We judge others based on how we judge ourselves

One of the first things people usually ask me is, ‘Gabourey, how are you so confident?”
“I hate that. I always wonder if that’s the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. ‘RiRi! How are you so confident?’ Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. “You seem so confident! How is that?” – Gabrourey Sidibe

Gabrourey Sidibe is a Hollywood actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild award and a Golden Globe, for her first ever acting role in the movie, “Precious”. Her role in ‘Precious’ earned her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. Quite an impressive achievement.

So why does she get asked why she is so confident?
After all, why shouldn’t she be so confident? She is an award winning actress. Many actors and actresses in Hollywood never get nominated for any of the big awards like the BAFTA, or the Golden Globe. Gabrourey got nominated for her first ever role.

She is asked, because she does not fit the Hollywood stereotypical image of a beautiful woman. She is not slim. You couldn’t even describe her as chubby. She does not have a slender nose. She is not light-skinned. Gabrourey Sidibe is a plus-sized black woman.

We judge others based on how we judge ourselves.

When someone asks Gabrourey; “How are you so confident?” What they are really saying is; “If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t be so confident. If I looked like you, even with my award and nominations, I would not be confident.”

We judge others based on how we judge ourselves.

You see the ‘wimpy’ young man get up to speak and start wondering; “What’s he got to say for himself?”  You assume he has neither confidence nor eloquence.
If you do not perceive him to be well educated, at the back of your mind you might also be thinking; “He is going to embarrass himself.”

If you are hesitant to speak up when you are with highly educated people you expect people who are less educated than you to be equally hesitant. You expect people to be insecure about the things you are insecure about.

We judge others based on how we judge ourselves.

You see a young lady with lots of acne of her face and you assume she will have low confidence. Why? Because if you had her acne you wouldn’t be confident, you wouldn’t want to be seen.

We judge others based on how we judge ourselves.

We need to make a conscious effort to be aware of how we judge others and subsequently ourselves. We need to stop judging people based on their appearance, clothes, education and how much money they have.

Richard Branson never went to university, but he is a millionaire. I bet most of us would like to have him as a good friend.

If you have never seen or heard of Stephen Hawking (RIP), this genius, could so easily be discounted as a disabled nobody. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

Just think of all the interesting people you might have known if you were not so judgmental of others.

Think of all the opportunities that may have passed you by because you didn’t dare show up and be seen. You decided that you didn’t have the right look, the right clothes, the appropriate social standing, the right education,  so you stayed away. You didn’t want to be seen.
Think of all the missed opportunities, because you judged yourself harshly.

It is time to stop being so hard on ourselves. We need to realise and accept that we are ‘enough’ as we are. Yes, there are areas of our lives that can be improved, but, as we are, we are enough to contribute positively to the lives of others and to society.

Gabrourey Sidibe is a young woman who knows she is enough.

“I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame.”  – Gabrourey Sidibe


About the author

Jacqueline Akakpo

Jacqueline believes that individuals have the power to make an enormous difference and is passionate about helping people achieve their potential. She had a varied career which includes working as a trainer, marketing professional and civil engineer. She has worked in the UK, Spain and Ghana. She is the founder of www.alessordinarylife.com

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