Confidence vs. ego. How can you tell the difference? How do you know when you’re unnecessarily bragging about something as opposed to just knowing and believing that you’re actually good at something?
Now let’s get into how we’ve been raised as South Asian Indian American women. Traditionally, we aren’t meant to be loud. We are supposed to be humble about our achievements. We aren’t supposed to be more successful than the man in our life. Our primary job is to handle our children and take care of our home.
If we’re lucky, we have been raised in families that support our achievements even if they go against the grain. There is no judgment about earning more or being a leader. Yet, somehow, a lot of us have still embodied these traditional stereotypes into our core.
When are we allowed to be proud of what we achieved? Is it bragging if we talk about the special experiences we’ve had or the honors we’ve received? We have to attribute those things to luck when, in reality, it’s years of hard work that have gotten us to where we are. Who are we protecting by not being self-confident?
I find that I personally tend to downplay the things I’ve done. Even if those around me around talking about their achievements, I’ll just smile and listen. Lately though, I’ve gotten tired of sitting in the dark. I’ve done some pretty cool things and I’m proud of them. So why should I hide? Why should I not let the confidence in myself shine through?
Part of is imposter syndrome for sure. For some reason, I’ve never believed I was good enough. Now though with age and time, I’ve started wondering that if I wasn’t good enough, would I have been able to accomplish all that I have? It all starts with the idea that we are successful through the effort and dedication we put into our work. There is nothing about us that is not good enough.
It’s important as women that we support each other. It’s also important as women that we support ourselves. We don’t need to put ourselves down in order to compliment someone else. There’s enough room in this world for an unlimited number of confident women.
So next time you feel like you need to compare yourself unfavorably to make someone else feel good or that you have to hold back from discussing your accomplishments in order to not seem like you have a big ego, remember that everything you’ve achieved, you’ve worked hard to earn it. Be confident about that.