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Last Updated on February 28, 2018

Arrogance Is a Hidden Fear That Steals Your Confidence

Arrogance Is a Hidden Fear That Steals Your Confidence

When people hear you’ve written a book that’s selling around the world, the first question I often hear is “So what’s the biggest fear you see?” Even as I write this, I find it’s hard to hone in on one over all fear. However as a coach, I think one of my most important jobs is to help people build confidence. And the opposite of confidence is fear.

To which many will tell me “I have no fear in my life!” and yet when they read the book, they’re surprised by the hidden fears that lurk in their subconscious attacking their success. Not all fears wake you in the middle of the night covered in sweat and fearful for your life. Some are hidden and are the underlying causes of a lack of self confidence and a lack of self belief is often hiding in a fear that wishes to stay a stalker in your mind.

Ever noticed how you are awesome at something and yet pause when asked to do something new related to it?

Found yourself keeping quiet on an idea for fear of what people might think?

Have a burning ambition that you never seem to get around to?

Always one more job that needs to be done before you can send in that article or report or launch that website or share your ground breaking ideas?

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That could be a hidden lurker of a fear called arrogance.

Everybody Fears

We all know someone that is highly confident and seems to float around the room at parties or business events with pizzazz, natural charm and laughter and everyone knows who they are and wants to chat with them. Bet that person doesn’t fear arrogance right?

On the contrary they are just as likely to have their own internal automatic thought processes that are impacting on the actions and feelings, but they’ve learned the power of feeling confident and purveying that. That may not have had to think about it a great deal, however they will do things either automatically or with practice that enables them to feel confident.

I speak from experience here, I had the social ineptitude of a burnt sausage at social gatherings, always managing to say just the wrong thing and then not being able to stop myself from talking, sounding like the nearest thing to perpetual motion and yet still jabbering on, because my internal dialogue has gone into hyperdrive as I panic about what that person thinks of me, “oh no I didn’t mean that, what must they think!” I’d keep talking in an attempt to dig myself out of a conversation catastrophe. This didn’t just happen in social situations, I did it when I started networking too. And that meant the drive home could be a journey of hell as my mind replayed every conversation and convinced me that I was the worse human on the planet.

Arrogance Is a Thief of Confidence

Guess what this does to your confidence? To your ability to feel comfortable in any situation? Guess what it does to the way you feel, and if you feel negative, what does that do to your thoughts and actions? You’ve guessed it we are less likely to achieve what we wish to because our internal voices and beliefs have gone into automatic pilot and are intent on keeping us stuck in a loop that results in only ever the same level of success and nothing better.

So if you feel you lack confidence, if you find you speak too much or never share what you are actually thinking, or if you find your big dreams are remaining dreams and are still no nearer to reality; perhaps it’s time to check your attitude to arrogance.

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You see I can remember looking at other people in the room and thinking why can’t I be that person with the pizzazz and the natural style? Why can’t I be confident and relaxed? And the first thing I did was realize the internal conversation that I was replaying was one that said things like: they are better than you; they’ve been in the industry for years, what could you possibly have to add of benefit?

You are just a girl who leaves the men to the real conversations. (Yes a ridiculous thought to have, especially since I believe that we are capable of achieving anything we truly wish to and I’d been one of the UK’s youngest automotive body shop managers and learned so much as a young woman in the car industry! But hey I’m being honest here, because honesty with you could help you find the strength to be honest with yourself.)

The point is (not just to share really personal and unhelpful thoughts that I used to have!) that the thoughts that are allowed to run in our minds can impact on our actions and that then impacts on our results. Thus, the awesome thing is (that I love about coaching for its speed!) that if you want to get better results you need to change your thoughts.

Take Control of Your Automatic Thoughts

First of all, become aware of the automatic thought patterns you slip into. When you notice them depends on what works for you. What I call the science of being you will depend on the best way for you to deal with it.

For example, if you are a person who is told to quit caffeine for your health, are you the kind of person that stops from that moment on? Or are you the person that limits intake day by day to get to your goal? Do you like an app that keeps you motivated? Are you the kind of person that researches alternatives and the best way to go cold turkey on caffeine or are you someone that proclaims, “Why me” and does their best to hide in denial until the next doctor’s appointment?

