All Articles Tagged "confidence"
Trust me, you need to read this article. Why? Because I was that needy girl. Fine on the first date, content if I was not that into him, but as soon as I liked him I fell apart. I did not know what to say, how to behave and bit by bit that gorgeous guy smiling across from me would disappear.
To make matters worse, the more I would not hear from him, the more I would blow up his phone asking him where he was, what he doing, when he wanted to meet. I know I am not the only one who does this, so if I am talking to you, my hope is that this article can give you some insight.
You Are Too Agreeable?
When we really like someone, we want them to like us back. We become vulnerable and become ultra-agreeable with that person. He likes football, but you absolutely hate it. Three dates later you are hanging on his every word and you agree to go to a football match with him. Now, at the game you are the most miserable person there.
The smart confident women he asked out has now turned into the worse company he has ever experienced and your handsome man has disappeared. He has sensed your need to be agreeable and his attraction level plummeted. Men like women, who have their own opinions, interests, and hobbies. This leads me to the next point…
Dropping Everything For A Man
It’s Friday night and you have agreed to have a wine and cheese night in with your girlfriends and you told your mother you would call at 7 p.m. Brad calls at 6:50 p.m. asking you out at 7:30 p.m. A little short notice, but you forgive him anyway. You laugh at his jokes, listen to all his excuses as to why he could not call you earlier in the week and then you agree that you will be ready to meet him at the local bar.
On your way there, you text your mum saying you can’t make the call tonight and you send a mass text to your friends that this great guy wants to see you and the only night he is free is tonight. Are you coming across as needy? I think so! And now, because of your neediness his respect and attraction for you has plummeted. Ouch!
The most important part of dating is his ability to follow-up in between dates. Your job is to sit on your fingers while he is thinking sweet thoughts about what a great time he had with that confident brunette until he calls back. That means you! You don’t need to play games, you don’t need to hint to him that it has been four days since you spoke, and you don’t need to remind him it has been a week since you last saw each other.
Men do what they want and if he wants you, he will make the effort. All you have to do is mirror his actions by answering the phone when he calls as your happy, positive, “I have altogether” self. Men like to win you over. Needy girls put words in his mouth, stalk his Facebook page, and are jealous of every girl he mentions. Sit back, relax, and let that boy work for you. You will be gracefully rewarded.
Read more about dating at YourTango.com
“I Thought So Highly Of Myself Because No One Else Did.” Gabourey Sidibe Delivers Moving Speech At Ms. Foundation Gala
Last night, the Ms. Foundation hosted the Gloria Awards and Gala to celebrate the 80th birthday of Gloria Steinem. In addition to the awards that were given there were also speeches from Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer and Gabourey Sidibe.
If you’ve ever seen Sidibe during an interview, you know that she’s quite witty, engaging and bubbly. So it’s no surprise that she would deliver an amazing speech. But honey, this speech is everything. It’s funny, heartbreaking and most importantly inspirational.
In it Sidibe shares the struggles of being an asshole growing up, how she was bullied at home and at school and learning to be self confident in spite of it. It’s beautiful. And if you read it, thanks to a transcript from Vulture, you’ll definitely get something from it.
I’m so excited to be here. Really, really excited. Okay, I’ll get to it. Hi. One of the first things people usually ask me is, “Gabourey, how are you so confident?” I hate that. I always wonder if that’s the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. “RiRi! How are you so confident?” Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. “You seem so confident! How is that?”
When I was ten years, in the fifth grade, my teacher, Miss Lowe had announced that my class would be having a holiday party right before the Christmas break. She asked if we all could all bring snacks or soda or juice to the class party. She also said we had the option of cooking something, if we like. I was so excited. I immediately decided that I would make gingerbread cookies, and that everyone would love them. I told my mom my plan, and I asked her for money to go buy the ingredients. She thought I should just buy store-bought cookies, but I told her, “Those cookies didn’t have enough love in them!” I had to make the cookies. So I bought the mix, and I bought cookie cutters in the shape of Christmas trees and bells, and I made a practice batch of cookies that went horribly wrong. Good thing they were a practice batch. They were awful. And then the night before the party, I made another batch of cookies. And they were also awful, but they looked a lot better. I carefully put the cookies in a Ziplock bag, so I could take them to school the next day. When I got to school that morning, I could not wait until that party. And I was so proud of those cookies, and all the effort I put into making them, I started to think that maybe I wouldn’t just be the first woman black President — maybe I would also be a celebrity chef! I mean, why limit myself?
