#2 Apologize when you take yourself out of character!  

Proclaiming positive affirmations on a daily basis does not mean you’re confident. Walking with your head held high is not what makes you confident. Portraying an image of grandeur still does not make you confident.

You can even believe with all your heart that you’re confident but true confidence doesn’t shine until tested.


Let’s make one thing clear, a truly confident person would never take herself out of character. For the purpose of this article, taking yourself out of character means:

Doing things you normally wouldn’t do given your concept of who you are.

And, OR

Accepting things you normally wouldn’t accept given your concept of who you are

Because you need some form of validation.

Seeking validation can be a search for approval, praise, attention, affection, privilege, company, benefit, belongingness, security, significance, justification, etc.. Essentially, you need someone to react to you in a specific way so you can reaffirm and feel good about who you are.

If the person reacts positively (the way you want), it reaffirms your false confidence. If they react negatively (not the way you want), it can nag at your insecurities and send them slapping you in the face. Of course you must fight back!! (lol)Man Doing Boxing

So, you may lash out and engage in even more “out of character” behavior.   

I intend to write an article about confidence but for now, confidence is tested in situations where you can:

(a) Potentially do something to gain another’s validation. 

And, OR

(b) Accept something to maintain another’s validation.

Will you succumb to validation-seeking behavior? Or will you choose to be your own source of validation? You must be very aware of yourself to notice when you are faced with that decision. In reality, it’s never really as clear as a question. It’s much more subtle than that. 

This makes it particularly easy to seek validation while still believing you are confident. In the moment, you can find multiple ways to justify your behavior while keeping your self-concept intact. All it takes is a little mental adjustment. It can eventually go on until you barely recognize yourself anymore.

Ever had a flashback moment when you’ve asked yourself : “What was I thinking when I did that ?” There are times when I’ve had to stop and ask myself : What are you doing? Is this even you? A lot of the time, it was because of validation-seeking behavior.

To be your own source of validation means:  

Being able to affirm and feel good about your self-concept, without needing to do or accept anything, for the sake of another’s validation.

It requires confidence in your conception of who you are. This is impossible if your self-concept is built on false confidence. In that case, you will continue to do and accept things that are incoherent with your self-concept. Thus, you will always take yourself out of character. 

Given all discussed above, you never actually take yourself out of character. The validation-seeking part of you has always been there. It’s simply hidden by a self-concept built on false confidence. The issue isn’t exactly with your self-concept, it’s with its engineering. 

You’ve guessed it! This wasn’t an article about apologizing when you’ve taken yourself out of character. It’s more of an “apologize when you’ve kept yourself in denial article”.

It’s okay to deconstruct how you view yourself to better understand it.

It will help you achieve the goal of PenDorah’s box: 

“A quest to understand and engineer a fulfilling self-concept”

#Jointhequest = don’t forget to subscribe!


#1 Apologize when you don’t stand up for yourself!

I have a tendency to give myself credit for most things that happen to me, especially the bad.

I am not being hard on myself. I just have a strong belief that life rarely ever just happens to me. More often than not, I create the circumstances in which life is allowed to happen.

In adverse situations, I’m usually more angry with myself than anyone else. You might recognize this feeling. It can begin with a sense of blame toward some other party and develop into a  realization that you could have avoided all of it….


No,  I do not mean always being ready to argue or fight.

I do mean being an active participant in your own life.

This can mean anything from your choice in mood to your choice in what to accept from people.

We have a lot more control than we like to take credit for. Control comes with accountability so it’s easier to reject it. That way, we won’t have to blame ourselves when life goes wrong.

Active participation starts with being honest with yourself

Stop tricking yourself into believing what you wish to be true instead of reality.

Stop trying to convince yourself you’re okay with anything that doesn’t feel right.

Stop “going with the flow”.

Dishonesty is the ultimate “going with the flow” move. You are allowing your life to be a comfortable fantasy instead of assuming your true role in it. Life isn’t just happening, therefore you’re  passively contributing to it even when you’re just going with the flow. You’re simply waiving your right to a say in the outcome.

On a serious note, why wouldn’t you want a say in the outcome especially if you are a woman?

As a black woman living in 21st century USA, I aim to exercise control over my life every chance I get! I do it in memory of all the women before me who couldn’t and those who still can’t today.

Being honest with yourself gives you the confidence to trust in you:

Trust is built on honesty. How can you trust yourself when you feed yourself lies? Dishonesty creates mistrust in your relationship with yourself. Honesty fosters trust in that relationship.

As a result, you become more confident in your intuition. You become more adept at detecting and accepting your truth, emotions, and wants.

