Is it confidence or pride?


Self praise. Believing in yourself. Arrogance or pride. I think there lies a very thin line in between those three. In the context of , for example saying, “I am a good singer.” Is that confidence, arrogance or just praising yourself? This subject has  actually disturbed my mind for a while now. Something does not sit right with me with people praising themselves, but on the other hand, I find that sort of confidence, to stand up and say you are good in something, admirable.
On why it does not sit right with me, that should be blamed on what I was taught and experienced.  Chema chajiuza,kibaya chajitemebeza( good things are known while bad ones have to market themselves or something of the sort). For as long as my memory of primary boarding school goes, I have always been a disciplined pupil. Top that up with always topping in my class and being made a prefect in class 5 all the way to a school captain in class 8. What that meant is that, I didn’t have ever to praise myself. There was always someone else to do it. I thus at that young age learnt that truly “chema chajiuza“. I also learnt to shyly smile and say thank you when heaped with praises.
Turn to high school and I attended a school that speaks for itself. Which saw me getting lots of ” girls from that school are usually worth their salt” from then till now. Technically speaking,my experience with praise has always been, let someone else do it. Not you. I have tried to remember if someone ever taught me that, but I have come up with the fact that, I must have learnt that from what I experienced.
Of late I have been honored to hear several people say how they know they are good at something or are going places or are great. I say honored because for me that is new. And it reeks of courage, bravado and above all confidence. Whether this people are great or good at those things is yet to be seen or is left to the eyes of the beholder. I love courageous people. People who go out of their way and stand up for whatever they believe in.
I have been intrigued by this self praise too. I have been on a journey to discover self for a while now. Almost two years since I discovered that I wouldn’t take a bullet for myself but I would for others. And I vowed to love myself first and be my number one fan. I realized that what society says about me may be awesome, but if I don’t believe it, then I’m not awesome at all. I had to thus start discovering myself from afresh. Its been a long journey. I have taken myself out, I have cried more times than I ever did, I have been frustrated and extremely excited. But above all, I have learnt to love myself and in the process fallen in love with myself. All that said, that is why self praise intrigues me. It shows that regardless of what people see or say about you, you choose to believe in yourself. It also teaches me that there is nothing wrong with praising myself. That sounds weird to me even as I write it but its the truth. There was a time I visited my primary school principal, and she has two boys in primary school. So they were talking education matters and she turns and asks me to tell them how I used to perform in mathematics. “Well” I said. And she was like no, “not well, she used to get between 98% and 100% without doing any single calculation in her paper”. I felt as though she was chastising me for not owning up to my ‘success’.
All in all, what do you think? I have ‘praised’ myself a lot intentionally in this writing. How did it make you feel? As though I was bragging or just stating facts? At what point should someone be humble and still own up their achievements, successes and strengths? And in this world where everyone is ,man for himself God for us all, how important is it to speak greatness into your own life?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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