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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

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

International Coach, Best Selling Author & Speaker inspiring people around the world to success.

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Published on February 19, 2021

8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

Whether it’s planning a public speech or a kid’s birthday party, our intentions lean toward success no matter the endeavor. And whatever success we are hoping to attain, there will likely be obstacles that we must face. When these obstacles surface, we can either shy away and miss our chance or meet these challenges informed and ready.

Although obstacles can seem like the outside world is plotting against us, in reality, these external challenges are merely triggering hurdles that already exist within. They might be memories or beliefs we have about ourselves that act like mud and slow us down. We can be trapped by our own self-sabotage.

What could happen if you knew about and prepared for these obstacles beforehand?

If you knew what you were up against, perhaps you could come equipped with just the right tools to get through anything that threatens your chance at success. Perhaps you could take an obstacle that felt like a mountain and turn it instantly into a mere molehill!

Here are 8 of the greatest obstacles you must overcome on your way to success:

1. Perfection

One of the most common obstacles we face is the need for perfection. Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, shared that her mother always used to say, “done is better than good.” Anyone prone to perfectionism is going to find it difficult to remain on the road to success if everything has to be “just so” all the time.

Perfection is the killer of creativity, vitality, and accidental discoveries! There are so many instances of people fortuitously discovering things that we use every day.[1] If they had been so concerned with perfection, they may never have enjoyed the success of their “mistakes!” Plus, learning from our mistakes is how we develop and grow throughout our lives. Therefore, “perfect” will never provide a straight shot to success.

How can you stop going for perfection? Just as it may have taken years of practice to “perfect” a skill you have acquired, it takes practice to undo perfectionism.

Try the following:

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  • Try new things and let go of your expectations.
  • Don’t do everything on your “To-Do” list. See what happens when you leave it for tomorrow.
  • Learn how to prioritize (no, everything isn’t equally important all the time).
  • If you’re feeling particularly rebellious, send an email with a typo in it!

Have fun with this and learn how to laugh at yourself. Welcome to the wonderful world of being human.

2. Fear

Fear is triggered when we have a thought or perception that we are not safe and secure. This is quite a useful tool when there is a real threat to our safety. However, when the threat is imaginary, fear can actually prevent us from doing the work we need to do to achieve our goals.

As with perfectionism, the best way to deal with fear is to become more mindful.

Here are some steps you can try in working through fear:

  1. Sit with the emotion of fear and notice where you feel it in your body. Notice the thoughts that accompany the feeling.
  2. Ask yourself what you are afraid will happen and write down your answers.
  3. Visualize yourself experiencing your worst fears. How did you feel imagining your worst fears coming true?
  4. Ask yourself when you have felt this way before. How did you cope with it that time? What strengths could you use in your previous visualization?
  5. Imagine yourself using your strength with the imagined worst fear. How does it feel to know that no matter what happens, you have the tools and resources to handle it?

In this exercise, we’re trying to be okay with the emotion of fear. Fear is actually trying to help by keeping you “safe.” It calls upon memories of when you were threatened in your life. But when we spend all of our energy trying to prevent the feeling of fear, we make it stronger. We also deny ourselves the memories of all the times we have faced our fears and triumphed.

Allowing the fear to be present and calling upon memories of making it through challenging times helps to convince our minds that, as President Franklin Roosevelt said, the “only thing to fear is fear itself.”

3. Lack of Clarity

Imagine that you are going on a trip and you need to pack. Your suitcase is out, but you don’t know any details of the trip. You haven’t decided where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, or what you’ll be doing. How easy will it be to pack for this trip?

If we’re trying to run our careers or lives without clarity, it can be nearly impossible to figure out what we need to be doing to get to our destination of success. So, how do we get clarity?

Author and speaker, Simon Sinek, had some excellent advice for businesses on how to get clarity, and it applies beautifully to just about any area of life. According to Sinek, when clarifying your “message,” you should start with your WHY.[2] In other words, why are you doing what you do? Once you are clear on your “why,” it will be much easier to figure out your “how” and your “what.”

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Let’s go back to the packing analogy. Perhaps your why for vacationing is to get some much-needed rest as you have been stressed out lately. That tells you that a quiet vacation might be better than one with lots of museums and crowded attractions. Your “why” tells you that you don’t want to be very active, but you do want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit, perhaps by spending a few days at a nearby spa. Less travel means less stress. Looking at the spa, you see they have a 3-day retreat. Now, you know how to pack.

See how easily those details fell into place once you got clear on your “why”? Imagine what success you could achieve once your “why” is uncovered!

4. Making Comparisons

It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to other people. That’s how we know whether we’re doing things correctly or not and how we can continue improving. When we get into a habit of making comparisons all the time and feeling bad about not being able to “keep up with the Jones’,” this can pull our energy down. And when our energy is down, so is our motivation to keep working toward our goals.

As with perfection, it’s important to be mindful about how much importance you’re placing on “keeping up” with what you think everyone around you is doing.

