Confidence vs arrogance. The lights dazzle, the crowd roars, and as the announcer introduces the match of the century, Arrogance runs into the ring and yells out "I'm the winner here, I'm the goddam winner!"
It’s the thing that separates the can-do’s from the can-do-way-better-singlehandedly-with-my-eyes-closed’s, and it’s sure to rub you up the wrong way faster than an amorous Edward Scissorhands.
I have to admit to times when someone’s screwed up or dropped the ball and I’ve thought to myself, “Yet another reason why I should run everything”.
The thought that I could have done it better or faster is a tempting one, but I know it leads me to a place of arrogance, where I elevate myself to a place of peerless effectiveness and achievement.
Which is, of course, nonsense.
Worse than that is when people prioritize bluff and bluster over content and insight, preferring to:
- pull the wool over peoples eyes rather than own up to a mistake
- tell stories and point fingers to paper over their own cracks
- be happy to dodge responsibility until it’s time to claim a victory
This “bluff and bluster” is nothing more than hiding behind an edifice of effectiveness out of fear that you’ll be truly seen, a thought that strikes terror into many of us.
The natural response to the fear of being seen is to build protective walls that stop you being vulnerable, and the arrogant climb those walls and use bluff and bluster to try to persuade people that those walls are strong and true and there's nothing behind them.
Often, the arrogant are often the ones with the lowest self-esteem.
So when I see people talking about confidence vs arrogance, and how close together they are, I'm keen to put things straight.
Arrogance is noisy.
Confidence is quiet.
That's the difference.
That's what it comes down to.
Arrogance needs other people to exist. It doesn't care who you are or what kind of person you want to be, all that matters is how you're perceived and that nobody sees you as anything less than. It needs validation and recognition and approval. That's its fuel.
Confidence needs nothing, other than a deep acceptance that you're already whole and enough, and just breathes quietly in that space. It runs deep, and is founded on who you really are and what really matters to you.
That's its fuel.
Conventional wisdom is that there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, when in fact the gap between them is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
When it comes to confidence vs arrogance, there's only ever one winner.
Who are you cheering for?