Being cocky is defined as being conceited or arrogant, especially in a bold way. Being confident is defined as feeling or showing confidence in oneself and being self-assured. I think the dangerous thing with confidence and cockiness is that everyone interprets them differently. Whereas someone may see you as confident, others may see you as cocky and vice versa. Everyone will see something different in someone and interpret it however they want to. That’s dangerous.
I’ve always struggled to love myself. It’s an ongoing battle I deal with. The last few years it has been much easier than earlier in my life. About 5 years ago I was at the top of my self love. My self esteem was good. My confidence was the highest it had ever been. I felt good. Then one day while at work a woman said something to me that took all that away from me. She said I was cocky and that I needed to know my place. Was my confidence coming off as cocky? Was I showing confidence wrong? I honestly have no idea and I may never know.
At that time confidence was a stranger to me. The only confidence I knew was the confidence of running my heart out at a track meet. Or dancing my heart out at a dance competition while smiling from ear to ear and counting in my head hoping I don’t mess up for the teams sake. Both of those seemed different. We were teams, the eyes weren’t directly on me. As far as confidence within myself, that was as unfamiliar as it gets to me. I had to teach myself how to be confident, but maybe I did that wrong? Maybe I still didn’t know what confidence was? It never crossed my mind that she was wrong.
Everything she said destroyed me. I let her opinion destroy me. I let her take away all the self love, confidence, and self esteem I had worked so hard to gain for myself. You see I’ve always been an anxious person. So many basic things are scary to me – meeting new people, pubic speaking, the pressure of putting my money in my wallet while someone waits behind me in line, when my coffee order is wrong. I’ve always been a bit of a mess. Loving myself took much more work than it should have, but once I was there I felt like I was on top of the world. In an instance I let someone take that away from me.
Why did I let her take all so much away from me in an instance when I worked so hard? I honestly don’t have an answer. I wish I knew so I could go take the necessary steps to fix it, but I don’t know. The me I am today wouldn’t bat an eye and would just continue about my day. I’m not as vulnerable or susceptible as I use to be. Maybe I cared way too much what other people thought of me. Maybe I just didn’t know any better. Maybe I just didn’t fight enough for myself. My mental health has always been a struggle for me, maybe that’s what did it. I may never know.
Her words rang in my ears for years. It was like a soft echo constantly playing in the background. It was etched into my brain. You are cocky. Know your place. I couldn’t forget as the words constantly repeated themselves. I gave those words too much power. I let them destroy me. I let them take away more than they deserved. They were just words. Why did they have so much affect on me? I wish I had a straightforward answer, but I don’t. Once I was able to slowly recover, everything changed. I got my confidence back. I loved myself again. My self esteem shot up. I was better than I’d ever been. I realized my full potential.
Since regaining my power and not letting those words control me, I’m better for it. Cocky isn’t a word in my vocabulary (other than for this blog). It’s not a word I use or a word I like. I think confidence is something that looks a little different for everyone. We should never be using words to destroy other people. To take anything away from them. To ever make anyone feel less than. Words should be used to build people up. To make them realize their full potential. To make people feel like rock stars. Words have power and they should be used wisely.
If you ever find yourself in this position or something similar, don’t do what I did. I know that’s easier said than done. Take it one day at a time. Erase those words from your brain. Turn them into something positive. You are cocky turns into you are really confident. Good for you. Confidence should never be something we belittle someone for. It should be praised. It should be the goal for ourselves to be that confident. To learn ways we ourselves can be confident. Confidence and cockiness can be interpreted differently for everyone therefore someone else’s opinion should never be what changes you. What destroys you. What makes you feel like there is something wrong with you. People are always going to judge and try to tear you down. Be so bright, so confident, and so in love with yourself that they can’t take that away from you.