On Confidence and Humility

Confidence and humility are not opposites: they are the same thing.

When I am feeling proud, I want to be better than everyone else. I want to pull people down in order to lift myself up. I can place a lot enmity between myself and other people: Sometimes I want what another person has. Sometimes I compare myself to others. I think I’m better than I really am. This brings a huge amount of insecurity, because I’m not actually better than everyone else. I am imperfect, and the work I do is imperfect.

I can’t be confident when I really want to be the best at something. Because I’ll never be the best, so I’ll drown in insecurities.

When I am more humble, on the other hand, I recognize that other people have a lot of worth. I can learn from them. I want to celebrate their accomplishments and support them. I’m looking outwards and seeking to connect instead of compare.

When I am humble, I am okay when I don’t know the answers. I am aware that I can always keep improving. And I want to improve more, because I see my capacity for growth.

In humility, I find confidence. Because confidence is when you are okay with being bad at something.

Confidence is when you are okay with being bad at something.

Think about going and talking in front of a group: if you are worried about having every word right, you are going to be terrified, because you know that it is very likely you will get some words wrong. But if you know you’re going to stumble sometimes, and say “um” way too much, and that you’re going to press onward no matter what, then you can walk up to the front of the group with confidence. You are confidence not that you will be perfect, but that whatever you attempt is good enough.

Don’t worry about confidence: it will come once you are comfortable making mistakes. And you become more comfortable with making mistakes when you increase in humility.

We all make mistakes. But we keep trying anyway.

Another post about humility. And another.