Confidence Over Arrogance
One draws people to you, the other repels them.
One pushes you through challenges, the other allows them to blindside you.
One requires self-awareness and humility, the other is literally the void of both.
We love confident people. It’s one of the things that pulls us in. When we see others performing with confidence, we are inspired. We want to be around them - heck, we want to be like them. They attack opportunities with, what seems like, no fear of failing. They think about what can go right, not what can go wrong. And, when things go wrong, they bounce right back. They are undeterred by the setbacks. They know who they are and that they’re going to fail … a lot. This is, in fact, what they have confidence in - their ability to respond to adversity.
We make excuses for arrogant people. They try to dismiss it as another level of confidence that others don’t understand. It’s not. They don’t inspire, they suppress. And, we don’t want to be around them … yet, we act like we want to be like them! They are never at fault and obstacles aren’t theirs to overcome. They spend so much time and effort armoring up to protect the image, the only thing they are fully aware of is themselves.
Why Should We Care?
We make too many excuses for arrogant, a-holes. I’m not saying you have to confront them or be friends with them, but you do need to recognize them. If you are trying to lead a team, nothing is more detrimental arrogance. It eats at the fabric of trust needed to make any team effective while marginalizing the efforts and contributions of the humble.
Confidence is different. People that are confident understand, and appreciate, the process they have committed to. And, they realize it’s that process they have confidence in. Things will go right and things will go wrong, but the process will eventually lead to the best possible outcome. Standing firmly in that belief is at the core of the confident. They will fail, but they will respond.
It appears like they are fearless and, in a sense, they are. The absence of fear is because their confidence isn’t in achieving the goal, which they realize they don’t control. Their confidence resides with their ability to respond, good or bad, to whatever happens. There is no fear because they know they completely control that response.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
So, how do we live and lead with confidence without pushing it to arrogance? How do we focus on that response and not the result? Reflection and self-awareness are critical, but here are a few specific ideas to get you going in the right direction.
Arrogant people suck. Be nice, say hi. Help them when you can, but stay away from them. There are a lot of great people we can surround ourselves with. Choose them.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.