Being Confident Without Being Arrogant

We naturally assume that when someone has problems with confidence, it’s that they don’t have enough of it. But this isn’t always true.

Confidence, like most other traits, is a spectrum. You can have too little, which results in a low self esteem, or you can have too much which results in arrogance.
You can say hubris if you want to sound polite and fancy.

The key is to have a healthy confidence. Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears you shouldn’t have too much or too little, but just enough.

Having a low self esteem can make you hate yourself, but being arrogant can make everyone else hate you.

Having a low self esteem can lead to:
Self sabotage, poor relationship and social skills, lack of assertiveness, neediness or dependence, and when it gets really bad it can lead to things like eating disorders and self harm.

But on the other end of the spectrum, arrogance can lead to:
An inability to handle criticism, a lack of empathy, having unreasonable expectations of favourable treatment and delusions of grandeur.

Which are all pretty undesirable personality traits.

Maintaining a healthy confidence is a fine line to walk and you need a lot of qualities. It’s accepting yourself even if you aren’t perfect. It’s having a healthy self-esteem, and it’s having the ability to go through life knowing deep down that for better or worse, you are who you are and that is okay.

So what are the three main qualities you need in order to walk that fine line between self deprecation and delusions of grandeur?

Humility

It can be hard to walk that fine line when you are really good at something. When you are winning your first reaction might be jumping up in the air screaming “Yes! Who’s the best!? I’m the best!”

But that is a sure fire way to look arrogant.

When you win, use humility to make others around you feel good. When you lose, use humility to know that you can always improve next time.

Respect

If you respect yourself and the people around you a healthy self-confidence is sure to follow.

Don’t put yourself in situations you don’t feel comfortable in and try not to put yourself down too often. Respect yourself in this way, as well as the people around you.

It might take time to develop this trait, but start by catching yourself whenever you aren’t showing respect to yourself or the people around you.

Generosity

We tend to have negative self-talk constantly. We spend so much time beating ourselves up that it’s no wonder we don’t have a healthy confidence.

Be generous in giving yourself compliments and pats on the back. And while you’re at it, be generous with others in this way.

A few kind words can go a long way to making your day—or someone else’s—a thousand times brighter.

With these three tips, we can feel good about ourselves without becoming arrogant in the process. We often tend live in one extreme or the other, but true happiness and lasting confidence comes from balance.

So exercise humility, show yourself some respect and be generous with kind words—you’ll build a foundation of self-confidence that will carry you throughout life.

The Work/Life Balance Fallacy

When we were children, time didn’t occur to us. All our activities fit perfectly into the day. Unless the sun was going to bed, our time seemed endless, wistfully passing by.

Our parents dealt with our schedules, moving and shifting around hockey practices with dentist appointments. Our lives were handled in their responsible care and we were blissful.

Soon after, we matured into self-sustaining adults with our own work schedules and responsibilities. We began to focus on time; trying to fit all the minutiae tightly in.

Then, we became obsessed with time. We became obsessed with balance. It seems that most of us endlessly sought a balanced life.

However, the ‘balanced life’ does not exist.

One of life’s biggest lies is the notion of a balanced life. Nothing ever achieves absolute balance. Nothing.

Between professional and personal life, striving for that perfect balance is most peoples’ mislead goal that they find attainable without ever stopping to truly consider it.

This is tough to believe mainly because one of the most frequent mantras for what is missing in most lives is, ‘I need more balance.’ We hear about balance so much that we automatically assume it’s exactly what we should seek.

It’s not.

We should be seeking purpose, significance, and happiness, the qualities that persist in a successful life.

Seek those important qualities and you will more than likely live a life out of balance, crisscrossing an invisible middle line as you pursue those qualities.

Think of balance as the middle line, and out of balance when we’re away from it. Get too far and we’re now living in the extremes.

The persistent problem with the middle is that it prevents us from making extraordinary time commitments to anything. Stay here too long and our lives will grow stale and ordinary.

Stray away from the middle and we could get reckless, marginally living a terribly hard life, devoid of relationships, fond memories and love.

Knowing when to pursue the middle and the extremes is true knowledge. Results are achieved with perfect negotiation with your time.

