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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Confidence or Pride?

What is the difference between pride and confidence? How can you develop confidence without pride? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1273). 

Nerd defined:

An intelligent but single-minded expert in a particular technical field or profession (WordWeb Pro).

: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits (Merriam-Webster).

I think most parents want a child who has at least one aspect of the nerd; namely, a child with some remarkable talent or proficiency. On the other hand, they clearly would prefer the child not suffer from a chronic, neurotic sense of broadly based ineptitudes. Good parents do their best to instill in the child a self-confidence that has broad applicability and helps build a generalized can-do attitude when facing challenges from a vast array of unpredictable sources. Therefore when I speak of confidence, I am not referring to that based upon a narrow, specialized expertise. It is obvious that an Olympic swimmer will have more confidence in their swimming ability than someone who considers dog paddling 3 feet a major accomplishment.

Now a generalized sense of confidence might seem to hazard the danger of overconfidence or, to put it another way, of an inordinate amount of overweening pride. The essential difference between confidence and pride is that confidence allows us to welcome any challenge with humility. Thus, I realistically compare the challenge presented with my skill set. If it is outside that set, I undergo no psychological gymnastics, but gladly take the problem to someone who does have the ability to take care of the problem. I don’t flagellate myself for not having universal expertise. Pride, on the other hand, lacks this essential humility. It always demands expertise in all matters. To put it another way, confidence allows for a sense of equality. I am on a level playing field when it comes to the initial stages of problem solution. Thus, I am free to objectively assess all matters to determine whether I can positively contribute to the solution of the challenge. I have unabashed certitude that I can make this assessment objectively and with humility and will have the psychological freedom to turn the challenge over to others when necessary. Pride, on the other hand, straps its victim down with a curse of closed-minded superiority—I am not only equal with others, I am always superior to others in all matters. Thus, confidence is followed by problem resolution, and pride is followed by implacable problem escalation.

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