The reason you need to consider the caffeine question is that it will help you understand the science of being you and your natural way of dealing with things. For me it’s all or nothing. So when I decided to deal with my fear of arrogance, I used the next tip. And to do that I had to appreciate what the automatic thoughts were. For me I went with the 1,2,3 approach:

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  1. Become aware of the automatic thoughts that you allow to run in your mind.
  2. Stop the mid thought.
  3. Choose a new, more motivating and positive thought to have instead.

Ideally you should do each step for one week before adding the next step to ensure mastery and not a half-hearted attempt at change.

Act it

Think of the person that seems to ooze confidence, success and happiness. How do they act? What do they say? How much do they listen? How do they stand? Where do they go? What do they talk about on social media? Sometimes noticing the traits of those that you admire can help you act more like them.

This is not about a broadway performance. However, it is about noticing how it makes you feel. It may not work for everyone. But for those that it helps, it can help fast. And before long the act becomes the reality.

Accept you

One of the reasons we don’t showcase our true potential is because we are scared about what people will think and how they will perceive us. As humans, we are by nature a social animal wanting others around us. And thus we work hard to be accepted and liked.

One of the quickest ways to be liked is to be you. The irony being that people hide who they are for fear of rejection. Learn to accept who you are and then people will automatically do the same for you too. People accept the perception of reality that you bring to them. Act scared in front of an audience? Your audience will look nervous. Smile as you walk into a party? People will smile back. Accept that you are good enough right now today.

Following on from accepting you by listening to what you think people are thinking about you can start to process the truth. When I’ve asked a audience to tell me what they are thinking at that time, rarely have they been thinking about me. It is our ego that tells us that people are talking about us, or don’t like us. When the audience replies, it tends to be things like “I wondered what to cook for tea.” Or “Will I get stuck in traffic again tonight.” Or “I wish I’d not worn these shoes, they aren’t as comfortable as I thought they were!” This is a great way of showcasing to people with a fear of public speaking that our greatest fears are usually not even in existence!

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Reshape reality

I often find that the clients I’m working with are, if not nationally recognized for their industry or hobby, it’s internationally appreciated, and yet still they enable a nagging inferior complex to stop them from getting their true results.

I remember a client recently who I repeated to them “So can I just clarify that you are one of the best in the UK and on the international panel for this profession, and you are asking me if you are good enough for X?” It was in this reframing they were able to see it was daft to even suggest that they may not be impeccably qualified and perfect for the job.

Look at the areas in your life where you wish you had more client and if you have top tip number 1, you will have become aware of the automatic thoughts that you let run riot in your mind. What evidence do you have for these beliefs? Quite often our minds know the truth and yet don’t let our hearts appreciate how awesome we are. Make a list of the facts that help you reshape your facts to help you appreciate what you are really capable and why you’ve every right to have confidence in this area of your life.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

More by this author

Mandie Holgate

Internationally endorsed, Fight the fear book in 5 languages helping thousands around the world.

How to Stop Racing Thoughts When Your Mind Won’t Let Up How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding) How to Effectively Set Goals in Life to Get Where You Really Want to Be What to Do When Asked About Weaknesses in a Job Interview 20 Coping Skills That Will Help You During Times of Stress

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Published on November 19, 2018

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

Have you ever heard the phrase “He had so much potential, it’s a shame he wasted it.” In our culture, not living up to your full potential is frowned upon, but why?

In this article, we will look into the factors that influence a person’s potential and the ways to help you live up to your full potential for a successful life.

What Determines a Person’s Potential?

A person’s potential is determined by several factors: Physical Security, Emotional Security, Environment and Mindset.

Physical Security

Before we can even strive to fulfill our potential, our basic physical needs must be met. Without adequate food, water and shelter, our days must be spent acquiring these basic needs in order to survive.

You can think of it this way, the person with the potential to become the most brilliant computer programmer ever could be living right now with a nomadic tribe in sub-Saharan Africa. But because they must spend their days meeting these basic physical needs, that potential will remain untapped.

Emotional Security

Humans are social animals, we don’t do well in isolation. Studies have shown that forming intimate bonds with others is incredibly important for our mental health. These bonds start to develop in infancy, babies rely on this bond with a parent or caretaker to fulfill their needs, and if the bond is missing for some reason it can have lifelong psychological consequences.

Environment

Your environment is another important factor that shapes how you achieve your full potential.

