honoring the beauty that lies at your core.
It takes courage to see your beauty.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
TAKE A MOMENT RIGHT NOW AND COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE 5 TIMES:
“I’m a woman who…”
As you complete it, find favorable traits or ways of being that you would admire in anyone, and allow yourself to appreciate them within yourself. Move beyond any urge to compare yourself to others by diminishing or glorifying your qualities. Just see them; see yourself. It’s a gift for all of us.
—> In the comments below, share some of your statements so we can witness you and be inspired by who you are! I look forward to reading them all personally, and getting to know you more.