The party was set to take place during the last hour of school, and I waited excitedly for it all day long. Finally, it was party time. My teacher asked what everyone brought, and I proudly announced that I had baked cookies for the class. I think I felt prouder knowing that everyone else just bought stuff. I was the only one who made anything, because clearly, I’m a little more clever than anyone else. So as the party starts up, I walk around the class, proudly offering cookies to everyone. No one took a cookie. No one. No one except Nicholas, who was the first person I offered one to. But after a few of our other classmates set him straight, he actually caught up with me as I walked around the class, and gave the cookie back. I walked around the class trying to hand out cookies to my class, until I ended up back at my desk with the same amount of cookies that I started with. I sat at my desk alone, eating those gross gingerbread cookies that took hours to make, all by myself. I put chocolate chips in them, that’s why they were gross. I wasn’t surprised. I just forgot for a moment that my entire class hated me. I had zero friends from the fourth grade to the sixth grade. Who the hell was I baking cookies for? I really got so excited to bake that I had forgotten that everyone hated my guts. Why didn’t they like me? I was fat, yes. I had darker skin and weird hair, yes. But the truth is, this isn’t a story about bullying, or color, or weight. They hated me because… I was an asshole!
Yep. I was a bossy, bossy asshole. See, remember when I said that I thought I was more clever than everyone else? Well, I did! And I told them that — every single day! Those kids couldn’t get a word in edgewise, without me cutting them off to remind them that I was smarter, funnier, and all around wittier than them. I was always sarcastic — I called it my birth defect. And let’s face it, kids don’t get sarcasm. They don’t appreciate it. They never knew what I was talking about. And when they would say, “Wait… huh?” I would say, “My God, Alicia, read a book!” I know. I spoke differently than them, I just did. I sounded more like a Valley Girl than a Brooklyn girl. My classmates always asked me if I was adopted by white people. I’d say, “No. Both my parents went to college.” I know that was rude, but I’m still really proud of that. To be fair, in my neighborhood, not everyone’s parents had the opportunity to go to college. Most of my classmates’ parents were teens when they had them. My parents had me at age 30. My father was born in Senegal. His father was the mayor of the capital city, Dakar, and my dad often took my brother and I back home with him to visit Africa, while most of my classmates had never stepped out of the Lower East Side. My mother was a teacher in high school, that’s why I went there, but my mom also had a voice, so when I was nine, she quit her teaching job to go sing in the subway. She actually made more money as a singer for tips than she made as a teacher! I know! And she was quickly becoming the underground version of Whitney Houston. She was the strongest, smartest, and most talented person I had ever known. Even today, I don’t want to grow up to be anyone as much as I want to grow up to be her. I know!
The point is, I was a snob. I thought I was better than the kids in my class, and I let them know it. That’s why they didn’t like me. I think the reason I thought so highly of myself all the time was because no one else ever did. I figured out I was smart because my mother would yell at my older brother. She’d say, “Your little sister is going to pass you in school. You’re going to get left behind and she’s going to graduate before you.” But she never said to me, “You are smart.” What she did say was, “You are too fat.” I got the message that I wasn’t pretty, and I probably wasn’t normal, but I was smart! Why wouldn’t they just say that? “You’re smart.” It’s actually not that hard. My dad would yell at my brother, “Gabourey does her homework by herself! Why can’t you?” But he never said to me, “Good job.” What he did say was, “You need to lose weight so I can be proud of you.” I know. So I got made fun of at school, I got made fun of at home too, my older brother hated me, my dad just didn’t understand me, and my mom, who had been a fat girl at my age herself, understood me perfectly … but she berated me because she was so afraid of what she knew was to come for me. So I never felt safe when I was at home. And my response was always to eat more, because nothing says, “You hurt my feelings. Fuck you!” like eating a delicious cookie. Cookies never hurt me.
“Gabourey, how are you so confident?” It’s not easy. It’s hard to get dressed up for award shows and red carpets when I know I will be made fun of because of my weight. There’s always a big chance if I wear purple, I will be compared to Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. And if I wear red, that picture of Kool-Aid that says, “Oh, yeah!” Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how the recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog cart or something. And “Diet or Die?”[She gives the finger to that] This is what I deal with every time I put on a dress. This is what I deal with every time someone takes a picture of me. Sometimes when I’m being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can see it in her eyes, “How is she getting away with this? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my God, I’m going to catch fat!”
