Everyone has always seemed to know about the power of arrogance. It wasn’t uncommon for people to brag about their accomplishments during first time introductions. However in today’s society, we have lost the power of humility. No one likes a show off, especially in the workplace. As a result, people who make the long hard journey to success are very frequently reminded to remain humble upon arrival.
Our society has come to believe that humility, confidence and hard work make a winning recipe for personal achievement. Yet, I know many confident, humble and hardworking people who are still to achieve the goals and dreams they have set out to accomplish. This is because there is a big difference between being arrogant and having a sense of arrogance about yourself. Those whose actions leave us in awe are very aware of this difference.
Culturally, we have warped the idea of having arrogance with so many negative connotations that it is often synonymous with pride, vanity or egotism.
We all have an arrogance. It is the one thing that makes you seemingly irreplaceable. It is your passion or action; the one thing you do extremely well. Your arrogance is the value you add to society. It is what makes you indispensable. While self-esteem describes a person’s overall sense of self-worth or value,
humility is truly an asset to have, but too much of it can turn in a liability.
And for starters, there are eight reasons why you should not be too humble at work and why you need arrogance, not confidence, to boost your self-esteem.
1. Being humble has different meanings and perceptions
Different people have different meanings and opinions on humility. To be successful in the workplace, it would do you good to understand the perceptions of others on the subject. Being humble is a good trait to have; however in today’s aggressive business market; it may leave people thinking you are timid, shy or just a push over.
2. Too much humility can often down play the powerful experience of positive affirmation
Many successful managers have been found to use the power of positive affirmation to motivate their teams. When you receive a compliment for something you have done very well, you secrete several feel good hormones. These are the same hormones Kobe Bryant and LeBron James secrete every time they make amazing plays on the basketball court. If someone cautioned you to be humble right after you set a new personal record for yourself in the gym, or as a runner you run further than you ever thought you possible could, would that not leave a sour taste in your feel good moment?
Humility is a good trait to have. But at work, too much of it can down play the experience of receiving good and positive feedback.
3. No one will know your value
Often times in our humility, we simply expect our actions to speak for us. We assume that if we just stay focused and work hard, we wouldn’t have to fuss about how good we really are. This old way of thinking simply leaves your chances of success up to luck. If you are too humble, people may not know what real value you bring to the organization. Sometimes you might have to use your words to create opportunities for your actions.
4. You may not know your value
If I asked what your arrogance is, what would you say? What is the one thing you do so well that makes you irreplaceable at your workplace? And I don’t mean your job description. Humility can sometimes leave you passing through life in contentment, never truly expressing the skills and qualities that make you unique.
5. People love humble people sometimes for all the wrong reasons
While it is sad, it is also true. If you have too much humility in the workplace, people might be compelled to take advantage of you. Don’t be so humble that you find yourself with longer hours and soul drenching workloads. Don’t let your humility turn into resentment.
6. No one is born with humility, it is a conditioned behavior
No one is born humble. Humility is a trait we are taught. It is how you are supposed to fit in and be normal. However if you are looking to succeed in life, you can’t just be normal. In any given 24 hour day, you will probably work 10-12 hours. Developing a sense of arrogance in your work is important, because what you do will take up half your time.
7. You may end up being labeled a follower
Too much humility may have you tagged as someone not ready to lead. Effective leaders don’t just have to make tough and unpopular decisions, they also have to be willing to take full responsibility for the consequences of those decisions. If you are too humble at your job, people may simply feel you are not ready for such pressures.
8. Humility may affect your earning power
Negotiation is a skill set that leaves no room for humility. You know what your are worth and you are not afraid to ask for it. In my career, I have seen too many people accept lower wages out of humility. They are simply too scared or just too grateful to demand appropriate compensation for their arrogance. It is highly unlikely that you will get what you deserve if you show up armed with humility and too much confidence to a job interview.
The purpose of this article is not to downplay the importance of humility. In the right context, it can be a powerful tool. Like the ancient Chinese Yin –Yang philosophy, I believe the two can actually complement each other. You need a little humility in your arrogance, just like you may also need a little arrogance in your humility.