I heard Johnny Wimbrey say something one day that made a lot of sense to me.

We all know that having a strong belief in yourself is one of the most important factors in becoming happy and productive, and Johnny is no exception.

I listened to an interview with him once with Jerry Clark.

In that interview Johnny was publicly stating what he was going to do. That way many people would hear it and it was recorded. He was now accountable.

He talked about how some people would hear him talk about how certain he was of his future achievements and they would say ‘isn’t that a little arrogant Johnny?’. And Johnny’s comment was that ‘unconfident people will always be intimidated by confident people’ and I’d agree with that to a degree.

I agree with Johnny in that regard purely because insecurity is so common. When someone comes along who is comfortable in their own skin, that can seem a bit intimidating because it’s different.

I’m sure there is a line between confidence and arrogance though.

The truth is that I probably walk close to the line between confidence and arrogance sometimes. Most of the time I’m fine, I’m very confident and that actually has a positive effect on people around me because they can draw from that strength and it gives them confidence.

But the inevitable risk of walking so close to the line is that on the odd occasion you wonder over it for a second or two. The skill then is to catch yourself when you’re about to step over the line. Not so easy.

So what is the real difference between confidence and arrogance? I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions on this because the dictionary is a bit vague.

It defines arrogance as ‘insolently proud’, insolently meaning disrespectful.

That’s probably it.

When I’m busy telling myself ‘I can do this, I have what it takes’ that’s confidence.

Even when I’m busy telling my team ‘we can do this, we can make this happen’ that’s confidence. That includes talking to another individual ‘you can do this I know you can’ that’s fine too.

I think the line is crossed when a comparison is drawn. When you start claiming that the fact that you are confident makes you better than other people. At that point humility is lost, disrespect creeps in and the arrogance line is passed.

If that’s the true definition of arrogance then I’m definitely safe because showing respect for others is a key part of the management style I encourage business leaders to use.

Confidence:
“I can do this”

Arrogance:
“I can do this better than you”

Confidence:
“I’m going to make something of myself”

Arrogance:
“I need to make sure I don’t end up like you”

Confidence:
“I’m really pleased with my performance”

Arrogance:
“What else do you expect from someone like me?”

Confidence:
“You’ve got what it takes”

Arrogance:
“You need to be more like me”

This article is more of an exploration and I really would welcome your opinion if you care to contact me.

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