The reason we should never pursue absolute balance is because the magic never happens in the middle.

Magic happens at the extremes.

The extremes are where we are truly tested in will and guts. Our strengths are galvanized towards a lifelong dream. We naturally understand that success lies at the outer edges, but we don’t know how to manage our lives when we’re out venturing.

When we work too long, our personal life suffers. We unfairly blame work when we say, ‘I have no life.’ Even when work doesn’t pose a threat, our personal lives can be filled with endless ‘have-tos’ that we, once again, reach the same conclusion, ‘I have no life.’

When we get bombarded by both sides – professional and personal – we face an imminent breakdown and once again proclaim, ‘I have no life.’

Time waits for no one.

If we stray too far to the extremes, chasing our professional lives, we forget to cherish the middle, the simple.

Sometimes our work schedules become overwhelming, but our belief is that if we work hard now, we can enjoy the fruits of labor later.

Push something to an extreme and postponement can become permanent.

We seem to believe that we can make up for lost time.

But do we really think that we can get back a child’s birthday or bedtime story? Is a party for a five-year old with imaginary friends the same as a dinner with a teenager with high-school friends?

In Click, Adam Sandler has an epiphany before death where he says, ‘family first.’ Realizing all the time he spent at work instead of with his family, gave him his biggest regret.

He couldn’t make up for lost time. He couldn’t find balance.

Time on one thing means time away from another. This makes balance impossible.

Finding the right amount is essential to our personal and professional lives. Through careful deliberation of our activities, we can slowly understand where our time is best spent.

We have to spend our time on what matters most to us, instead of scrambling with minutiae. We have to accept the fact that not everything can get done in our days, weeks, months, years, and lives.

We need to realize where our true passions and priorities lie in life. We need to separate all the important activities from the things we think are important.

Professional and personal success are measured equally. If we do not treat bodies with respect, our families and friends with respect, we suffer immeasurable in the latter.

If we do not achieve professional success, we feel defeated and depressed, bringing those feelings into our personal lives.

We must crisscross the invisible line, while simultaneously chasing purpose, significance, and happiness.

We must spend a little extra time sharing memories with our families and friends and being mindful of ourselves – our bodies and minds.

We must also focus on our professional goals by working our hardest – but not longest – and giving our entire being in that singular moment.

Balance cannot be achieved.

The art of counter-balancing is a more realistic goal. With everything that we do in our professional life, equal time must be spent in our personal lives, and vice versa.

When I die, I want to have the shortest list of regrets possible. With that in mind, making sure to be mindful of my body, treasuring my relationships and chasing professional success are goals, which are strived for equally.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Symbol of scales is made of stones on the cliff
Symbol of scales is made of stones on the cliff

Finding A Balance Between Accomplishment And Enjoyment

I love Netflix

I know love is a strong word, but I seriously enjoy Netflix.

Except, sometimes I really hate it. Sometimes I spend way too long watching my favorite shows and I don’t get anything done that day. I feel unaccomplished.

Those are the times that I indulge too much, but sometimes I spend all my time working and even though I feel accomplished, it still leaves me unhappy.

No matter how much you enjoy something or how much closer it gets you to your goals, too much of it can turn that pleasure into gluttony and guilt, or boredom and frustration.

You can even get tired of pizza. That’s right, I said it.

So, I have developed methods to ensure that I am balancing accomplishment and indulgence without leaning too far in one direction.

A balanced life is a happy life.

Balance Is All In The Measurements

To be happy, accomplished, and still indulge a little to avoid burning out, you have to have balance.

But to have balance, you first have to measure the objects on your scale.

What do you spend your time doing throughout the week?

For one week, I want you to keep a journal and write down what you are doing, and how much time you spend doing it.

Write down how much time you spend with friends, with family, reading, watching television, working, even sleeping.
Everything.

Tweaking The Formula

Once you have recordings of roughly how much time you spend on different activities throughout the week I want you to think about where you dedicated too much time, and where you didn’t dedicate enough.

Remember, the goal isn’t to become an efficiency machine that works all day or an instant gratification addict that doesn’t accomplish anything.