What I would say, is my mom moved my brother and I to my aunt’s house. Her name is Dorothy Pitman Hughes, she is a feminist, an activist, and a lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem. Every day, I had to get up and go to school where everyone made fun of me, and I had to go home to where everyone made fun of me. Every day was hard to get going, no matter which direction I went. And on my way out of the house, I found strength. In the morning on the way out to the world, I passed by a portrait of my aunt and Gloria together. Side by side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and one with the most beautiful, round, Afro hair I had ever seen, both with their fists held high in the air. Powerful. Confident. And every day as I would leave the house… I would give that photo a fist right back. And I’d march off into battle. [She starts crying] I didn’t know that I was being inspired then. On my way home, I’d walk back up those stairs, I’d give that photo the fist again, and continue my march back in for more battle. [She pulls a tissue from her cleavage and dabs her eyes] That’s what boobs are for! I didn’t know I was being inspired then, but I was. If they could feel like that, maybe I could! I just wanted to look that cool. But it made me feel that strong.
So, okay, we’re back in fifth grade, and I just had been rejected by 28 kids in a row. And I was sitting alone at my desk, with an empty Ziplock bag, crumbs in my lap, and I was at this great party that I had waited for all week. I waited all week for this party that I wasn’t invited to. And for some reason I got up, I sat on my desk, and I partied my ass off. I laughed loudly when something funny happened. And when Miss Lowe put on music, I was one of the first ones to get up and dance. I joined the limbo, and ate chips, and drank soda, and I enjoyed myself, even though no one wanted me there. You know why? I told you — I was an asshole! I wanted that party! And what I want trumps what 28 people want me to do, especially when what they want me to do is leave. I had a great time. I did. And if I somehow ruined my classmates’ good time, then that’s on them. “How are you so confident?” “I’m an asshole!” Okay? It’s my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I’m an asshole, and I want to have a good time. And my mother and my father love me. They wanted the best life for me, and they didn’t know how to verbalize it. And I get it. I really do. They were better parents to me than they had themselves. I’m grateful to them, and to my fifth grade class, because if they hadn’t made me cry, I wouldn’t be able to cry on cue now. [Dabs tears] If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn’t have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn’t told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I’m unbreakable.[Dabs tears] So when you ask me how I’m so confident, I know what you’re really asking me: how could someone like me be confident? Go ask Rihanna, asshole!
Love this speech! You better werk Gabby! What do you think about Gabby’s speech?
Tyrese has one of the sexiest voices in R&B, but his presence on social media often makes me roll my eyes. From his often misspelled words of wisdom to his unsolicited relationship advice, there have been several times where I’ve said, “Bye Tyrese.” But not this time. Tyrese has completely stolen my heart with this one. His daughter is obviously the most important thing in his life and showing her that she’s beautiful, special and no one’s opinion of her matters, has got to be the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen on the internet.
If more fathers took to the time out to talk to their young daughters in this way, we would see less cases like this one–where a father publicly beat his daughter after she was “missing” for three days. Daddies, take notes.
Tyrese Gibson shared a video of himself with his adorable 6-year-old daughter, Shayla Gibson and it’s honestly one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. In the video, Tyrese is giving his daughter lessons on how to say her name and several tactics to increase her confidence and know her worth. With statements like, “The only person who can stand in my way…is me. And me standing in my way is not an option.”
See the video of Tyrese and his daughter on HelloBeautiful.com
True story: another woman succeeded at making me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. I was still in college then. I was waiting for the shuttle bus to pull up, and the girl standing next to me at the stop tapped me on the shoulder. “I just wanted to say I looove your makeup!” I beamed and thanked her, but confessed that I wasn’t actually wearing anything on my face. “What? That’s not foundation? Your skin looks so good!” Now if you think I wasn’t feeling like a CoverGirl the whole ride home to my janky off-campus housing, you’re crazy. Am I weird for that?
Now, I’m not saying I’ve never been complimented before or after that moment. As a woman with a decent physique, I’m accustomed to sorta-compliments from guys, but they typically come off as audible observations of my anatomy. A landscape of my legs. Guestimates of the surface area of my boobs. A quick scan of the derrière cuppage that comes when I wear the right pair of jeans.
