…You use bluster and cheap tricks to demonstrate your confidence and mastery
…You think that fear is for pussies
…You pursue the things that will look the best
…You despise the weak
…You have something to prove to the world
…You go out of your way to be right
…You think that success is an outcome that will provide you with the lifestyle you deserve
…You always answer “Yes” to the question “Can you do it?”
…You know it would work out better if people just did it your way
…You think status is more important than contribution
It won’t come as a surprise to you that there are a lot of people who bumble through life mistaking arrogance and hubris for confidence.
There’s a good chance you’ve met some of them. Swell company, aren’t they?
Truth is, arrogance and hubris are simply a front, a mask, a way of hiding the deep fear that you’re not good enough and not deserving enough by acting as though you’re better and more deserving. Of course, it’s nonsense. We all know it. Even those who hide behind it know it’s nonsense, way down deep.
As hard as they might try, the give-away signs listed above easily blow the cover of those who use arrogance and hubris to mask insecurity. Perhaps the saddest part is the perceived need to put that mask on in the first place in order to satiate the desire to have the world see you as being good enough. It’s a need that we all feel from time to time in our lives (and it’s arrogant to claim that you don’t), but there’s a better way to go about life that doesn’t involve building walls or hiding behind a mask.
Real, natural confidence couldn’t be more different if it tried. And, of course, it doesn’t have to.
So how do you know if you’re confident or arrogant? Here’s how:
…You find it difficult to say “No”
…You sometimes feel lost or afraid
…You don’t have all the answers
…You’re willing to give it your best shot
…You know you’re on to something when you’re both scared and excited
…You would rather be happy than right
…You go about what matters to you even though it’s sometimes easier not to
…You feel like running and hiding sometimes, but know deep down you’ll be okay
…You’re ready to make a new choice if the last one you made didn’t work out
…You understand that it’s not a competition
…You feel good when you get recognition or validation, but those things don’t drive you
…You embrace the change and flux as much as you do the certainties in life
…You don’t need to impress
…You choose to engage with what matters to you over perceived safety or comfort
Real, natural confidence is founded on the understanding that you’re enough, right now, just as you are. You don’t need to pretend. You don’t need to be validated. You don’t need to play a role. You don’t need to do what’s expected. You don’t need any frills. You don’t need to prove anything.
Stripping away the need for the status, validation, and recognition that feeds arrogance, you’re liberated to go about things knowing that your doubts and fears about not being good enough are natural, and that they only have power if you give them power. Suddenly, you’re free to make choices based on what you want rather than what you fear.
With natural confidence, all you have to do is what matters to you.
So tell me, what’s your experience of arrogance and confidence?