Want to stop sizing yourself up to others? Try the following:

  • Notice the feelings that come up for you when you compare yourself to someone else.
  • Ask yourself, “what information am I really getting from this comparison, and what’s helpful about it?”
  • Keep the helpful bits from that line of questioning and let go of the rest.

Remember that when you compare yourself to another person, oftentimes you are seeing the potential that already resides within you.[3]

5. Untamed Inner Monologue

How do you talk to yourself? Do you tend to say uplifting and encouraging things to yourself? Or is your self-speak often negative? An untamed inner monologue can serve as a great obstacle to many people.

Many people grow up with the idea that the inner monologue is what drives us to become better people. We get “tough” on ourselves to prevent laziness or sloppiness. If unchecked, the monologuing can quickly become negative and purely critical. Despite our intentions for self-improvement, this constant habit of pointing out what’s “wrong” with what we do and who we are can become a huge energy drain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, overcoming negative self-talk is good for our health.[4] Some of the benefits of maintaining a compassionate inner voice include lower levels of depression, better immune function, and improved coping skills in stressful times.

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Activities to develop awareness about your inner monologue and make it more compassionate include:

  • Keeping a thought diary (there are so many great apps for this!).
  • Reframing negative self-statements neutrally or compassionately.
  • Asking yourself what a trusted friend might say to you.
  • Thinking about what you might say to a friend if they were in your shoes.
  • Considering EFT Tapping or saying affirmations.
  • Allowing yourself to follow the inner critic down the worst-case-scenario path (this version might have you laughing at how ridiculous your inner critic’s imagination truly is).

6. Unclear Boundaries

So far, we’ve covered several ways that internal boundaries are necessary on the road to success. These include monitoring your fear, limiting your need for perfectionism, lacking clarity about what you want, making unhealthy comparisons to others, or having a mean-spirited inner monologue.

How about those boundaries we need to clarify with other people in our lives? To be clear, boundaries are not about saying “no” to everything and cutting yourself off from everybody. Healthy external boundaries are about being communicating to others about what you want, how you want to be treated, and what your plans are.

If we have unclear boundaries with others, success will result only by accident, if at all.

People pleasers and empaths especially know how challenging it can be to set boundaries with others. The desire for harmony can be so strong for some people that they convince themselves that it is easier to let others make the decisions rather than risk creating conflict.

The problem here is that no matter how hard we try to avoid conflict with others, we will create conflict within ourselves that results in roadblocks to success. If you have trouble setting clear boundaries with others and you want to be successful, start building your muscles around this skill slowly.

Here are a few steps:

  1. Identify little things that you like and want.
  2. Tell people about what you like and want in your life.
  3. Notice what happens in your body when you say this out loud.
  4. Identify things you don’t like or want.
  5. Notice what happens in your body when you think about these things. (Your body is really smart when it comes to telling you what you don’t want!)
  6. Tell trusted people what you don’t like or want.
  7. Notice how it feels in your body to say this out loud.
  8. Practice saying “no” to something really small that you don’t want and work your way up to bigger things.

Without boundaries, it’s like being water and trying to hold a shape without being in a container. You get to create your own container and watch your success take form.

7. Unreasonable Expectations

It’s important to dream big. It’s how we allow inspiration and big ideas to come to the surface of our awareness. But if our dreams are not grounded in the reality of our current resources, we might be headed for some disappointment or even worse, the loss of our dreams!

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Setting reasonable expectations is the bread and butter of success. If you haven’t been introduced to setting SMART goals at this point in your life, it would be a good idea to try it out.

It might not always be possible to know whether or not something is reasonable, especially if you’re trying out a brand-new-to-you project. If the expectation is for a new project to work without any bumps or glitches, this is likely to be unreasonable. The consequences of this experience could be losing your drive to succeed.

If the expectations for a new project include the idea of bumps and glitches that hold seeds of learning and growth, then even the perceived “mistakes” will turn out to be a success. This has the positive benefit of fueling your motivation to keep working toward even more success.

Be mindful of where you set the bar—neither too high nor too low.

8. Unreasonable Definition of Success

What is your definition of success? Asked in another way, from what perspective are you seeking success?

It’s easy to think that success means achieving the goal(s) you set for yourself. But there are so many ways to look at success. You might be missing out on some opportunities to really feel like you are shining in your life.

An unreasonable definition of success might be one that only allows for one specific outcome. If that outcome is not reached, then success is not the result. But if we allow for multiple definitions of success, we might find that success is much easier to come by than we previously thought!

To expand your definition of success, ask yourself the following:

  • What would need to happen to make me feel successful?
  • What else could happen to make me feel successful?

Keep brainstorming all the outcomes you could experience to create a feeling of success.

Final Thoughts

Being successful requires overcoming a lot of obstacles, and many people will fail at some point. The key is to tackle these obstacles one step at a time. In the words of Joyce Brothers, “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.”

More Tips on How to Overcome Obstacles

Featured photo credit: asoggetti via unsplash.com

Reference

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