While some of the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the men I encounter are genuine, harmless statements of admiration (and not a ploy to get my digits or mask perverse thoughts behind ogling eyes), for the most part, all goes in one ear and out the other. Depending on the delivery of the comment, I usually return a quick “thanks,” an even quicker closed-mouthed smile and go on about my business. But honey, if a woman my age feels so moved to tap me and tell me she loves my shoes, cuts from a conversation to tell me my earrings are to die for, or temporarily returns to sobriety at a party to praise the glow factor of my skin, my whole day feels that much better.
Girl-kudos boost my ego in ways that a man can’t offer. Guilty pleasure TV — enter Real Housewives Of Wherever — suggests that we as women show no hesitation in tearing each other down. Compliments come few and far between. More often than not, it feels like the opposite is happening when two groups of women cross paths.
Ladies, we all know about the sidewalk standoff. You’re walking in one direction on a narrow walkway. A separate party of girls is headed toward you, talking over each other until you all make eye contact. For like two seconds, it feels like a showdown straight out of an old Western movie. Voices get hushed as you near each other. You maintain a blank face, but it’s hard to ignore the anxiety that comes with the whispers. Are they talking about me? Is it bad? Is it good? And even worse, they burst into laughter once they’ve brushed passed you. Was it something I wore?
Now think about how much better that situation feels when one of them tells you that your hair is amazing as they pass. Or you ask where one of them got a piece of their ensemble. Smiles erupt. Spirits are boosted. Day made. It’s a reciprocity thing.
The other day I changed up my hair and actually wore it out in an afro. While it felt like everyone under the sun took notice, it was my girlfriends’ vocal approval that made me truly fall in love with the new ‘do. That does numbers for my confidence, especially since I was nervous to actually wear it out like that in the first place.
So ladies, the next time you venture out into an estrogen-heavy setting, make an effort to offer honest pick-me-ups to your sisters. You never know how much of an impact it may have on their day, and their lives. Yes, it’s important for us all to cultivate self-confidence and self-love long before stepping out the front door, but a couple of kind words go a long way.
Stacy-Ann Ellis is a New York-based writer and photographer whose work has been featured in VIBE Magazine, VIBE Vixen, Hearts Converse, The Root and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @stassi_x.
Since we were children people have reiterated the cliché that looks aren’t everything; what’s on the inside is what really counts. But in the workplace this actually might not ring true.
When it comes to your career, the genes passed on by your mom and dad could be the difference between sitting next to the copy room and sitting in a corner office. According to LinkedIn, there is substantial research to support the theory that more attractive men and women tend to earn more than those with average looks. Not only do they earn more, but they get hired sooner, are promoted faster, and sell more.
Author Daniel Hamermesh has dedicated an entire book to the subject entitled Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful, proving through his research that more attractive people earn on average between three and four percent more than those with modest looks.
He attributes these numbers to the notion that attractive people have more desirable personality traits like higher self-confidence, which appeals to employers. He writes, “Beauty may just reflect self-esteem. Perhaps people’s self-confidence manifests itself in their behavior, so that their looks are rated more highly, and their self-esteem makes them more desirable and higher-paid employees.” He continues, “Another possibility is that beauty and the attractiveness of one’s personality are positively related, and that it is the general sparkle of one’s personality, not one’s beauty, that increases earnings.”
I think I would have to agree with the author that it’s not necessarily your looks that get you the job, but the residual confidence that stems from having good looks that does the trick. Whether you’re on the upper or lower end of the beauty spectrum, we have all had days where we know we are working it and are more confident compared to those days when we are self-conscious. I know for myself, on the days that I feel I am looking like a million bucks and at my most confident, I’m a people magnet. I’m cracking jokes, working the room, smiling every chance I get. And on the days when the location is an interview or networking event I am absolutely at my best.
When I didn’t have long to get ready, when I was building up a wardrobe of decent threads, my edges were looking rough, and I didn’t keep my bi-weekly manicure appointment, I was generally more of a wall flower waiting for people to approach me. I try never to make this the case for a job interview, so I can’t comment on that, but I can imagine what showing up looking disheveled could do to your confidence in important situations.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And at the end of the day, looks count only in the sense that the better you think you look the more confident you are about yourself. So if you have a face only a mother could love, you could still perform just as well in your career as those born into beauty, just by truly loving yourself, being good to yourself and being just as confident as anyone else.
