Confidence in our abilities is a key ingredient to our growth. When we have confidence, we have the self belief that we can achieve great things. As I’ve said plenty of times in my videos and in my work, I have confidence that I can get somewhere with what I have right now.
The same is true with other people too.
But much like with optimism, confidence can go a bit too far. It can take a turn for the worst and become something that we call arrogance.
Today I want to shed some more light on exactly what is arrogance, how it’s created, and also share some measures that can be taken to not let your confidence go off on the deep end.
As mentioned above, arrogance is essentially an over-inflated amount of confidence. However it’s focusing on a particular aspect. For example, if you are a manager of a fast-food restaurant, you may have confidence that you’ll be able to manage your store very well on your own. However it’s arrogant to think that you could run the entire franchise company by yourself.
Much like with toxic optimism, it might “sound nice”, but the reality is that it’s impossible. You need to rely on others just as much as other rely on you. A lone wolf mentality won’t get you very far.
But it’s from that arrogance that we can understand where a lot of it stems from. True, as mentioned above it comes from an overwhelming amount of confidence. But it’s that source of confidence that has led a person to think from “I can do this,” to “I’m the only one who can do this. No one else can.”
That line of thinking can be dangerous when you consider certain contexts. A manager can become arrogant because they can’t rely on their team for support, forcing themselves to do everything. They may say things to the higher ups like…
“I know my employees better than you do, what makes your decision the right decision?”
This only creates conflict for everyone involved. Flying solo might have worked in the past, but in a time where teamwork is encouraged, in fact necessary, arrogance or hubris doesn’t work. You need other people, even if it’s one or two people.
What Can Be Done?
But what is more important than the causes (because the sources can be vast.) is actually what can we do about it?
Much like with toxic optimism, it’s important to have some grasp of reality. You want to use that to stay in check.
For example, the first two years of business I was a hypocrite, but I’d also say arrogant.
For some time I went on my own, not relying on people unless I absolutely had to.
It was a real battle to get me to admit I needed help. That I couldn’t do everything myself.
But once reality started to slowly sink in, I began to realize the importance of people.
Even understanding the importance of my audience as well.
I realize now that without my audience supporting me. I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.
To have that sort of check in place we are able to bring ourselves back to reality. Yes it would’ve been nice to continue going and trying to rely on myself for everything.
But there are times where you need to back down, to check yourself to see if that’s arrogance talking or if it’s confidence that’s spurring you on.
Seriously, check yourself.
Confidence is certainly key and you probably have an abundance of it if you’ve been taking my lessons to heart.
That or perhaps you are still growing it.
Regardless, it’s important to check to see if what you are doing is because you have faith and believe in yourself or if you are plain arrogant.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
This post is part of an 3 month writing challenge that I’m committing myself to. Every day for 3 months, I’ll be writing articles with specific criteria in mind. You can learn all about my reasoning as well as what that criteria is right here. This is 20 of 91 of this series.
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