If you grew up in a culture similar to mine, you probably may be familiar with this notion of ‘modesty is key’.
While so many have held onto this concept for a long time, personally I have found that we may actually be jeopardizing our self-esteem on the platform of being too modest.
We may be giving away a part of or all ourselves (or personalities), just because we do not want to be seen as being too ‘forward’. Or as others would like to say it, being too “loud”, “attention-seeking” or at the very extreme, “very proud.”
And while I may not subscribe to being ‘over-assuming’ or ‘proud’, I wanted to make it clear that there is a very thin line between being “too modest”, and actually “losing one’s self-esteem.”
And the reason for my position on this matter is not far-fetched. Because, I have had to walk that thin line, and can confidently speak from my own experience.
I worked with a team where I felt my opinions didn’t matter due to the fact that I never wanted to be regarded as being too forward. Or what some people may call a “know it all.”
Therefore, when there was a problem that needed to be solved, I would rather remain mute than voice out my opinions. I never wanted to be seen as the person who behaved as though she knew it all.
In return, I would rather sit through those long and boring meetings, waiting patiently for them to end, and for me to go back to my office and ruminate over what I should have said, or not said.
I found that I was bottling a lot of “solutions” within my chest, instead of spilling them out to make very complicated processes, less complicated.
And with time, this line of action of mine began to have its huge toll on me. I began to feel frustrated, always on edge and even became unsure of myself. Because, somewhere in my heart, I felt my opinions or suggestions weren’t even worth a cent or penny.
And the result was that I had inadvertently traveled into the zone of a low self-esteem without even realizing it.
You see, none of us is perfect. We all have our individual flaws to varying degrees and proportions. We all have those areas of our lives that we can actually become better at.
But notwithstanding that fact, we are all also incredibly gifted people, whose personalities, opinions and suggestions are far worth than a million dollars.
The problem, however, is that society has a way of playing with our minds, as well as our perceptions of ourselves. This is especially true if you have a tag on you that society regards as “second-class” or “less than perfect.”
So, for instance, I am a woman of color. And regarding race relations and perceptions in the United States, a lot remains to be said.
Therefore, seeing yourself as someone who society has already labeled as “unqualified” or “less than perfect”, it becomes very easy to act accordingly.
Maybe, that was what I did for a while. And maybe, that was what affected my perception of self, and probably affected the way I presented myself in public.
And maybe, in an attempt not to appear ‘too forward’, I inadvertently assumed a role of being “too modest”. Which by convention actually translated into having a low self-esteem.
Until I realized the evil I had been doing to myself and decided to make a change. It took me several incidences where I came out feeling deflated and discouraged to realize that how I had been living my life was not the way I was created to be.
Those experiences made me realize that I was far more than that. And so, taking gentle small daily steps, I gradually re-trained my mind to become the person that I am today.
And with that, I have been set on a mission to empower, inspire and motivate people all around the world to become the best versions of themselves. I am committed to ensuring that I develop individuals to live to the fullest of their God-given potentials.
Now, I am putting this back to you.
Are you jeopardizing your self-esteem on the platform of modesty?
Are you short-changing yourself and living below the fullest of your potentials because you see the need to be modest?
Are you incredibly gifted but too shy or self-absorbed to gift the world with what you have been blessed with?
Are you afraid to flaunt your skills, talents or knowledge just because you are a little too concerned about how the world may view you or what others may say?
Are you being held back because you do not want to be regarded as “knowing too much?”
Are you afraid to ‘bell the cat’ in that situation because you are afraid of being labeled as “too forward?”
If you answered in the affirmative to any of the questions above, then it is time to get up and step out of your comfort zone.
It is time to care less about other people’s perceptions of you and just commit to being yourself.
You do not have to continue hiding under the guise of modesty when the reality is that your self-esteem is being dealt a heavy blow.
It is time to be yourself and be confident in your God-given abilities. It is time to express the real you to its fullest.
You do not have to be arrogant or proud of showcasing who you truly are. You can consciously navigate the thin line between real modesty, and confidence, without appearing or being too forward, unguarded or outright arrogant.
You can still make a difference right here without being uncouth.
And that is why I really admire all those celebrities and influencers we see on social media. It must explain why they attract huge followers on different social media platforms. These guys are incredibly gifted and they are bold enough to flaunt it. Including on social media and other spaces on the internet.
And you should be able to do that too. I am not advocating for “showing off” like all those immature people do on the internet and social media.
I am only letting you know that you can go all out and express yourself with the gifts and talents you have been endowed with, without second-guessing yourself.
So today, make the decision to live tall without fear of ridicule or scorn. And even if that happens, you must know that you are absolutely worth it to be treated that way.
Because people do not generally waste their time with others they think are irrelevant.
And always remember that you do not have to sacrifice your self-esteem by being too modest!
Believe in your abilities and go show the world the incredible stuff you are made of!
All the very best!!!
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