The ability to trust yourself gives you the courage to take initiative:

Not only do you have to live with your choices, you also have to live with those you don’t make.

Ever told yourself something would get better and it didn’t?

Or, ever done something to avoid an adverse consequence all the while you’re miserable doing it?

Confidence in your intuition gives you the courage to take initiative because you can trust you know what is best. You can trust yourself to live on your own terms, make decisions, voice your opinions, and create your own rules.

This is called standing up for yourself!

It helps you avoid resentment or worst: the starring role in a play called “life’s victim”

One of the respondents to my ‘why do you apologize?’ survey answered:

JT “ I tend to put myself in other people’s shoes, sometimes I can be a bit cruel but when I catch myself or realize I am causing someone some type of  downfall I apologize. Realizing you did something wrong and owning up to it shows character”

Isn’t it cruel to not stand up for yourself. Aren’t you causing yourself harm when you choose to be passive and play life’s victim?

When you realize the harm you cause, doesn’t owning up to it show character?

Apologize! Accept your apology! Be ruthless when you stand up for yourself!

You owe yourself an apology: Intro

DG:  “When I think I hurt someone’s feelings. When I know for sure I did something wrong and I feel bad about it”.

BT:  “When I know I’m at fault”

I asked a few people why they apologize to others and as expected, all the answers were some variation of a need to express remorse.

I did something (act)+ I don’t feel right about it (remorse)= I apologize (Expression)

While the answers gave me a clear understanding as to why people apologize, most of them didn’t tell me what people get out of it. The answers seemed to shy away from any self-serving reasoning while focusing on simply expressing remorse. I understand the need to express remorse, but what is the motive behind it? 

SP: “ Apologizing is essentially when you hurt or do wrong to someone and feel remorse so you apologize. Sometimes, we don’t even know why we’re apologizing but do it because we feel like that’s what we need to do”

 I’ll  make a general guess that people are motivated to apologize to make themselves and the other party feel better. If that is true, why is it so hard to use this remedy for ourselves? why do we do everything else except apologize to ourselves to quench our own need to feel better? 

Isn’t it weird if you apologize to other people more often than you ever- if at all- apologize to yourself?

 How can you never commit remorseful acts toward yourself, but find the time to commit them toward others? I can barely imagine the possibility.

If you can feel remorse to the point where you need to express it to another person, don’t you (out of love and respect) owe yourself the same courtesy?


CR: “It’s mostly out of habit. Sometimes though, it’s a way for me to acknowledge my mistakes, keep myself humble, because I know I’m stubborn and oblivious at times”

Before you can apologize or even feel remorse you must first acknowledge the harm caused by your actions. This acknowledgement is especially tricky because we assume we love ourselves too much to hurt ourselves. At the risk of sounding cliché, those whom you love the most can hurt you the most; yes! this applies to yourself as well. 

As a result of our assumption, we subconsciously dismiss the harmfulness of our actions and can’t feel any remorse for them.    


I did something (act)+  this part of the equation is missing = do everything else except apologize. 

In my own journey to recognize when I have hurt myself, I’ve identified situations when I owe myself an apology. Stay tuned as I share them with you in this series. 

It’s always a pleasure, until next time!





How to take yourself on a proper date..

This isn’t some take yourself out or do something nice to stroke your ego article. It’s actually quite the opposite and much less expensive….

Tonight is a night of your distinctive splendor: a combination of the finest of everything you have to offer.
From the superficial experience of your best fragrance to the core of your most genuine being, you’re ready for the best date of your life thus far! As you stand in front of your mirror, the excitement agitates every bone in your body. You decide to entertain your imagination and visualize each enticing detail.

You can see all of the intricacies and appreciate every ounce of passion that went into the planning of this exceptional date. At this point, it would have been impossible for you to go any further in satisfying your every taste.
But then, you realize the date is taking place right there, literally right in front of your mirror…..

Despite your disappointment, you pull up a chair and sit directly in front of the mirror facing the finest of yourself.
“Are you impressed?”
Can you believe it? That’s your date’s first question to you. Not how are you? How was your day? But:

Fighting to conceal a rush of confusion, You almost want to scream:

“Let’s see… um, Why would I be impressed by this foolishness you call a date?”
Instead, you pause for a while to understand the question. You realize your date wasn’t talking about the setting at all but rather the people, or in this case person on the date.
Looking at the Best of you, you’re forced to honestly think about how impressive you really find yourself or how much you actually buy into your own hype. You analyze every aspect of your life based on where you currently are emotionally, financially, intellectually etc.

