I have said and done things in media — writing, videos — that has caused people to say I’m cocky or arrogant or not-humble-enough. This post is not about me — it’s about those people and the mindset behind such statements.
Listen to this fact of life: Most people in life look around at where they are in the world and believe that their station is where they belong in life. They believe that’s where they are destined to stay, and that’s exactly what they do — their destinies are decided at that very moment. And that’s fine; every person should be free to be who they are. I don’t judge such individuals.
If you’re going to pull yourself up from a low position in life — in any venture — to the high levels, humble alone won’t get you there. You have to be crazy enough — in some way — to believe that this dramatic upward movement is possible. Not only possible, but that you are the one to prove it’s possible.
Humble is the attitude assumed by people who have figured out very efficient ways to knock themselves down mentally. No matter what good things they do, these people always find a reason to tell themselves, ‘I’m not that good.’
Now I know what you’re thinking. “(Fill in name of some favorite famous person you like) is humble, and (s)he’s great at what (s)he does!” Understand: Humble is the front some people put on because they strive, for some reason, to appear to be just like everyone else. This is complete bullshit, of course, because if they were like everyone else they wouldn’t be famous! To get to that level that person needed to be supremely confident — even arrogant and cocky and all the other bad words used to describe someone who refuses to self-deprecate. Your favorite “humble” star, deep down, in the area of their existence that allows them to be as great as they are, is not humble in the slightest. They think they’re the shit, and fuck who disagrees. The thing is some of your star idols care enough to front a different persona (the “humble” ones) and some don’t give a damn (the “cocky” or “arrogant” people you despise for their attitude). Deep down, they all have to have some things in common to get to where they are.
Those “most people” I mentioned earlier? They want to stay where they are. They make a conscious decision to stay where they are. Furthermore, they take offense to seeing anyone — especially you — formulating thoughts or taking action that says, I belong someplace better than this. And they’ll do what they can to throttle you, usually in the form of talking down on your work and aspirations.
I watched a Kanye West interview in which Kanye proclaimed that being a fan of Kanye West meant that you were really a fan of yourself. What he meant was that being a fan of Kanye was to embody what he represented: A person who came from the bottom to the top because he believed in himself — much disproportionately to what he had accomplished — 1,000% when no one else even took him seriously. That’s what being a fan of Kanye meant, to Kanye.
Many of you are not even a fan of yourself.
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People have ideas for great things they want to do, but they go and defeat themselves before anyone even knows their plans or their talents. They tell themselves to not be arrogant. To not feel so confident. To make sure no one would ever call them cocky. To stay humble.
To those who feel being humble is a virtue: You’re full of shit. Being humble isn’t even about you. It has nothing to do with how you perform or how you think. Humble is just the way you want people to perceive you. You don’t want to toot your own horn either because you don’t believe yourself strongly enough, or you’re afraid of the attention that comes with being too good or going too far. You are not even a fan of yourself.
Think about what we do when we are fans of things or people: We yell their names. We cheer loudly when they do well and think of ways to rationalize the situation when things don’t go so well. We defend them tooth and nail, to the point of real anger when someone disagrees with the greatness you proclaim. We take absolutely no shit when it comes to the slander of that TV show, or product, or R&B singer when we are fans of them. We would would be outraged if they allowed it and we don’t even really believe it when they talk down on themselves — you know you’re the best, we would say to them.
Do you do that for yourself?