If you take a close look, you could probably see that a lack of self-love is pretty much the basis of any problem you can imagine. It could be the reason you feel unhappy in your career, why you aren’t invited to as many social events as you’d like, why you’re struggling to get into a relationship, or why a current one is falling apart. Loving yourself isn’t something you can conquer in one day and then forget about; it requires constant practice. Here are 14 ways to fall in love with yourself, either all over again or maybe for the first time.
MN Business Tip of the Day
Most of us have fantasized about a wealthy bachelor whisking us away to an island on his private jet—just to have a romantic picnic on the beach. But are you truly the embodiment of what a millionaire man desires in a woman? SeekingMillionaire.com gives us the scoop on what rich men look for in a partner.
I hope you’re up for a little rock climbing, bungee jumping, scuba diving or even sky-diving. Millionaire men love a woman who’s willing to step out of her comfort zone. Nearly 90 percent of wealthy men prefer their partners to be outgoing and adventurous, according to a survey conducted by the website.
Seventy-two percent of male millionaires are also looking for a loyal or submissive woman. While I’m personally on board with loyalty, I’m not so sure about the submissive part — it’s a bit vague. Do three-fourths of wealthy men want a 50 Shades of Grey type of relationship or do they want their woman to take a more traditional and servile role?
One member of SeekingMillionaires.com, who’s dated 10 millionaires and billionaires over the course of four years, explains that women are submissive in a sense because the millionaires usually call the shots when it comes to decisions on social outings.
Self-awareness or confidence (66.7 percent) is the third most desired attribute in a woman while intelligence or class (63 percent) rolls in fourth place. Surprisingly in last place, physical beauty rounds up the list at 61.2 percent. “Beauty is a depreciating asset, millionaires want a partner that can add significant value in their lives,” said Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of SeekingMillionaire.com.
While a bit of risky business wins a rich man’s heart, wealthy women say honesty is their most sought-after trait in the opposite sex.
SeekingMillionaire.com hosts 100,000 male millionaires for women to choose from, but “you have to create leverage by bringing something other than beauty to the table,” Wade advises. I’m not going to lie; I certainly do have dreams of a Cinderella-esque happily-ever-after life. Maybe I might actually step out of my comfort zone and give the site a try, Mr. Wade.
The study surveyed 55,785 male and 23,620 female millionaires were “asked to state and then rank which qualities they valued most in a partner,” according to a press statement.
Would you ever try to find love on a millionaire dating site?
More than ever, women are confident in their ability to compete against men in the workplace. Women between the ages of 21 and 34, also known as Generation Y, are experiencing more gender equality than older women. However, in trying to reach the perceived caliber of their male counterparts, women have become more stressed, according to a study led by FleishmanHillard and Hearst Magazines.
With a growing “anything boys can do, I can do better” attitude, 70 percent of Gen Y women described themselves as “smart” compared to 54 percent of Gen Y men. However, there is a drawback to the higher self-imposed expectations — the survey found that Gen Y women, compared to Gen X (ages 35 to 49) and baby boomers (50 to 60 years old), are pulling their hair out to reach a certain standard.
“They are describing themselves as smart and knowledgeable, but are also stressed and exhausted,” Stephen Kraus says, senior vice president of Audience Measurement Group. “Around the world young women have promise, potential and pressure, growing up with a cultural narrative that girls can do anything boys can do.”
Over the last five years, women have been ascending in workplace, but there is still a question as to why women are not paid equally as men for the same position. “Though women are more educated but paid less than their spouses, there are signs that a new global generation of Gen Y women are working hard to rectify that inequality,” said Lisa Dimino, senior vice president of FleishmanHillard.
In the study, about half believe that men disapprove of women advancing and possibly “catching up” with them. The female respondents perceived themselves as stronger than men in emotional strength, such as “having difficult conversations” and “rebounding from setbacks,” but they give credit to men in being more successful in negotiating.
The study also shows that women become less focused on personal finances and shift their attention to “longer-term concerns for self, family and business.” American women admitted their number one concern was the future of their children, which was once third on the list of priorities.
This study, titled “Woman, Power, & Money,” polled 1,008 American women between the ages of 25 and 69 with a yearly household income of $25,000 or higher.
Love him, hate him, there is a lot that we all can learn from Kanye West, particularly the benefits of believing one’s own hype:
New York Times: “Even though you had always wanted to be out in front, was there ever a point where you valued your anonymity?”
