Have you lost the balance between owning your weaknesses and celebrating your strengths? Wait, what? Did you forget that you can actually focus some of your attention on what’s going right? You are the first in line to shout out your shortcomings and insecurities, yet you minimize your strengths. It happens to the best of us. Learn to embrace the intimidating journey to becoming confident by accepting and owning that there are certain qualities that don’t come easy for you while there are other qualities that DO come easy. You have positive qualities that you ignore… and those qualities want your attention! Practice what makes you smile. Practice what makes you curious. Practice what uniquely shines in you when you’re NOT overthinking. Own the good parts of YOU. Trust me, they exist.
So if you’re confident does that mean you’re conceited? The short and long answer are both NO. Confident means that not only are you at peace with being YOU, but you also make no apologies for sometimes being uncertain, awkward, less than perfect, and different. It means that you’re comfortable in your own skin… comfortable being just you. Confident means that you aren’t torn down by your (exaggerated) weaknesses, because you’ve learned that you’re allowed to be proud of your accomplishments. When you reckon with self-confidence, it feels great!
Many of you are reluctant to share your accomplishments with others out of fear that it will sound conceited. You dwell on mountain-high insecurities and fight relentlessly to perform at high levels, yet you shy away from celebrating those accomplishments because you don’t want to seem braggy.
Now, let’s talk about how being confident is different than being conceited. Confidence is motivated by feeling genuinely proud, whereas conceit is motivated by low self-worth and desperation to measure up. Conceit (aka arrogance and bragging) craves attention and presents itself with a condescending tone, one-ups others, embellishes, and interrupts. Conceit takes credit from others and flaunts social status by name-dropping and being judgmental. When you reckon with conceit, it feels icky!
We spend significant time discussing the path to greater self-worth. Believe me when I tell you that self-worth requires being self-confident. Learn to feel genuinely proud of your achievements. Learn to accept compliments when others are also genuinely proud of those achievements. Show gratitude when someone compliments you by saying, “Thank you for the nice compliment,” instead of “Are you joking?” or “No way!” We want to be loved, yet we often push it away when it shows up. Let down your guard when self-acceptance and pride show up… it’s the opportunity to honor the real YOU.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” -Lena Horne
written by Dr. Allison Conner, Psychologist in Fresno, CA and member of the Girlology Expert Panel