Confidence v Arrogance
Watching the NBA Playoffs I’m reminded of the arrogance surrounding many elite, highly compensated athletes. It’s something that has infected all levels of youth sports at this point. The prevalence of it makes me curious about its origin. Where does this arrogance begin?
Naturally, we tend to quickly point to the God-given attributes of the talented and gifted. Afterall, many were blessed with something the rest of us weren’t. To no fault, or credit of their own, some people were born with the genetic makeup to be seven feet tall or with the inherent athleticism to be able to jump really high or run really fast. A sense of arrogance for those gifts seems natural.
Of course, we all have heard, or seen, plenty of examples of people that have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in reaching their success. So, though nature may be a part of it, it’s clearly not all of it. I mean, not only talented and gifted people are arrogant - and not all talented and gifted people are arrogant.
It seems the nurture aspect must be at play as well. How we are raised by our parents, who we grow up admiring, what we see as cool or desirable all have significant impacts on our mindset. Afterall, isn’t that what arrogance, or confidence, indicates? A clear view of our mindset.
Why Should We Care?
Confidence is the feeling or belief that you can rely on something or someone, like yourself.
Arrogance is the exaggeration of your own worth or importance.
Though they are connected, they are far from the same things.
The most telling difference isn’t found in their accolades, body language, or choice of words.
It’s tied directly to their prioritization of the process or the outcome.
Arrogance has a very intimate relationship with the outcome. Those living with arrogance are quick to highlight their accomplishments and hide their failures. They view the outcome as their measuring stick. It provides the sole barometer for success in their lives. And, it works for a lot of people as far as achievement is concerned. However, proceed with caution because when the accomplishments begin to fade, it’s not the arrogance that is lost. It’s the person’s self-worth.
Confidence is married to the process rather than the outcome. Those living with confidence aren’t as sure of the outcome as they are that they will be fine regardless of the outcome. The result simply provides feedback for future processes. Processes that will be better than the ones before. It’s this continuous personal renewal that breathes life into the confident person. With each reverberation, their confidence grows, reassuring themselves that they are, indeed, ok and continuing to grow.
Our relationship with the process and the outcome defines so much of how we see the world.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
So, what do we need to do in order to trust the process? To stay focused on it instead of the outcome? Good questions. Here are a few ideas.
Confident people know their process is the reason for their success, regardless of the outcome. Arrogant people think their accomplishments and achievements validate their success, regardless of the process. One is a firm foundation for our self-worth, the other is not. Trust the process. Surrender the outcome.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.