Thinking

Overcoming my fear of pride

Our very own Simon Blosse gives a very candid account of how he overcame his fear of pride both personally and at work.

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There are two things that always come to mind when I think about Pride - the pride I have in myself and the importance of sharing that pride with others.

For years, I was someone who had very little pride for the person I knew I was.

This wasn’t because I was someone I didn’t want to be. It was because I feared that, by shouting about who I was, I would annoy others, attract criticism, and most importantly, be open to shaming.

Shame took control

Now, whether Pride is the opposite of shame or not - it felt like it was, and the shame took way too much control for many years of my life.

If there’s one thing I would love to tell my younger self, it would be to be proud of who you are. Not of who you could be, or could become, or might be, or might conform to be - but of who you truly are.

By placing trust in yourself, you find your true self - and perhaps it’s no surprise that this is the moment you will accelerate, appreciate, and love your life the most.

Overcoming my fear of pride is not intended to be a cliche or a bravado statement - it is a reflection of the fact that I genuinely ran from anything that shouted about who I truly was.

That of being a gay man.

As I grew up, the world around me shunned it. It was everything but something to be proud of. I was fearful. Told to ignore it.

So, to see Pride being celebrated was strange. It was scary.

To embrace Pride was everything that I had been taught not to do.

The idea of being part of it was ridiculously terrifying.

Yet, the day I did embrace it was the day I felt stronger than I ever had before.

My circle of friends

I will never forget the moment when my circle of friends made me realise that my life was not destined for disaster.

I had doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, investors, consultants, and financial advisors as friends - and as much as this may be ‘so what’ to many people - the support they gave me was in stark contrast to the 90s media message - that ‘coming out’ spelled the end of your life.

In the world of business, I was surrounded by successful men, with alpha male personalities. But it was also a time when women were becoming more successful. And in women, I found an amazing set of allies. They had similar feelings to me - a strange gratitude to be invited to the status meeting; a, “no, you go first,” mentality.

In me, women also found an ally. Through working to support women in business, I listened more attentively to women - and recognised similarities in my experience; familiar patterns, of self-doubt, self-limiting, and being afraid to bring your true self to the workplace that needed support from those around you, to overcome.

The pivot point

I spent a long time coming to terms with who I was. The pivot point was in a moment of grief at the end of a relationship with a boyfriend.

At this moment I became tired of pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I had been ‘limiting myself’ because it was easier to not participate in conversations about my weekends and most importantly my feelings.

And when I stopped pretending and talked about my life - there came with it, a strength. It gave me the power to be truly authentic and, as a result, I had more energy and more success.

It meant I could be proud and importantly, a role model to others.

These days, I can better share my skills, abilities, and business prowess and I’m more understood. It also means I can call out, shout about, and support those around me who are not as naturally supported as - dare I say it - the norm. This is so hugely important.

And this is what being proud means to me.

Be you. Be proud of you.

And be proud that you can support others.

Everyone deserves to feel Pride in who they are and what they have achieved.

In being yourself, you enjoy the world as you - not as someone else.

And at the same time, we should encourage others to do the same.

Because everyone should be able to be themselves.

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