First of all, major points to whoever used to watch The O.C. and gets the reference of this blog title.
Really, I just want to take a minute to share a few words about the idea of confidence.
Despite living in a world that is constantly telling us “it’s all about you”, the general population still seems to have absolutely zero confidence in themselves. The reality is, you’re probably not a worthless pile of shit. No, seriously. I might not even know you, but I can just about bet that you aren’t a worthless pile of shit. I bet you have some really fantastic qualities and talents. I have no doubt that you’re a better person than you think you are, and you’re probably much more interesting than you think you are, too.
The thing is that we’re raised in a culture that constantly spouts at us words of self esteem and confidence, while simultaneously tearing us down by telling us we’re not good enough. Even when we’re kids, we’re taught not to be show-offs. If you’re good at something, that’s nice, but don’t talk about it because people will think you’re bragging. And yes, on some level, that’s true. But not bragging about your talents and refusing to believe you have any are two very different things. It’s important to have a healthy sense of self respect.
And it isn’t as though a lack of self confidence affects only you. It’s about the people who love you, too. I mentioned in a previous post how hard it is to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. How hard it is to compliment someone who refuses to take the compliment. Quite frankly, it can end up making you feel like an idiot. Because NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, that person will deny it and question why you care about them in the first place, thus inadvertently insulting your taste in people, because according to them you apparently love a worthless pile of shit.
Now, that’s got to be smelly and unrewarding, don’t you think?
I’m not saying that everyone should walk around thinking that they’re the greatest thing since the creation of wine, but I am saying that we have a right to walk around feeling decent about ourselves. Because we ARE decent. And it isn’t as though I’m not guilty of whining self pity – hell, I do it all the time. But whenever I feel like going on about my many neurosis that are the products of failed relationships (blah blah blah), I try to stop, and remember that I’m not a worthless pile of shit. I’m really rather bright (or at least I graduated college), I can be funny. I’m a good friend. Through the dumb luck of a gene pool, I’m pretty.
And the funny thing is, even writing that down, I feel guilty about saying it. Because we’re trained not to pick out our good qualities.
The thing is, everyone is a mess. You are not unique in your messiness, and therefore you are no better or worse than someone else because you’re a mess. It’s just that you might be a mess in a different way. But bearing in mind that we’re all starting there – that no one is perfect, and everyone has issues – maybe we should go a little easier on ourselves. Because who exactly are you comparing yourself to? We’re all screwed up. It’s human nature. And it’s not some sort of poetic, 500 Days of Summer kind of screwed up that will be fixed if you just meet the right person. It’s just messy, because humanity is complicated. And it’s okay to acknowledge that you’re a mess, but it’s not okay to stop your self-examination there. Because there’s more to you than that. There’s more to everybody than that. And you owe to yourself to look past it and see everything else that you are. Wouldn’t it be sad to spend your entire life under-estimating what you’re capable of because you’re afraid to be great?