What in the Hell is the difference between confidence and arrogance?
Have you began the journey to step into your confident self, but people around you are now claiming that you now seem or sound arrogant?
I encourage you to read further if this sounds like you.
This was a MAJOR hurdle for me to overcome when I began the work to find my confidence. Many of the people around me, including my friends and family began to make remarks and subtle comments to my face, or behind my back that I was beginning to sound arrogant, full of myself, or cocky.
I began to lose hope. I got in my own head and started looking down on myself once again. In some aspects, even lower than I felt before!
I just couldn't understand. Why was it that the harder I worked on myself, the more resistance I received from everyone around me?
About a year ago while I was working at my day job selling fitness equipment, my boss came in to work and I could tell he was acting a little out of the norm. I asked him what was going on, and he explained to me that he had a loyal customer reach out to him on his personal phone, asking him why he had hired me because I came off as a very arrogant person.
Especially when it came to fitness and sales.
Hearing this floored me. I felt utterly defeated. All I could think to myself was that ALL the hard work I've been doing on myself over the past few years seemed absolutely worthless. I tried to shake this feeling. But the more I fought it, the more I felt like a failure. Those crushing self limiting beliefs of "why even bother, " "I'm just worthless," and "what's the point" all came flooding back in. For a while I even debated owning the prejudice and just becoming the asshole douche bag everyone seemed to think I was...
Later that week I was fortunate to have a conversation booked with my mentor. I had opened up to him on what happened and he was able get me to take a step back, and look at the situation in its entirety for a shift in my perspective.
With the fortunate enlightenment I was given, I began to research more direct questions around human psychology and self confidence. I found that unfortunately, the vast majority of people today have low self confidence, low self esteem, and deal with many of their own limiting beliefs. So when these individuals converse with someone who IS confident, it can trigger their own insecurities and lead them to a vulnerable place. To defend themselves in this state, these individuals can and/or may default to claiming or assuming that those with perceived confidence are just arrogant. This is a form of "mental band-aid," to assist with pulling themselves out of their own vulnerable state. Essentially, making excuses as to WHY they themselves aren't confident, or neglecting to put in the self work.
This holds a lot of truth in the fitness industry as well. Being that most of my background stems from my time as a previous gym owner, personal trainer, and competing in numerous sports, most of my peers were apart of this walk of life.
Think of it this way. How many people have you met in the fitness world who began training because they "love" themselves? Honestly, I don't know many. Most people who I know started training, did so because they wanted to lose weight, gain weight, or take care of their health because their doctor said they need to. Yes, there are also athletes who train to maintain their performance in the off season, but I still consistently hear negative comments towards themselves because they need to be "better than" someone else. Instead of aiming to be a better version of themselves, yesterday.
All of this self reflection, fully learning what the true difference between Confidence and arrogance was, led me to the place where I could fully take back and own my confidence. No longer concerning myself with the fear of others opinions.
The difference between confidence and arrogance has everything to do with empathy. Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance that comes from an appreciation of qualities within ourselves, and others. Even when they’ve been knocked down, they still aim to lift others up. Shining light on all friends, family, coworkers or other team mates achievements. A truly confident person has no problem listening. They're aware that they don't know everything and are happy to learn from others by always asking for input, encouraging teamwork, and generously praising their counter parts.
Arrogance is characterized by having an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities. Using condescending language, talking over people, or displaying body language that shows a lack of interest in others. Often, they believe that they have nothing to learn from anyone, so they act as if they know everything. Fighting to be right in every situation, and aiming to show others that they are wrong. Essentially, closed off to the views of the world.
When they find themselves in a less than desirable position, excuses are often made. Instead of owning the fact that they were the one's who made the mistake, they often talk about themselves to brag about their own achievements, skills and abilities. Essentially, placing themselves on a pedestal where they feel "out of reach." Consciously or unconsciously, making those around them feel less important with the notion that the world revolves around them.
However, one of the most fundamental differences between Arrogance and confidence, is that arrogance most often stems from a place of insecurity and low self esteem. This is the reason arrogant people are boastful in conversations about their accomplishments and abilities. All the while placing others in a position of less importance.
Where as, true self-worth, believing in one's own achievements and abilities, without putting anyone else down, is self confidence. Confident people are self-assured and possess a sense of inner peace and tranquility. They hold composure, don't brag, or act superior over anyone else. As mentioned earlier, they lift others up.
Its not about walking into a room and making or hoping everyone is going to love you. Its about walking into a room and being okay if they don’t.