The Art of Being Conceited
I once had someone ask me if I was brilliant, in front of a group of people.
I unflinchingly said, “Yes.”
Someone came up to me afterward and said she was amazed that I could say that so assuredly without being embarrassed or ashamed.
I realized then that we need to transform our relationship with being conceited.
The word conceited was first recorded in 1600 as meaning “having an overwhelming opinion of oneself.”
We all have overwhelming opinions of ourselves, and therefore, we are all equally conceited.
It is not possible to live without an overwhelming opinion of the entity that you exist inside of day in, and day out.
By definition, you are just as conceited if you believe yourself to be horrible or brilliant.
To say that you are not conceited…that you are the one human on the planet who has managed to escape self-judgement…is really conceited.
So if we can’t escape being conceited, is it not best that we all believe ourselves to be brilliant?
We have wrongly correlated having positive opinions about ourselves with being and acting entitled, holier than thou, arrogant, and un-self-aware.
But there is no necessary correlation between thinking positively of oneself and negatively of others.
It is not destructive to love oneself.
If we believe ourselves to be brilliant, why is it that we are supposed to lie about that?
Why is it looked upon as better to think little of oneself?
I believe people when they call me smart or beautiful. I don’t deflect compliments. I like my own Instagram posts. I dismiss the occasional self-judgmental thoughts that crop up in my mind.
I let myself take up space. I let my voice be heard even when I know it might offend someone. I let myself eat foods that I don’t need to. I let myself spend money that I don’t need to.
I have an overwhelmingly positive opinion of myself, and I have no problem with that.
Because I also get that I suck sometimes. I’m not afraid to admit fault. I am willing to take responsibility for how I occur to others.
Being conceited is only an issue when it is so absolute that it blinds you to contradictory information, causing you to be unaware of how you are impacting others.
There is no problem with loving oneself. There is no problem being generous with oneself or thinking highly of oneself. We need to let go of shame around these good things.
So let’s create a culture of permission to love ourselves voraciously, but not at the expense of our love for others.
Let’s approve of ourselves without needing to disapprove of others.
Let’s unapologetically love ourselves with the same unconditionality with which we love others