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Confidence: A double edged dagger without which, there is no growth.

Updated: Sep 25, 2023


Many of us, if we dare to admit it to ourselves, hate confident people. They make us feel small, inadequate, and just generally bad with their larger-than-life personalities and the love they seem to get everywhere they go. The scary-looking man in the corner whom no one has spoken to in the two hours you've been observing him, the confident person just waltzes in and says hello to him, says a pleasant thing or two, and you see the man's eyes light up instantly. You hate the power they possess, the attention they draw, and the goodwill they seem to enjoy everywhere they go. But you also like them very much when you're not wishing them dead in your head. You see how put together they are, how fabulously they laugh, how they seem to have no problems, how attentively they listen, and how special you feel when you can call them your friend when they stand up for you and champion your cause. So, should you bother cultivating confidence or continue to feel sorry for yourself and hate those who possess it?

It's a tough call, really. On the one hand, having confidence can take you places you never thought possible. You'll be able to walk into a room and command attention without saying a single word. People will gravitate toward you, eager to bask in the glow of your self-assuredness. But on the other hand, there's a certain level of vulnerability that comes with confidence. You're putting yourself out there, and if things don't go according to plan, it can be a crushing blow to your ego.

Confidence is a trait that can be developed and nurtured over time with dedicated effort and practice. It is not something that only a few lucky people are born with. By cultivating confidence, you will be able to feel better about yourself, feel more secure in your abilities and decision-making, increase your opportunities for success, and ultimately lead a happier and more fulfilling life. And let's not forget the fact that confidence can be intimidating to others. As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of people out there who view confident people with suspicion and even outright disdain. They may see you as arrogant or cocky, which can make it harder to make lasting connections. Do not let this deter you, for there will also be those who view you in awe for your ability highly regard and respect yourself.

A Flurry of "Friends" or Your Self-Respect? A Tough Exchange

I once read a quote from Deepak Chopra that says,

"In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself."

That night, thinking about this quote, I asked myself how many friends my self-assuredness and self-esteem have cost me. I started to count, and I ran out of fingers and toes.

As we go through life, we form attachments to people, things, and experiences from our past. However, not all of these attachments serve our present or future selves. Sometimes, these attachments can even hold us back from reaching our full potential or stand in the way of our happiness and peace.

Letting go often involves making tough decisions, like ending relationships that are no longer healthy or beneficial, breaking free from negative habits or thought patterns, or moving on from past mistakes and regrets. Where there's attachment, there is often pain in letting go. Hence, in the process, we may feel like we're losing something essential.

Self-respect and self-confidence are generally not good for relationships with certain types of people. Self-respect and self-confidence can negatively impact relationships with manipulative, controlling people or those with low esteem. People who use verbal or emotional abuse to maintain control will also struggle with those who are confident and respect themselves. Highly competitive people might see your confidence as a challenge, while narcissists may react negatively if they don't receive constant attention. And then there are those who are jealous or envious might feel threatened and behave toxically.

If your circles are disproportionately filled with such people, you end up questioning yourself. Should you allow yourself to be treated any which way by anyone to have more people you love stay with you? Or should you throw away "your face," be shameless, and be loved? The truth is people don't love you just because you lower yourself around them and let them treat you like a step-stool.

I was lost in the labyrinth of my own contemplations when it hit me - that self-respect and self-esteem aren't the antagonists of love and companionship. They broaden your sight, making you receptive and steadfast in accepting and respecting others in the same vein. They help you attract people who seek to build and foster relationships based on mutual respect, admiration, and value.

And yet, Even with this newfound understanding, the challenge remained- balancing self-respect with the need for love and companionship. And when you care about yourself it's exhausting to hear every tune played to their own beat, to give in always to the whims and tendencies of others. The urge we feel to please them by letting them walk all over you, when in truth, that’s more a recipe for unhappiness and unfulfillment. Sooner or later, you'll discover that there's no lovable side to a doormat. People aren't attracted to those who lack a backbone, even the very people who patronize and disrespect them. In most situations, it's the unwavering quality of being true to oneself that attracts people toward you like a magnet.

When we enter into relationships, it is for the purposes of mutual gain and mutual growth. The fundamental guiding principle of such relationships is an unwavering commitment to one's self-respect while making room for theirs. Which is perhaps why it's better to find common ground with the people who appreciate you for who you are, even if they're not many. Find your tribe, one that feeds into the energy of cohesion and love, where friendship and companionship are healthy and organic rather than strained and forced.

So, should you cultivate self-respect and its big sister, self-confidence? Ultimately, that's a decision only you can make. Now before you run off to go be your most confident, most awesome self, remember this: there's a difference between confidence and conceit. True confidence comes from a place of inner strength, while conceit is a mask for insecurity. If you can cultivate that inner strength and allow it to shine through, there's no telling what you can achieve. But if you're just putting on a front to impress others, it's unlikely to lead to genuine happiness or success.

Confidence is just a tool. It can help you achieve your goals and make meaningful connections, but it's not a magic bullet. You still have to put in the work, and you still have to be willing to take risks and face disappointment. So by all means, cultivate confidence if you feel it's right for you and that you can come to grips with the fact that many people will dislike and attack you for it. I truly believe it's worth the trouble, seeing how blindingly bright the truly confident really shine. But even as you do so, don't forget that it's just one piece of the puzzle. And to make a good, wholesome human out of oneself, other traits such as integrity, truthfulness, and intelligence must be featured in your potpourri of qualities, used wisely and judiciously, are just as necessary as self-confidence.


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