By Amari D. Pollard
Like a million other kids, my years spent as an adolescent were not always the best due to incidents of bullying. After a while I was tired of my shoulders being burdened by the weight of insecurity, so I decided to take lessons in the art of confidence.
As my feelings of self-worth and self-love started to increase, my levels of insecurities slowly dissipated. However, my issues didn’t stop there. Instead of people poking fun at me for my differences, calling me chunky monkey or four eyes or brace face or midnight, they decided to chastise me for my confidence, insisting that I was cocky.
‘Till this day people still tell me I’m cocky.
And every time I’m called this word I’m completely baffled. Why is it that confidence is so often mistaken for cockiness, especially when it comes to women?
According to an article in Psychology Today, “Confidence comes from believing in yourself and having the skills to back it. It’s seeing yourself in a realistic way and recognizing the strengths, assets, smarts, and resources that you bring to any situation. Cockiness, on the other hand, is bragging or showing off without actually having the skills or know how to back it up.”
Society teaches us to raise our boys to be strong assertive men who can lead, and we teach our girls to grow into kind nurturing women. But the minute a woman is confident and decides she wants to lead, she becomes cocky, bossy, a bitch.
And it’s not just men tearing women down for having dominant qualities; it’s also women tearing each other down.
Gender roles are changing in society. More women are graduating from college, bringing home the bacon and heading major companies. Like Beyoncé said, “Who run the world? Girls.” And in a world where our presence is felt more than ever and needed more than ever, we need to build each other up.
In a world where people are always cutting each other down, self-assurance is not just important, it’s essential.
You don’t see athletes walk onto the field or court with their shoulders hunched in fear or self-doubt. They strut like they own the place and know they’re going to come out of top. And we love that; we crave that type of atmosphere, so why should it be any different outside the world of sports?
If you’re kind of remarkable, don’t be afraid to let that show in your walk or your speech. Hold your head up high and don’t allow people to try and break you down.
There is nothing wrong with self-assurance and being confident. In fact, it’s beautiful.
Picture courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com