Having confidence is good for life. It helps us get jobs, have healthy relationships, and take on new challenges. Confidence is a positive and valuable asset to have. However, overconfidence is not a value-adding trait.
We all know someone who thinks that they know everything about something and boasts about their beliefs and looks down on anyone who doesn’t agree with them. We may think it is annoying, but overconfidence is a lose-lose situation.
There are plenty of arrogant people in all fields. Most recently, I encountered an arrogant minimalist. I came across it as I was reading their book. Several times, the writer painstakingly pointed out people who weren’t minimalists. They were portrayed either as bad people or as simpletons who had no idea what was going on. These people seem to repulse the writer, which made me a little sad. Instead of inspiring people by being compassionate they had created a divide between minimalists and non-minimalists with their writing. When we speak down to people we lose the opportunity to help them because we are too busy trying to be right and fail to see their humanity.
The thing is we can be confident and humble. We can take pride in what we have done and what we have learnt and we can learn from other and we can help people without thinking that they are less than us. Naturally, when we dedicate time and effort to something until we become good at it, we develop confidence. However, we need to make sure this doesn’t turn into overconfidence, as overconfidence kills humility and empathy. Overconfidence is when we stop being compassionate and start becoming arrogant.
Arrogance also shields us from learning opportunities, as it comes with complimentary blinkers that stop us noticing potentially great information other people might have to share. Remembering that we don’t know everything and acknowledging the fact that it took us fortunate accidents, as well as lots of hard work to get to where we are, keeps us humble and compassionate.
As people, we can get caught up in our own beliefs and agenda and forget our principles. Especially as minimalists we want to add value to our lives, and since we are all in the same boat, we need to add value to other people’s lives just as much. Within this mindset, there is no space for arrogance. We can only succeed together.
Until next time,