Monthly Archives: July 2012

Confidence is the key.

“Confidence is the key.” A phrase I should have tattoo’ed somewhere on my chest next to “The World is Mine.” It’s something some of us have and everyone else wishes they had. In a day and age where jobs can be determined by who you know and dates can be determined by what’s in your wallet, it’s an advantage to have confidence.

Why?

With confidence, you can stand next to the man with the million dollar trust fund. You can have a formidable chance when competing against the Goliath-clones who roam the clubs and bars. It can inspire you to keep working towards that goal that every man has of achieving ultimate success in life.

The second listed definition of Confidence according to dictionary.combelief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.

So if confidence is the key to everything a person could want, how come everyone doesn’t have it?

People aren’t born with confidence. It just doesn’t work like that. Everyone has moments of temporary confidence. Whenever you receive a compliment. Whenever you meet someone new who seems as interested in you as you are them. It is when you challenge yourself to become a better person that your confident nature can truly develop and grow.

It took a meaningless award to spark change within me. During the 7th grade awards ceremony for class superlatives, my name(along with my best friend’s) was called up to receive an award for “Shyest Boy.” I don’t even remember who even won the same award on the female side. All I knew is I was embarrassed and I wanted to change. It was no overnight process but over time, I evolved into a much more self-reliant person.

Here are some tips for inquiring minds:

 

1. Start Exercising.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running for tone and endurance or lifting for muscle and size, exercise. Studies have shown that consistent exercise will improve a  person’s physical appearance. If you don’t find yourself to be decent looking, what makes you think other people will?

 

2. Respect Yourself

Confidence is an attitude. You have to respect yourself for who you are and not worry so much about if every action you make is going to be judged by someone else. You have to be comfortable with the idea that not every one is going to agree with you at every turn. If you can learn to love and respect yourself, others will notice as you naturally project an assurance in yourself.

 

3. Change the way you think

Instead of saying, “I can’t,” say “I can.” Instead of saying, “I don’t think I could ever learn,” say “I know I could learn if I tried.” Think more rational instead of irrational. If you change your pattern of thinking from negative to positive, it will project in your movements. I used to have an issue with not being sure of myself which affected my speech and caused a slight stutter when questioned. Changing the way you think will slowly begin to change your cognitive schemas and as a result, help you gain confidence you never knew you had.

 

4. Set goals for your life

How many times do you hear someone say they have plans to do something but never do them? How many times have you met someone with no direction in life?  Life is way too short to sit around not knowing what you want to do to get ahead. Make a plan for success. It doesn’t have to be direct but needs to at least allow you to see where you want to end up long term.

 

5. Smile More

People respond to a smile. Try smiling at a random person and see what happens. If you get anything less than a smile back, come find me. It’s the easiest way to make yourself and others feel good and comfortable. Smiling is said to trigger activity in the left frontal cortex area of your brain, the area where happiness is registered. Smiling is a very important part of connecting with others. Receiving a smile back from others is going to do nothing but help raise your confidence.

 

Stop being so negative about yourself and learn to enjoy what you offer to the world. No one else can enjoy what you offer to life if you don’t enjoy yourself.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” 
Dr. Seuss

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I’ll support you, Frank Ocean.

It’s a taboo subject within a genre that emphasizes masculinity at every turn. Although it’s known that the music industry is filled with people who identify themselves as homosexual, some people refuse to acknowledge that it exists. It’s like some people truly believe that every artist is straight and it’s blasphemy to think otherwise. As if every hip-hop artist is toting pistols and gang-bangin’ like they try to portray in their music. It makes no sense.

As of a couple of days ago, we may be on our way towards more openness in music.

On his tumblr page, Odd Future’s Frank Ocean posted a letter that was intended for the closing thank you’s of his upcoming July 17 album, Channel Orange. In the letter, the singer admitted that his first love was in fact, a man.

Ocean immediately received support from fellow Odd Future member Tyler the Creator, Russell Simmons, Solange Knowles and many others. Even co-author of Jay-Z’s book Decoded, Dream Hampton, wrote a letter in support of Frank Ocean’s decision. But where there is positive support, there is negative criticism. Many people decided to call Frank Ocean gay slurs and claim that they can’t listen to his album. Bombarding the man’s twitter timeline with negative comment after negative comment, showing their true colors as bigots.

If the man’s own mother supports him, why should we as fans say anything different. It’s his personal decision to love whoever he wants to love behind closed doors. If anything, I admire Frank Ocean. Hip-hop culture is and has been homophobic for ages. In taking a risk as big as this one was, he essentially slapped conventional wisdom in the face and allowed himself to be free to write whatever music he feels like writing. He has complete artistic freedom in the writing of his songs.

It’s hard enough just trying to be a black man in America. But as a heterosexual black man, I can’t imagine being a bisexual man would make things much easier. But I’ll still be supporting Frank Ocean on July 17th. His sexual preference changes nothing; the guy is still a genius songwriter with an incredible ceiling. And if someone wants to call Frank Ocean names for having feelings for either sex, maybe you take a look in the mirror and think about who you are. Real, confident people could care less what another person does in their private life.

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