Kanye West: “Yeah, I held on to the last moments of it. I knew when I wrote the line “light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson” [from the song “Slow Jamz”] I was going to be a big star…”
For Real Kanye? It was that line right there that was going to propel you into stardom? What cued you in to this revelation Kanye? Were you sitting in your room one day, scribbling down lines in a black and white composition notebook when – all of a sudden – the skies opened up, thunder clapped, and the voice of hundreds of tiny cherub-faced angels with harps descended upon you with a chorus of “Ave Maria”? Was there a blinding light and a deep voice, which harkened; “Go forth and share with the world, ‘Got a light-skinned friend looks like Michael Jackson/Got a dark-skinned friend looks like Michael Jackson…’ I am your father. This I command you?” If so, pass that to the left hand side…
He was right though. About the fame I mean. And I guess to some extent the line too because damn if it isn’t one of my favorite Kanye-isms. If you haven’t read the entire New York Times piece, do yourself a favor and go right now or you will miss other self-promoting gems like: “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump.”
Way to speak about yourself in the third person. Nevertheless, West has a long and prominent history of inflating his own virtues. After the New York Times piece went viral, Vulture decided it would also compile a list of all the other wonderful thoughts West has had about himself, including this one:
“I’m a pop enigma. I live and breathe every element in life. I rock a bespoke suit and I go to Harold’s for fried chicken. It’s all these things at once, because, as a taste maker, I find the best of everything. There’s certain things that black people are the best at and certain things that white people are the best at. Whatever we as black people are the best at, I’ma go get that. Like, on Christmas I don’t want any food that tastes white. And when I go to purchase a house, I don’t want my credit to look black.” — Spin, December, 2007”
And this one:
“There’s nothing more to be said about music. I’m the end-all, be-all of music. I know what I’m doing. I did 808s in three weeks. I got it. It’s on cruise control … Man, we talked about music for God knows how long! Now let’s talk about how my sweater didn’t come back right from Korea. That’s what’s interesting me.” — Details, February, 2009”
And this one too:
“[In regard to a life-size poster of himself] “I put me on the wall because I was the only person that had me on the wall at that time. And now that a lot of people have me on their wall, I don’t really need to do that anymore.” — Rolling Stone, April, 2004”
West is the prime example of ‘ain’t nobody gonna get hype about you until you learn to hype yourself up first’. Yet folks generally have a hard time with being their own cheerleader and advocate. Many people go through life with such poor self-images of themselves, and the world in general, that the very idea that they might be deserving of a little praise renders them paralyzed. Instead, it’s much more comfortable to self-criticize and beat one’s self up because it means living without the burden of expectation. No one expects a person who doesn’t feel they are talented or having anything worth sharing with the world, to actually achieve anything. Therefore, they hang out in the shadows, feeling sorry for themselves and being cogs in the systems of someone else’s dream and ambition while the world pretty much passes them by. It is that endless wall-flowering, which keeps folks from going out into the world and commanding the respect that they deserve – whether it be a raise at work, from your significant other, or even with something you want to buy for yourself.
But having an almost narcissist view of one’s greatness is a perfect shield from the negative messages we tell ourselves as well and are bombarded with daily. People will tell you – out of concern, fear and flat out hateration – why what you are doing is a waste of time. Sometimes they will have legitimate points. However (and take my word for it), indulging in too many cautionary tales and giving weight to other people’s doubt – no matter how pragmatic they are – will only slow you down. If you sincerely feel like you have talent, you have to be arrogant enough to say, ‘despite everyone’s objections and my own fears, I do believe my s**t is hot, therefore this is where I’m going to put my faith.’ And by faith I mean the actual task of dedicating time and energy into something in addition to the unwavering belief that your craft has value.
I do realize that humbleness is a virtue. I also realize that there are too many people, faux-profiling, posing and gushing over social media sites without having done the work to warrant such self-flagellation. But I also understand that a little arrogance is needed when at times true confidence is hard to find. You know, faking it until you make it? Odds are, it was probably West’s inflated ego, which gave him the gumption to fund his very first music video at a time when his label wanted to put his project on the back burner for easier and more marketable hip-hop artists. And there is no doubt that it is West’s continued stroking of his own ego, which compels him to step out the box and test the limit of his artistry. You have to be a pretty vain mothersucker to sing on an album knowing damn well you are nowhere near close to being a singer. And yet, it totally worked (off-key and all), because he was going to make sure it worked.