How to avoid turning confidence into arrogance. Learn how to develop self-belief in humbleness.
There is a very clear line between self-confidence and arrogance. One is associated with believing in ourselves, and the other is seeing ourselves above everything/everyone else. Both require the use of ego, but self-confidence stems from knowing our worth and embracing our unique talents and abilities, regardless of what challenges we may face. Arrogance however is a state that creates comparison and a delusional state of superiority.
When we feel worthless or lack self-esteem and decide to make a change, we must be mindful not to fall in the loop of egotistical behaviours. It can be difficult to do so, because often this change requires us to shift our perception of not feeling that we are good enough to the realisation that we are in fact worth of anything we want to manifest and create. In the process of doing so, we need to be aware of the ways we create this paradigm shift, how far we go with it and how we use it in the world.
Self-confidence comes from the heart. We might fall into a place of low self-esteem and disconnection to our abilities, but when we decide to look within and see just how many wonderful qualities we have, then we can learn to believe in ourselves. This should always come from a place of humbleness, learning to recognise our uniqueness with truthfulness and gratitude.
Arrogance comes from fear in my opinion. When we cross the line of feeling that we are worthy, and we start to fight against the current of life, to think that we are better than others, then we are creating an unpleasant experience not only for ourselves but for everybody else. Arrogance, although it may seem useful because it comes with high levels of self-confidence, it is actually the state that may create a self-sabotaging experience. Instead of allowing and being open, we push, we force and struggle. Arrogance brings no good to anybody.
When we don’t achieve or receive what we want, arrogance can turn into destructiveness. When the ego is threatened, then it starts to defend itself, it can seek revenge, display anger, manipulation, sorrow, shame, power tripping behaviours etc. Self-belief however is the ability to believe in one self and persevere even when challenges arise. Self-confidence focuses on knowledge of ourselves; arrogance is a mix of this knowledge and heightened ego as well as ignorance of the rest.
Energetically, from a chakras perspective, both are the result of Manipura, the solar plexus chakra. Represented by the fire element and the sense of sight, Manipura gives us this burning desire to have a vision for creating something in the world through what we do. This fire is also the fuel that sparks self-belief, to feel determined and motivated. Once we reach these qualities, we can rise higher into Anahata, the heart chakra located above Manipura and use this power we have discovered in a compassionate and meaningful way. But if we remain in the Solar plexus energy without opening our heart to experience not only self-belief but also to feel love, then we end up burning ourselves and those around us.
Confidence gives us the drive to take action and trust ourselves in doing so; arrogance drives us to prove ourselves which again is a product of fear with a subconscious underlying state of low self-esteem. Therefore feelings of superiority rise due to a subconscious state of desperation and the need to mask this.
The yoga philosophy teaches us that when success comes, we must also be prepared for failure to follow. This is the balance of this physical universe. We rise and we fall. We feel happiness, then we will experience suffering. We see the light and then we are clouded by the dark. Until we find the balance of being in the middle ground, in a state of flow, where we surrender to each experience by being present and content, we will continue to yoyo between these two opposing dualities.
We need to realise that every opportunity we are given in life is a gift of Divine inspiration; and that our talents and abilities are gifted for a purpose to serve for the greater good of others, and not for selfish reasons. Then humbleness is experienced. Self-confidence gives us the drive to believe in ourselves and create the life we want to live. Arrogance although can create abundance and success, it makes life more difficult and self-centred.
Remember that this life is an experience that we share with others, that each one of us has a soul mission to serve for the greater good of the world. This means we are all good enough and all we need to do is know ourselves and use these to contribute to the world.