As the date progresses, you also analyze who you are: how you handle situations, why you’re motivated to anything that you do, what you want out of life, your relationships, and the personality that is yours.

You wonder if living out the rest of your life where you are right now would be an impressive and satisfying life to live BY YOUR STANDARDS. Would you have fulfilled your potential? Would you be proud of yourself? and would you buy into your own hype?

Although you already knew the answers, hearing them honestly and out loud from your date’s mouth feels different. By the end of the night, you ask your date the most important question of all: Are you convenience or the one?
“Convenience” is the work in progress that is your current self aiming to find “the one”. The one is still a work in progress, however, it is your ideal self. If your answer is convenience, that’s okay. You value yourself enough to realize you can do and deserve so much better than you currently have to offer.

While you may continue to date your current self, you have faith it isn’t the one. There is better so you don’t settle and continue to work toward a more fulfilling version of you.

If your answer is: “ I am the one”, it doesn’t mean you don’t value yourself and I must certainly congratulate you for having self-actualized.

You will have multiple love affairs with yourself, a lot of which will be with convenience whom you will drop once “the one” comes around. Sometimes, you may even fool yourself into believing you have found “the one” when you think you have a solid idea of who you are and where you’re heading. Hopefully, you will continue to take yourself on such proper dates where interaction and asking legitimate questions is required. They should help you discern the difference between convenience and the one.

Well, it was a pleasure; hopefully your date was a success and happy Valentine’s day!!

Beautifully selfish

Once, a very close friend told me I was selfish. (To be fair, I called her selfish first)

My response without hesitation was: “I know”

She then asked, “Do you not feel bad that people think you’re selfish?”

“No” I replied.

Our conversation irritated my life for the remainder of the day. I couldn’t even enjoy the earlier peacefulness of not feeling bad. I began to reflect on my actions with a selfishness scanner trying to understand why people would think I was selfish.

After all the reflecting, I came to the conclusion that it was a colossal waste of my damn time.

So, I stopped lying to myself and focused on what was really bothering me.

I wasn’t doing all of this reflecting because I wanted to “understand why people would think I was selfish”.

I was doing it for my own benefit; there I go being selfish again!

I was doing it to understand why I didn’t hesitate to admit I was selfish .

It was all to better understand my self-concept.


Your self concept is essentially your own perception or idea of who you are. It is the set of beliefs you hold about you that guide your interactions with yourself and other people. I think it is fluid and self-serving by nature which is why I am amazed at our audacity to call each other selfish.

I realized two things during my reflection. First, I hold a completely different definition of selfishness when it comes to myself (talk about self-serving :). I had long chosen to ignore the negative connotation of selfishness that has especially put women at a disadvantage and embraced its spiritual positivity. Being unselfish does not make you a good person. The inability to be selfish has a lot more to do with a lack of self worth than it does with being a good person. Selfishness means having enough self-respect to choose YOU; to purposefully seek self-validation, self-understanding, and self-love.

The second thing I realized is even based on my own definition, I still was not nearly as beautifully selfish as I hoped to be. I still didn’t do everything for my own satisfaction with a complete lack of consideration for other people’s opinion, admiration, or validation. Truthfully, the majority of us do not even have the strength to be this selfish. The idea of seeking ourselves with a lack of consideration for others can be so frightening that we’d rather hide behind pretend self love, wallow in self pity, do things to impress people, compare ourselves to other people, and entertain people’s grandiosity. We’d rather compromise even when we get the shorter end of the stick because the alternative is ourselves and that’s not good enough.
I’m sure millions before me have asked why it is so hard to let go of emotionally draining situations. The only answer that makes sense to me is we invest too much of our own significance into other people. We attach too much of our value to the way people react to us. The more you can attribute your worth to yourself, the more important you become to your own advancement, the more faith and control you have, the more engaged you become in your own wellbeing, and the more willing you are to let go.
I enjoy seeing people describe scenarios when it’s “okay to be selfish”. All I see is “wannabe selfish” people running toward selfishness for comfort as if it’s a defense mechanism. It’s hilarious because unfortunately I can relate. The scenarios they describe are usually final attempts at self-love, peace of mind, or preservation. Selfishness is not an armor you should put on when you’ve had enough; it is a commitment to yourself. I make it a habit to study and define my self concept because I am not okay living in a world where I run to selfishness for comfort. I am not okay “loving and accepting” myself because someone “empowered” me to do so. I want selfishness to become my way of life so I can truly understand and design my self-concept. I guess admitting I was selfish was some strange first step “speak it into existence” phenomenon.
You should know though, one of the biggest reasons I admitted to it was simply because I really didn’t feel like arguing with my friend that day lol.