The other day Jack and I were driving across LA and listening to Atmosphere. The song Guns and Cigarettes came on. There’s this part of the song that goes:
I wanna bigger than Jesus and bigger than wrestling
Bigger than the Beatles and bigger than breast implants
I’m gonna be the biggest thing to hit these little kids
Bigger than guns, bigger than cigarettes
“It’s funny,” said Jack. “This song came out when they were just starting out, and they ARE huge now.”
It’s true. Atmosphere came out with “Guns and Cigarettes” in 2001, just three years into making music under that name, and they ARE huge now. It occurred to me that I could learn something from the blatant bravado of rappers. Being an artist, and especially a female artist, I’ve often felt like confidence is taboo. If someone compliments my work, I say thank you, but I don’t toot my own horn too much. Why is that?
Of course I have that demon voice most of us have - the one that tells me my ideas are worthless and I’m a fake who’ll never create anything good again. But I also have another voice that chimes in. A voice that tells me I love my work. And that I’m good at it. Really good at it!
I don’t think I celebrate that voice enough. I don’t think I give it air, for fear of being seen as boastful and arrogant. So to fight my way through that fear, I wrote it out in big letters and colored them in. It felt good.
I want to tell myself I’m great more often. I want to encourage others to do it, too. A bit of modesty is okay. It would be hard to relate to anyone without acknowledging our humanity and vulnerability. But enough false modesty. I’m good at my job. I’m a competent artist and I know it. I think I should be able to say so.
Do you ever keep positive self-talk to yourself? What would you love to write in big letters, proudly?