When confidence is repulsive

During the quarantine I read Glennon Doyle’s latest release Untamed. There is so much to love about this book, but today I want to talk about these quotes:

“I have noticed that it seems far easier for the world to love a suffering woman than it is for the world to love a joyful, confident woman…

…I have been conditioned to mistrust and dislike strong, confident, happy girls and women. We all have…

…We become people who say of confident women ‘I don’t know, I can’t explain it—it’s just something about her. I just don’t like her. I can’t put my finger on why’…

…Their brazen defiance and refusal to follow directions makes us want to put them back into their cage.”

Raise your hand if this felt like a punch in the stomach to you? I highlighted the heck out of this chapter because I have not read many books where I resonated so deeply.

I have dealt with this my entire life. My mama raised all three of her kids to be confident. Whenever we would come home from school and tell her someone didn’t like us or wasn’t nice to us she would say “Oh, don’t worry about them. They are just jealous of you.” Every. Single. Time. We would roll our eyes and tell mama she was crazy, but you know those words sank into our subconscious.

Have I been walking around the earth thinking everyone is jealous of me? HAHA! Heck-to-the-NO!!! But, I have been walking around giving little to no energy toward what others think of me for a verrrrrrry long time.

My M.O. is that I get super attached to a mission I am on, and then I go get it done. Along the way I don’t play victim, I never ask for a pity party, I never give energy to someone else’s worries and concern, I just keep trail blazing.

At the end of my high school senior year I was offered the editor position for my local magazine, and I accepted. At 18 I was managing a staff of freelance writers who were mostly in their 40’s-60’s. It required learning curves for me and them, but my bosses (a husband and wife team) were always so encouraging. I ended up working for them for seven years and held several different positions in the company. One day I asked them “why on earth did you hire me at 18? I was a BABY!” He said ‘When you were 16 years old you called and asked to be a writer. Your very first writer’s meeting you showed up, took a seat, and believed you belonged at the table. You volunteered to write the feature, having no idea that was reserved for the senior writer, and when he dropped the ball on the deadline, you threw together a great piece in less than a week. We knew then we wanted to keep you around.”

I am forever grateful for my first “real” bosses and the potential they always saw in me. But other people, not so much. The same exact scenario from some of the other writers at that table were:

“Who the hell does she think she is just showing up and pitching ideas?”

“Where did she even come from…I’ve never heard of her. Who are her parents?”

“Well…that was bold. She has guts.” (With an eye roll)  

A year into that job several of the writers had overturned. Interestingly enough, I can distinctly remember two female writers who couldn’t handle my presence. The men were actually very kind, tolerated my youthful management learning curves and helped show me some ropes. But my very existence made multiple women uneasy and they left the publication.

In my twenties, this repeating experience deeply bothered me, and I would try to alter my personality to make other people feel more comfortable. When we live out of alignment with our authentic selves, this causes an inner war. I’ve written about this in the past. Eventually I had to just take off the lampshade and let my light be too bright for some people.

If you are a person who is “too much” for some, I want to encourage you to keep shining.

My husband is a feature film Director of Photography. This means he is a lighting EXPERT. He knows the science behind when and why you use every kind of light. He will intentionally dim, brighten, cool and warm up lights. He knows when he needs to bring out the green filters, orange filters, blue and so on. Every single shade, color and intensity is needed to tell a story.

Each. One. Matters.

If you happen to have a super confident and intense personality like I do, we are simply too bright for some people. I want to encourage you to shine at your highest settings. Just like the world needs the soft lights and the cool lights to help people feel comfortable, the world needs YOU to help inspire people outside of their comfort zones.

You do not need a lamp shade, sister. They need to go buy sunglasses.

It’s not your problem. It’s theirs.

Shine on. (As Glennon would say….you’re an effing cheetah.)

*Written by Sophia Hyde. Sophia is a certified life coach specializing in helping people create the peace they crave in their lives. Her 12 week course is currently open for enrollment and will close on May 25. There are three ways to participate: self-coaching, group coaching or 1:1 coaching. For more info, visit her website.

*To receive an email notification any time this blog is updated, subscribe by visiting the website and downloading her free e-book “Creating Peace.”

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