If you fake confidence, people can look through it straight away. And the same goes when you are talented and powerful but underestimate yourself. Remember those times when someone snapped at you in the meeting for no reason, when a friend put you down on the pretext of a joke making you question yourself or when someone did not acknowledge your hard work or thoughtfulness and gave you a royal ignore.
Its because they could look through your heart. And somewhere they felt threatened, not by your power, but the fact that they don’t have the courage to pursue their heart. And that led them to behave the way they did. But most of the times, such instances end up making you feel drained and burnt out. And if you let their words affect you, you would start to question yourself,doubt yourself and stop loving yourself. And boom, all confidence that was at an all time high comes crashing down. Ego won- heart lost.
SO what’s the key to solve this? Self -Awareness, a term that has been interpreted and explained a million times. But along with self awareness, what’s required is to step into the person’s shoes and see what made them behave towards you in a particular way. Did they feel threatened by you? Perhaps they did not get the acknowledgement they thought they deserved. Do they make you feel less? May be they don’t love themselves and because they feel less, they make you feel the same.
I had the privilege to work alongside a very humble and renowned Indian Film Industry’s producer -director Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, who told me ‘You are better than you realize. Just be a little more self -assured.’ That one line stayed with me. At that moment, I didn’t know how to take that compliment, but as I soaked it in, I realized its true. I realized its about time that I better learn to receive, be it compliments or the miracles of the universe.We writers anyway have a thankless job, so for someone to acknowledge the efforts and see through the writer’s perspective was a big deal. Here was a man who encouraged me and my talents as a writer rather than put me down, who was patient with my flaws and gave me the liberty to write without enforcing his own ideologies but simply stating his view point and giving me the space to learn from his vast sea of knowledge and experience in my own time and space.
In that instant, my mind traveled back to all the times when I was put down at work,when I was made to feel how privileged I am for being allowed to work being a lady, and how un-privileged I am to be still unmarried, as is a part of the Indian culture where girls are married of at a really young age. It made me remember all the times when my talents were not recognized, when I was made to feel less of a woman just because I am a woman. Who do you think I can blame for all of this. Them, Me? I don’t know. It all happened because we as women are not taught to OWN ourselves, we are taught to be dependent. Its bull crap ideology. And I let go of it. I did not own myself. I craved validation. Now I don’t crave for external validation because the external GPS has shifted internally. I am however grateful for genuine compliments and acknowledgements. I speak up and I speak the truth, even if it creates conflicts, because ultimately the truth sets us free. Trust me, I don’t just say it, I have done it and had huge breakthroughs. Amidst the roller-coaster emotions, I felt liberated. I finally own myself and that is making all the difference. Yes I am human and I am sensitive, but the key is to strike a balance between sensitivity and self-awareness and that my friend is a process. What if we all own ourselves and stand out letting our light shine in the word rather than trying to shrink ourselves to fit in. YOU ARE MEANT TO STAND OUT!! OWN YOURSELF AND SEE THE MAGIC BEGIN
Originally published at medium.com