Sunday, January 03, 2010

Some thoughts on confidence vs arrogance /pride.

This has been on my mind much over recent months. Like so many of us, especially women, I have for many years suffered from a lack of confidence. We are told, in so many ways, that we aren't good enough. But in recent years I have worked to gain some skills, things which I make well and am proud of. Yet it has taken me more time still to own that. As I analysed this I became aware of part of the problem...I have been afraid of being prideful or arrogant. Which leads one to ask oneself...what is the difference between confidence and well deserved pride and arrogance and hurtful pride? Jim Bell, who was our reader at church today, hit on it I think. Pride is at another's expense. The difference is like this: "I made some great macaroni and cheese for Suzy's potluck" vs "Suzy and I both made macaroni and cheese for her potluck, but she ended up eating mine instead of hers, because it was better. Of course, that's because I have better taste in cheese than she does." It has taken me so long to own my skills because I have been afraid of being one of those people who make others feel bad. But I can be confident without that. I can accept compliments graciously. I can say, "Hey, I did a great job at that" because I can do so without belittling another (hint- if you DO "have" to put another down to prove how mad your skillz are, they probably aren't all that). I am a darn good knitter. I make pretty things with nice even stitches and feel confident in my ability to learn- to teach myself, even- most techniques I put my mind to. But I don't have to point out who is a worse knitter than I to do that. I make damnfine tasty truffles and frosting, too. So peoples, move forward with confidence in yourself. And give the same gift to those around you.


At 5:32 PM, Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

You should be proud of your accomplishments! You are a very accomplished person. and a very nice one. Happy New Year!

I have to admit that sometimes I don't know if I am good at anything except breastfeeding, which I was damn good at, but it's past me now. I'm intelligent but that's a gift, not a skill - I didn't earn it. Mostly I think I'm a very good writer but I don't get much recognition of it anymore so it's hard to stay confident. I think my problem is that I need too much external validation to feel confident. What is that about?

At 1:48 PM, Blogger gojirama said...

I think we are trained to that! And you are a great writer and should feel good about that.


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