The goal is a healthy balance.

On your list put a minus (-) next to anything you want to spend less time on, and a plus (+) next to anything you want to spend more time on. If you think you have a good amount of time allocated you can put a equal (=) next to the item.

Take into consideration how happy something makes you and how valuable it is to your goals.

There will be items on this list that you enjoy and also help towards your goals, mark these with an asterisk (*) as you will want to dedicate a decent amount of time to these.

Testing The New Balance

Now you know what things you spend your time on, and how you’d like to tweak them.

Test out your new formula for one week.

Rinse and repeat these three steps as often as necessary to keep your life balanced between accomplishment and enjoyment.

o-WORK-LIFE-BALANCE-facebook

How to: Learn ANYTHING.

I’ve talked about learning Spanish before. I go through many phases in my learning where I am gung-ho about something for a period of time and I fall short of completing.

I cannot make excuses for my hindrance in the learning process. I didn’t put my full energy towards something.

Once again, over the past few days I’ve undertaken Spanish. I feel like a completely different person this time around. I’ve realized that in order to learn something you need the interest AND you need focused unadulterated attention.

A) Pick something that interests you

And run with it. If you want to learn something, first and foremost, the love and passion has to exist. If you do not thoroughly enjoy what you’re learning, you will either fall off or forget everything after a momentary lapse.

For me Spanish has always been a goal but I also really do enjoy Spanish as a language. As an adage, moving to Spain is a possible outcome in my life and being prepared is integral.

B) Pure Dedicated Unadulterated Time

Learning a skill requires a set amount of time every single day. It seems like a large commitment, but if you want to learn something, you need to put in the time.

Not only is the mere time required, but also the need for unadulterated time. All your attention must be focused on the learning process, free of distractions, noise and external thoughts.

Half an hour a day is all you really need to pick up something. Any more would not be learning-priorities-Developmentefficient on your learning process. Consuming large amounts of information for long periods of time each day will burn out your precious willpower.

Feeling exhausted, your daily consistency will suffer because you attribute exhausted feelings with learning.

I have recently started to adopt to-do lists in my daily life. Personally, I find it incredibly satisfying crossing something off my list. Spanish is one of those tasks on my list. Each day I dedicate 30-45 minutes of time to learning Spanish. I find that I retain about 85% of the language and it keeps me coming back for more each day.

C) Consistency 

“Long-term consistency trumps short term intensity” – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee hit the nail on its head. Your brain learns through long-term consistency rather than sporadic bursts of intensity. In that regard, keeping a regular schedule each day assists your brain in the learning process.

Also, previously mentioned, willpower plays an integral role in learning. Long-term consistency allows you to expend the perfect amount of willpower on learning without being completely drained and exhausted.

D) Be like a Child 

I think a life of learning is like existing on a balance beam. As a child, there is no fear, no sense for the danger of falling. The beam exists as a wide and stable surface, which allows for creative leaps and fast learning. If you happen to fall off, you simply get back up.

balance_beamAs you get older, you are more aware of the risks of injury. You play it safe, making very safe moves. The beam is narrow and the mere thought of plunging is embarrassing and paralyzing.

Learning as a child is simplistic. Nothing really matters but the love of learning. A new skill to a child is not seen as a daunting task – rather an exciting learning experience.

Capture that feeling as an adult and learn through enjoyment. Learn without the fear of embarrassment, ridicule and judgment. Leap off of the balance beam knowing that there is a soft cushion below you.

E) Failure

When you think about learning, do not fear anything. You are supposed to fail. In my opinion, it is incredibly important in the learning process. It keeps you grounded and prepares you for the worst.

Failure should be seen as an unavoidable – but satisfying – factor. If you fail, you know that you are doing something right. Learning is a hard process and failure is there to keep you on the right track.

Embrace failure with the thought that you are doing something right. Use it as a stepping-stone to the next juncture of the learning process.

Spanish has always been a goal for me. Embarking on this journey has been incredibly gratifying. I allow myself to learn every single day and I reap the benefits. Learning is important to your personal growth. Go forth and learn something new. It will change your life.

Be bold, be free, and love on.