Just like the computer programmer in the previous example. You could have the potential to be the greatest composer since Beethoven, but if you had no access to music or you came from a family that didn’t value that skill set, it’s unlikely that you would fulfill your potential in that area.

Mindset

For most of us, we don’t have to worry about getting enough food, water or shelter. Both our physical and emotional needs have been met (to a large extent anyway). And any limits that our environment has imposed are minimal (especially with the availability of the internet).

So for most of us, the main thing that is limiting us from reaching our full potential is our mindset. Our mindset is the story we carry around with us in our head. It starts to develop in childhood and can be with us our entire life.

Your Mindset Is the Key

The problem with most people’s mindset is that it’s negative and limiting. The good news is that you can change your mindset. Author Carol Dweck in her best selling book Mindset points out that there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.

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A Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is one where you have concrete beliefs about yourself. Someone with a fixed mindset came up with “their story” in childhood and it hasn’t changes much over the years. They may believe that they aren’t good at public speaking, math or writing just because they struggled with those subjects in school.

So when something goes wrong, a common thought for someone with a fixed mindset is “What an idiot, I knew I wasn’t any good at that.” Or “Well that just confirmed what I already knew, I won’t be doing that again”. Having a fixed mindset just reinforces negative thoughts and attitudes, making it harder to reach your full potential.

A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. With a growth mindset, you believe anything is possible (but don’t confuse this with being delusional! As a 5’10” 54 year old I’m not going to play in the NBA!). It’s more of the way you think about and approach problems.

Let’s go back to the issue of not being good at public speaking, when things go wrong, instead of telling yourself that you have never been good at public speaking and never will be. A person with a growth mindset will analyze what went wrong and come up with solutions to make it better next time.

For instance, they may take a class on public speaking at their local community college, or join the Toastmaster’s organization. Whatever it is, they don’t look at failure as an insurmountable roadblock, rather a minor detour on the road to their destination.

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

1. Develop a goal

When setting goals, it’s important to keep in mind three things:

First, they should be specific and not vague. So instead of saying “I want to live up to my full potential in life”, a more specific goal would be “I want to become the best (salesman, artist, internet marketer) that I can be.” This is a much more specific goal.

Second, your goal should be measurable. In other words, you should be able to measure your progress towards the goal. Again, it’s much easier to measure your progress to becoming the best artist you can be than it is trying to measure your progress at living up to your “full potential”.

Finally, a goal must be written down. This takes the goal out of the realm of wishful thinking and makes it more real. It also can serve as motivation if you post your goal where you will see it. Put it on your desk, or next to your computer just to remind yourself to keep moving forward. In short, a goal that isn’t written down is just a wish.

This article can help you about setting personal goals to become a great achiever:

How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

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2. Understand that achieving your goal is often times a by-product of what you are doing

Let’s say that your goal is to become the best writer you can be. You may want to measure your success by your ability to get published or in the case of blogging, how widely read your articles are.

Instead of constantly worrying about reaching your goal to be the best, your time is much better spent just writing. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

It’s the same with any goal, it’s important to set them, but achieving your goal of becoming the best salesperson is really just the by-product of you getting out there and selling!

3. Don’t let popular opinion dissuade you

Have you ever heard of the Bannister Effect? For years it was considered a law of nature that the human body was incapable of running a mile in less than 4 minutes. That was until May 6, 1954 when Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. He did what was long considered impossible, but it turned out that it was only impossible because people believed it was impossible.

Roger Bannister didn’t let popular opinion stand in his way, and after he proved that the 4 minute mile was only a psychological barrier, others have continued to break records. Today the current record holder is Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of 3 minutes 43.13 seconds!

4. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope

Almost by definition, living up to your full potential requires you to step outside your comfort zone and expand your boundaries.

Average people do average things, get average results and live average lives. Extraordinary people do extraordinary things, get extraordinary results and live extraordinary lives.

You’ll only live your best life once you step out. Here’s how.

5. Practice discipline

Admittedly, this comes easier for some people than others, but it’s a skill that you can develop and will serve you well in all aspects of your life.

Another way of thinking about discipline is just delayed gratification. How many times have you been on a diet, but there’s a piece of cheese cake in the refrigerator calling out your name!

