Monday, July 11, 2011

The Confidence Tales - Part 1

I believe in these 2 phrases:
1. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent
2. We weren't all born on the same day.

Let me address #1:
I have a friend who is a self proclaimed snob. So every time she prefaces some sentences with...'you know I'm a snob so...', I always wonder if the subjects of her snobbery noticed that they were being snubbed. If so, did they truly feel inferior?...Or how does it work, like do you snob people regardless of if they notice you snubbing them/feel inferior in the light of your snub? All resident snobs in the house, feel free to tell me how it works.
For me, unless you want to sit in your house and snub me from a far distance (to which I'd be very unaware of this, so ummm that one na your wahala), there's no way we can be in the same room and any individual will make me feel inferior. And the reason for this is that I'm very self assured and confident in who I am + I believe that everyone's path in life is different and we weren't all born on the same day (addressing #2, now) I don't look at any individual and feel that they are better than me. The person sef can be in the room with me, looking down their nose at me...I still won't notice.

I think that amongst Nigerians, it's very easy to get an inferiority complex with a quickness. By default, most of us are over achievers who strive for the best, and so when you step up in the spot with your 'less than superior' credentials, you gotta do it with your own kind of swag and back it up! You know what I'm saying?. I mean, who is a Consultant in the house? Tell me how many times, you run into Nigerians and mention that you are a Consultant, and you have folks asking if you work at 'Accenture, Deloitte, Booz Allen or McKinsey?'!
I'm sure some of you know that I'm an Auditor and no, I don't work for any of the big 4 accounting firms aka PWC, KPMG, Deloitte or E&Y (although in College, PWC was once my dream job). But I get asked that a 'what do you do?', and when I tell 'em, the next Q is 'which of the Big 4 firms do you work for?'...they don't even ask IF I work for those firms, it's an instant assumption. I'm always happy to burst their bubble...heehee.
In fact I remember back in the day, when 1 toaster asked why I didn't aim for a 'more challenging' position at these Big 4 firms...acting like he dey denge with me 9-5, and sees me at work. That was one of the reasons why he got nexted with a quickness. Condescending attitudes won't fly with this sister... So errm, as a Nigerian, I know that you gotta be confident around your people or else, some of them will try to make you feel like you ain't up to par.
I know people who are doing quite well for themselves, drive this, own property, work at X but I've never looked at them like they are better than me because of what they have achieved in life. As dem see me so, I'm not on the street begging for alms or some shit.

You might have gone to the best of the best schools, work at the #1 fortune 500 company, wear the best of the best designers, drive X luxury car and own Y house...and if that's your story...we thank God for you and your successes. But trust that with a Bachelors degree from a school that I'm sure your aunty in the village has no idea about (and no current plans for a Masters..hehe), my rented space, my non-luxury car and a resume that doesn't boast of any 'gengen' fortune 500 companies, I can still stand and cough in your presence (old slang). I am perfectly okay with who I am and feel very confident in my current life status.

Like I said, I believe that everyone's path is different and that we all want different things from life. I have no desire to own Prada, Gucci or Louboutins and so I don't sweat the females standing next to me, who are happily sporting theirs. I don't want a Masters degree and so your Wharton MBA means nothing to me (don't get me wrong, I'm not hating o). The things that I want, are different from the things that you want, so why should I compare myself to you or feel less than because you have X, Y and Z while I don't. And even if you and I want the same things, and you got yours X years before I did, I still won't feel less than. I know that my time is coming, so in the mean time I'm going to continue to enjoy me as I am and not sweat you or feel inferior.

Back to point #1, I recently had lunch with a coworker and her friend. Na so her friend come ask me what my hobbies are, and so I listed my hobbies. I guess the Ajayicious babe wasn't too impressed, 'cos she said 'err well, doesn't everybody claim that they like to do all of that?'. I saw that as an attempt at a direct snub, like she didn't feel like my interests and activities were interesting enough...condescending ass beech. So, me kwa I kuku said 'Yep, unfortunately we aren't all as unique as we like to think and those things are what I enjoy doing' and then proceeded to ask what her own hobbies were...'cycling' and 'gardening' were her very dry responses. Mchewwww! See Okoro feeling funky, I hella expected her to say 'sky diving', 'bungee jumping' and some equally 'gengen' ish. Abegi, I will be the first to tell you...if you're looking for some off the wall stuff with moi, then keep on two stepping to the next person. I'm as normal and regular as they come, and it suits me just fine.

Sooo, this is just a lirru note of encouragement to my people out there. Own everything about yourself...flaws and all, and don't let the next man look down on you because you're not up to Society's standards. Don't compare yourself to anybody...your own time is coming too. Plus I'm sure that as you are comparing yourself to your mate who is supposedly doing big things, someone out there is comparing theirself to you, wanting to get on your level. Such is life...
Wear the heck out of that Forever 21 dress with a superior're just as hot as the chick who rolled in rocking Gucci and feeling funky with it. Blaze up the spot with your Jamaican weave and let the Brazilian and Peruvian weaved up babes hate from their little corner. Go to the Harvard Business School annual conference and boldly hand out your none fortune 500 card, they need some diversity up in that piece anyway (from what I heard) :-D.
Celebrate your rented space and don't feel bad because you're X age and you don't own property. If property is what you want, save for it and it shall be yours eventually. Don't listen to your parents, sometimes they are they key perps of trying to make you feel insecure with the whole 'Aunty Uchenna's son Ikenna is doing X, Y and Z'...and trying to make you feel like you're a loser because you're just starting out with X. And ultimately, remember that you're just as good as the next person. That attitude will get you far :-).

The end.