If there’s a self-confidence scale ranging from humility to arrogance, I lean heavily into arrogance. I’m OK with overconfidence. Just long as we’re not belittling others while dreaming the possibilities. I’ve met dreamers that were so decisive that they’d cut out anyone that wasn’t fully on-board with their dreams. I try not to be that! I just believe that to fully realize your dreams, you must wholeheartedly believe in yourself first, before realizing any possibilities.
I used to be self-conscious about my writing.
I’d cringe over things I wrote even weeks earlier. Now, while I’ll always see sections I can improve in my older writing, I don’t cringe. Maybe it’s confidence? Maybe it’s writing detachment? That isn’t so bad.
The arrogance might begin when accepting criticism.
I always brace for impact upon receiving feedback. It’s weird because I write criticism and I do appreciate learning how I can improve. So maybe that arrogance just covers up a lack of self-confidence?
Then there’s the condescending element to arrogance.
In my mind, when I write about psychology or any self help, it’s always with pure intent. Nothing condescending. Even when I write for specific people in mind, ultimately my reader is always my younger self. The bullied child. He had to endure and learn all that.
“Hey younger self, give this a try, and you’ll do fine.”
Even with innocent intent, condescension floods out when I’m stressed out. I’ll think with impure intent, like I’ve got it together when others don’t. That happens more often accidentally in casual conversation than in my writing.
I suppose this all stems from my younger self.
He was a shy, socially awkward, scared child. He didn’t grow up with any authentic camaraderie among friends. They’d usually manipulate him for money or grades then stop being friends. There was always interpersonal friction. No amount of education or conversation can quench that.
“Hey younger self, you wanted to get out of that shit. You’re out. It’s better now.”
He’s not really used to getting along with others for anything other than school or work. He’s always just looking at what’s purely functional. Complete the assignment, get the grade, and move on. He’d rather escape that shitty reality and play escapist videogames.
That child will always live within me.
He didn’t look down on others.
He just looked away from them.
That loneliness, that feeling of wanting to be part of the group and yet being constantly ostracized, might have led me to figuring out ways to provide value to others. My non-writing career is built around helping others. When we resonate, when we both say “it’s OK, let’s get through this,” it’s maybe the best therapeutic experience around.
I accept their inner child and they accept mine.
My younger self’s dream, when he grew up, wasn’t “astronaut” or “police officer.” He hated childhood. He wanted to grow up into a better place. My dream is the same.
I can achieve that possibility, if I continue believing in myself.