Having discipline is not a matter of not wanting the cheese cake, discipline is acknowledging your desire for the cheese cake but realizing that this craving is only temporary, and once it passes, you will be much happier that we didn’t succumb to a temporary urge.

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The bottom line here is that while you may want to stop working at 5pm sharp, or watch the game on Saturday, but by developing the discipline to delay satisfaction you will be pushing your boundaries and reaping the rewards that come from that extra effort.

6. Be confident

Have you ever dealt with someone who was new at their job and lacked confidence? Maybe it was a salesperson who couldn’t answer basic questions about a product or just gave you flat out wrong information. Did you end up buying from that salesperson?

My guess is no, I sure wouldn’t.

Confidence comes with knowledge, discipline and experience. But how do you develop confidence if you are just starting out like our intrepid salesperson? While experience comes with time, knowledge can be acquired fairly quickly, especially if you have already mastered the art of self discipline!

A good rule of thumb is to always start with knowledge. Learn as much as you can, take classes, get a mentor or just do research. If you are disciplined enough to develop the knowledge it will make getting the experience much easier.

7. Accept that you will fail

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Failure is a part of life and it happens to everyone. In fact, there is a whole body of thinking that failure is actually better than success!

While most of us would agree that success is better than failure, when it does happen, here are some thing to keep in mind:

Don’t take it personally. A failure in a job, career, business or marriage is just that. It is not reflection on you as a person. I had a friend who lost his entire fortune (over 20 million dollars) in a business deal. I called him shortly after and as expected he was very depressed. My only advice to him was to:

“Never confuse your self worth with your net worth”.

Move on, failures can be heartbreaking, embarrassing and demoralizing. Take the time needed to go through those feelings and process the emotions. Then, let it go, holding on to negative emotions keeps you stuck in a fixed mindset. Remember that your goal here is to live up to your full potential and succeed in life. Dwelling on past mistakes and failures is the surest way to derail your progress.

Let failure be a learning opportunity. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason, it’s true! When I first started internet marketing, I started using Facebook ads for practically everything I did. Pretty soon I found that I was spending about $1,000 on ads that were generating about $200 in income, not a very good business model! I took that failure and redesigned my marketing efforts. I was able to both reduced my costs and increased my sales so that now for every $1,000 in advertising I am generating around $5,000 in income.

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8. Learn to embrace uncomfortable situations

Succeeding in life by living up to your full potential means embracing uncomfortable situations. Chris and Heidi Powell, well known personal trainers and hosts of the show Extreme Weight Loss use this technique with their clients. It works like this:

They set a goal for their client that the client thinks is just out of reach. Then through encouragement and motivation, they help the client work though the uncomfortableness and pain to achieve the goal.

This technique works for both physical and psychological challenges. Both our bodies and minds are capable of much more that we think they are.

9. Set small goals to achieve big results

When you are first setting goals, don’t be afraid to make them big! “I want to be the #1 salesperson in the company” or “I want to be a successful artist”. But once you have those goals set, you then need an action plan to get there. It’s in this action plan that you should set many small, easily attainable goals.

For the salesperson, it might be to increase the number of sales they make by one a week in the next quarter, two a week for the 2nd quarter etc… For the artist, it might be to master a technique before the next art show, or produce X number of works to sell at the art show.

Whatever the goals are, they need to get you closer to your ultimate goal while at the same time be attainable. Success builds on success, so achieving these small goals helps to motivate you to continue on to your bigger goals.

10. Take time to recharge

Everyone needs “down time”, trying to do everything yourself, all at once is a recipe for disaster.

We talked a lot about being motivated and disciplined in this article; while they are essential to living up to your full potential and succeeding in life, having adequate down time is just as important.

Any personal trainer will tell you that to get the most out of your workouts, you need to take 1 to 2 days off a week. This gives your body a chance to recover and actually get stronger.

The same is true when we are trying to expand our boundaries and fulfill our potential. Making sure we have adequate down time prevents fatigue anxiety and poor decision making.

Final Thoughts

The success you’ll find from living life to your full potential is its own reward. One day, we all will look back on our lives and and think “I wish I would have done …”, “I had a chance to to be a … but I was to scared”, “I could have been a great … if I had put the time in.”

I hope that in this article, we have given you both the motivation and tools to push yourself to your full potential in life, so that when you look back one day your regrets will be few.

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/_H0siQHdMM4 via unsplash.com

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