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Embers of Confidence & Self-Esteem

Positive Masculinity Content Writer - Samuel Hernandez

Content Writer, SDSU Alumni, Poet, Amateur Photographer






As a person who dealt with having low self-esteem, I was curious how certain people carried themselves and expressed their thoughts with little to no veil of doubt or when it comes to making friends, I wondered how does someone do it? I always thought it was the common shared belief that some people are naturally confident while some are not. After reading articles about developing healthy confidence and reflecting on their suggestions, there was a great deal of learning from them, particularly about developing them through making behavioral changes that could beget confidence.

There is a vital aspect when creating your confidence. It is to know the difference between being confident and being arrogant. Being confident is having a solid belief in your abilities and yourself without being based on external validations but from and within yourself as the validator. Certain skills such as cooking, playing, drawing, and learning you wish to develop could elevate you to a better mood or state of being that could spread to other people. As for arrogance or being cocky, it is an overabundance of promoting yourself by bringing others down and viewing them as inferior to you. A hyper competitive behavior where you attempt to establish yourself as the dominant, central person by others below you and suppress the confidence within other people's as oppose to bringing that flicker of confidence inside of them.

Some examples of arrogant characters are Gaston from Beauty & the Beast and Jamie Tartt from Ted Lasso. Both characters carry themselves quite in high regard with their abilities, Gaston being handsome, muscular, and a hunter, though his personality is rancid and does not rejections well when Belle rejected him. As for Jamie, he is quite skilled at Football (Soccer) and could be one of the greats however, his arrogance isolates him from his teammates which creates a harmful environment as he hoards the spotlight and it is evident with each goal and lonesome celebration of shouting "Me!!" whilst pointing at his name and number to the audience.





Instead of drawing people to you, arrogance makes you push people away due to downplaying others and their skills, inflating the atmosphere with yourself as opposed to a shared area, or hindering yourself from happiness and others’ happiness as well. Learning and knowing the difference between the two is essential as you explore and discover the confidence that brings people to your side and alleviates them.

If you have find or catch yourself being arrogant instead of confident, there is always hope in growing and unlearning what you have instilled within yourself. You may not share the same fate as Gaston’s demise or the alienation that Jamie put himself, but they serve as cautionary tales of how arrogance can lead to a downward spiral and isolating, unhappy manner of living.

As mentioned, Jamie Tartt from Ted Lasso is an arrogant character. Still, throughout the show, he learns to unlearn what his father, the source of his many unhealthy traits, had instilled in him and starts to become confident in sharing the spotlight with his fellow teammates and lifting them up instead of dragging them down as he did in the first season. He also develops healthy relationships with friends, himself, and revitalize his football career to the potential it lacked before.

Another aspect of developing confidence is being comfortable with laughing at yourself and taking ownership of abilities and activities that you enjoy and are good at. Being comfortable with laughing at yourself when a mistake is one of many ways to go about the world and a motivator to keep pursuing whatever you want to try or do. An example could be drawing, painting, or playing an instrument, requiring time, patience, and mistakes to hold on to the basics. Still, once you get it, you could do anything like Kurt Cobain through paraphrasing: Just the basic chords and a power chord, and that's all you need to play guitar.





Getting the basics to play is important, but I believe it is more important to say to yourself, “yeah, I only do power chords but I can make a ton of noise doing so and I'm having fun.” Another example is the anime movie On-Gaku: Our Sound; it's about these three kids who start a band and are novices when playing but are confident in their primal sound because they enjoy making noise and owning it. So, again, if a mistake is made, just keep moving forward and try not to allow fear of mistakes, embarrassment, and so on to hold you back from achieving or doing what you want to do and the potential enjoyment as well. As Ackerman suggests about handling fear, you can “be grateful for fear. (...) learn to eagerly embrace it, understand its origin and use it as a signpost for what needs to be dealt with, a powerful tool to declutter the mental closets.”





For my fellow Readers who struggle with self-confidence, it is essential to keep in mind that it is a process that can be learned and refined as Ackerman provides the definition from Psychology Definition, “self-confidence as an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands.” It is and can be difficult to trust in yourself when failure, or rather the fear of possible failure and the outcomes that come with it, are pretty paralyzing but, admittedly, it is a part of it, and you have to keep moving forward in the pursuit of a strong sense of healthy self-confidence.




Citations

Ackerman, E. Courtney. “What is Self-Confidence”. Positive Psychology. July 9, 2018. https://positivepsychology.com/self-confidence/


Chef, Katelyn. “How to Be Confident and Build Self-Esteem”. Today. July 11, 2023. https://www.today.com/life/inspiration/how-to-be-confident-rcna43144


Fran. “How to build confidence: 5 tips for being more confident”. Future Learn. May 18, 2022. https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/general/how-to-build-confidence-5-tips-being-more-confident


Morin, Amy. “How to Be More Confident: 9 Tips That Work”. Very Well Mind. January 26, 2024. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-boost-your-self-confidence-4163098


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