Post after post, I scroll through social media and think to myself “your insecurity is showing.” I don’t say or do it on purpose or for the sake of judgement; it’s a quirk I’ve developed from the recognition of behavioral patterns. The root of this habit has nothing to do with my peers, celebrities, and family; it’s about how I view myself.
My phobia which fuels me to be great and the hindrance which holds me back from my potential is I’ve always felt misunderstood; this is my big childhood insecurity. My cousin, Brian Freeman, once told me creativity is where narcissism and self-doubt collide and I agree. Mine is rooted in my lifelong search for acceptance for who I am without conformity to others’ ideals and/or judgement.
Despite my insecurity, I’ve never been afraid to display my unabashed self. I feared a well-deserved spotlight and tended to lean on my abilities more than being my own mouthpiece. If I positioned myself in a group, it wouldn’t take long to see I was the standout, and this was how I’d hoped others would. My young brain didn’t take into account others would still see me as part as a whole.
I’ve always wanted others to vouch and speak for me, based on my merits and skillset. When I’d ask for assistance, outsiders who believed in me didn’t believe I needed help. As a result, I have found myself in a continual loop to do almost everything on my own, only to prove my inner monologue of “I told you no one would understand you” correct and go right back in my hole until I came up with my next idea.
I need to do a better job of being my own cheerleader. The reason I don’t outwardly is rooted in what? You guessed it: my childhood insecurity, my fear I’d be misunderstood. I’ve rapped for decades I’m the best at what I do. Yet somehow, to do so when the words weren’t put into a rhythmic pattern of couplets is difficult. I never liked being a braggart and as a youth, learned to not be a showoff. This probably deserves its own paragraph.
The two times I showed off to my friends, I broke bones. To impress my friends, I fractured my left arm, because I told them I could rollerblade with a toddler in my hands. Three years later, I chipped a bone in my left wrist, because I declared I could peddle my bike downhill, full speed. On numerous occasions, I’d executed both, very well without an audience. However, it always went left whenever I said “Hey guys, look at me!”
This complex of not knowing the boundary between confidence and showing off has plagued my career. I’ve been too hard on myself; in order to establish boundaries, you have to or have been pushed to-and past-your limits. I see everyone’s insecurity in their social media posts because part of me wants to get past what has held me back. If I don’t project how much I believe in me, how can I want or expect others? People probably see my insecurity of feeling misunderstood in all my work the same way I do with theirs.
I need to talk my shit more. I have worked hard enough on my God-given gifts to give that “Big Boy Talk.” So here it is:
I’m fucking great; like really. I can play three instruments and can sing. I have perfect pitch. I’ve made beats for 21 years and even my okay ones slap. I can out-rap most of your favorite rappers. My way with words is so elite. There aren’t too many things I can’t do if I apply myself. No one has written more about black fatherhood than me. The most insightful content about black fatherhood is a documentary I wrote, directed, produced, edited, and made all of the promotional graphics. The skillset to do all these things make me a one-of-one.
I’ve spent way too long as the “If you know, you know” guy. I’m will continue to work through my insecurity with an acknowledgment of its existence. Why? Because I’m fucking awesome, an all-time great, and I have a light that shines even when I try to dim it down or use it to shine it indirectly on others. No more sitting in the fucking corner. I got the receipts…ask about me and those who know will inform you that I’m not exaggerating about myself, at all. That’s big boy talk.