Una's Blog


77 The difference between arrogance and confidence

graphic-1by Una Hearne

In many of my talks and workshops I deal with the idea of being able to speak positively and confidently about yourself. I talk about building real inner confidence to make this possible. At some point I am always asked if this isn’t arrogance or won’t it seem like arrogance. Well no, it’s not. There is a massive difference. Real confidence in yourself is based on understanding the truth of how fabulous you really are (You are, I’ve checked).

The confusion between arrogance and confidence arises because some insecure people – who are really afraid they might be awful people and not good enough, who feel like frauds and failures – put up a front and shout about how great they are. It always seems to me they are trying hard to convince themselves. They are terrified that people might find out who they really are. (They are fabulous too, they just don’t think they are.)

Being able to communicate or share positive truths about yourself is essential in any situation where you want to connect with other people and let them get to know you. For example, social situations, job interviews or business promotion. We are great at self deprecating and we are mostly crap at sharing the positive stuff openly.

Here’s how to know the difference – (this is a rule of thumb and not guaranteed as humans are too complex to conform properly to any rules!) If someone is boasting about themselves and you feel they are trying to convince you how great they are, or get you to agree with them, it’s themselves they are trying to convince and they are looking for outside validation. If they also put other people down or undermine them to make themselves seem better in some way, that’s an even bigger clue that they feel inferior. On the other hand, when you are confident about your own brilliance, you don’t feel threatened by others, you feel no need to put anybody down. Anyone who can tell you how great they are quietly and feels no need to defend it, is likely telling you the truth. And it feels different when you hear the truth. Arrogance stems from insecurity and self hatred. Confidence stems from self validation and love.

It’s ok to tell other people how great you are and to share your success with others. Its ok to hear about them and be delighted for them. And here’s a funny thing I’ve noticed, you can only get to the point of being genuinely delighted about how fabulous other people are, and of being happy to celebrate their success with them, when you have discovered that you are fabulous and you already celebrate your own success. You can only truly allow others to shine when you allow yourself to shine.

Either we all shine or nobody does. In your life, that’s your choice.


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