Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million
ellenmillion

Rambly random stuff on confidence and validation



So I'm watching epiloguerant with some amusment, and glancing at fuckelfwood and giving some thought to elitism and hate communities and taking criticism and such.

Now, me, I got nothing against elitism. In many ways, EMG is as elite as they come. I'm waaay worse than those communities. I don't even pretend to be fair or non-influenced. I select work that *I* like and think will sell. I have a preference for the artists I've already got, simply because it's less work for me to add work to an existing artist than deal with a new one. I have rather specific likes and dislikes, and you'd better believe I select work according to them. It's all me, baby. And that's elite, if you like.

I can also see how resentment comes about. I shudder to think about the feelings I've had to hurt, 'cause I like people as a general rule, and I think it's better to nurture and encourage than shoot down. Even if they suck! I sucked once. I still do, at some things. Sucking is part of growing. (And yeah, that sounds realllly bad out of context.)

Which brings me to something I've been slowly gathering proof of. I am bolstered in this theory by the eons of spam: boost your self confidence! Lose weight (or gain specific mass...)!

That is: humans seek self-confidence outside of themselves.

We don't seem to be wired to see things in ourselves unless they are pointed out to us. If we are praised, we feel good about ourselves, if criticized, we feel poorly. There is no difference in our actual performance, or in the balance of what one accomplished in that day compared to ones failures, only in how others reacted to it.

I'm as guilty of this as the next person, too. Today, I'm on top of the world. I got several orders and some sweet messages from artists and enthusiastic responses to my articles, and I feel vindicated and happy. Tomorrow, maybe I'll get a sour flamer, and I'll spend an hour or more moping about. I crave the comments and letters and praises as much as any shallow Hal out there, and no matter what I've done that's good or right that day, a critical comment can take all the wind out of my sails.

Perhaps self-confidence is, by definition, the ability to see ones own worth despite the input of others. Perhaps what we are seeking is not confidence, but validation, and what I'm describing is simply a matter of dependency on that validation. Or perhaps I'm only rambling pointlessly. I suspect the latter.

It also got me thinking about arrogance and my own strange, towering ego, but that's a post for another time.
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