Confidence is knowing you’re the best.
Arrogance is knowing you’re the best without letting others be the best with you.
I used to think that it was egotistical to tell myself, “I can totally rock this.” I literally felt guilty because I thought that I sounded pompous and big headed.. but that really isn’t the case. In fact, you should act pompous and big headed, as long as you let other people do it with you.
I read a theory once that when you tell yourself you can’t do something, it pushes you to go even harder, so I thought by mentally degrading myself before every practice and during the weight room by telling myself I was weak and slow would push me even harder. I thought before I had a big calculus test if I told myself I was an idiot it would push me to study harder and I would end up getting a terrific grade.
This was not the case, and I usually ended up having mini anxiety attacks during practice, and during my calc tests.
So then a few days ago I was looking at footage from my very last cross country meet on our section’s website, and I noticed the number one runner from the county in the video. Before her race, she was hyperactive, singing and dancing in a circle with her teammates, chasing the camera men and trying to photobomb as many photos as possible, and she had the liveliest aura…How can someone be so carefree before the biggest race of their life? Also, she was the best in the county, there was so much pressure on her, why wasn’t she under her tent chanting Buddha mantras and having a mini anxiety attack like I was?
The way she ran around chasing those camera men and singing and acting like a complete lunatic made me learn something about this number one runner: she knew she was going to crush everybody. If she told herself she was going to suck, she wouldn’t be running around acting like an idiot. She thought she would crush everybody, so she was able to remain calm, and she did crush everybody and won first place out of 300 or so girls.
She knew she was hot shit, so she was hot shit. And that’s when I came up with my life mantra: They did it because they thought they could.
After watching that footage, I decided it was time for no more self degrading bullshit. I was going to tell myself I was
good fucking amazing. I wasn’t going to feel guilty or feel like a cocky asshole about it either, because I’m well aware that there will always be somebody better than me. A lot better than me. Confidence is having a balance between knowing you’re the best, but also knowing that there is always someone out there who will be better. The best advice I can give is to let them be better. I know you don’t want to hear that, but you have to. Putting anger and envy toward someone who is better than you is such a waste of time.
Time to quote Buddha: “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; only you are the one getting burned.”
When I let go of my hot coal, the elephant that was sitting on my chest finally got up and walked away. You’ve really hit the sweet spot with confidence when you have a balance between knowing you’re the best and letting other people be the best with you.
Just think of a high school prom: you could spend it being anxious and worried 100% of the time in fear that there is going to be a girl with a prettier dress, sexier shoes, and better hair, all because you need to be the best, or you could let them be pretty and sexy with you and enjoy 100% of the entire night.
We all spend way too much time competing with each other, and all of our lives are so different..there’s just too many factors to be able to have one person be the best. Stop caring so much.
It’s like when people say they have a favorite President. God I hate that. I hate that so much. Each president dealt with so many different issues, the nation was never the same for all of them. You can’t just call one president the “best” president. Some had it way easier. Some had it way harder….Okay, (I type as I think, sorry) running a nation is pretty hard no matter what, but they all dealt with different things, people!
Anyway, my new mantra and my self reassuring over self degrading worked so much better. That theory about self degrading being able to push you harder isn’t just baloney..it’s the entire pig. (That is how baloney is made..right? Does anyone even know? …..maybe i’ll just let the virtual tumbleweed roll by one that one.)
I told myself I would dominate before my meet, and I dominated. I know i’m not always going to dominate and be number one, but telling myself that is going to help so much.
Go ahead and be a cocky asshole..just let others be cocky assholes with you.
(A photoshoot I did with my best friend for an English project.)