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Overcome Pride & Arrogance

Updated on April 8, 2012

Self confidence can be contrasted with arrogance (excessive confidence) and diffidence (lack of confidence). Arrogance and diffidence are both rooted in insecurity just expressed differently. We all have a shadow side that leans on one side or the other. The more you raise your awareness of your shadow side the easier it is to embody self-confidence.

Photo by Joshua PIne
Photo by Joshua PIne

Unconscious Arrogance

Unconscious arrogance usually takes the form of attitudes and often goes subtly unnoticed. For me it has always been giving unsolicited advice. I still slip up occasionally but I've grown more aware through self-honesty and listening to feedback from others. Although my intentions are good, who am I to tell someone else how to live their life? Also I've noticed that what works best for me doesn't always work for everyone else. Unconscious arrogance is a thinly veiled disguise for moral superiority; exemplification of the ego. The easiest way to catch yourself is to raise your awareness of what subjects trigger this in you. Then start biting your tongue before you put your foot in there!

Conscious Arrogance

The consciously arrogant person is consumed by pride. Bragging and boasting sometimes jokingly you know it all, have been everywhere, seen everything not to mention perfected many talents. In fact you already knew about conscious arrogance before you read this! Yay! Conscious arrogance is the result of the ego taking control over the body. While there is value in taking pride and authorship... excess pride is nauseating to those around you. It is also damaging to personal and professional relationships. Again the key here is identification of those topics which you are so proud of.

Photo by SFO
Photo by SFO

Diffidence

The lack of self confidence is usually the result of poor parenting. Many of us were condemned for our mistakes more often then recognized for our talents. This leads to us being mostly unaware of our talents with varying degrees of pessimism and self-doubt. However just as negative behavior and attitudes are learned, you will learn self-confidence. The first step is recognizing what you already have achieved full confidence in... do you know how to brush your teeth? Can you send an email? Now think of some unique talents you are already proficient in... can you draw? Can you hang drywall? Now we get to the good stuff: Self confidence is earned NOT given. You cannot go to the grocery store and pick up self confidence (and if you could I would be out of a job!). You must earn self-confidence through practice and experience. RPG video gamers know this all too well; if you want to level up your character you need to fight more battles. Likewise, if you want your character to be built you must practice your talents!

The bottom line is that Self-confidence is an invaluable tool for all humans. It gets things done and increases happiness. Diffidence and Arrogance are simply misapplications of self-confidence that can be unlearned and corrected. Know your shadow side and start working on your talents right now!

Photo by Joshua PIne
Photo by Joshua PIne

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