What is the fine line between confidence and arrogance? I’ve heard this question asked a number of times throughout my life. I was encouraged as a young girl to stay silent while allowing others to accentuate my positives. There was a fear that arrogance would overshadow humility when accolades came my way. As a result, this impacted my own confidence level into early adulthood — no matter the accomplishment.
It feels satisfying (and then some) to accomplish a project, or receive a promotion, when you have worked diligently toward that goal. Celebrating success is warranted and well-deserved-regardless of gender. Positive recognition shared without feeling shamed. The proclamation of an accomplishment stated with confidence while remaining humble. No arrogance intended.
First, let’s analyze these two unrelated terms further as cited in Merriam-Webster. The dictionary states that confidence is a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers. Denotation then states arrogance is an attitude of superiority; and it manifests as overbearing. It is clear these two terms are not synonymous or antonyms. In our society, they seem to be connected polar opposites.
Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with international award-winning publicist, Tracy Lamourie, who recently received the Universal Women’s Network 2020 Woman of Inspiration Winner for the Women in Media award. She is also the founder and Managing Director of Lamourie Media Inc. I met this inspirational, power woman while co-hosting the leadership podcast, Franze and Friends. with Jay Franze and Keith Sensing.
Celebrating Our Successes
I heard Tracy Lamourie discuss the topic of women celebrating their successes during a Women’s Universal Network podcast episode and wanted her perspective. She mentioned it was typically her female clients who shied away from talking about their accomplishments. As a publicist, she would receive messages of gratitude for how she positively portrayed them. This tended to surprise her since she was writing from many of the sources they had given her about themselves.
I asked Tracy about the fine line between confidence and arrogance. She said, “If someone came to you and shared, ‘Hey, I won this’, while sounding genuinely happy, you’re going to be happy for them.”
Her insight further empowered me.
She continued by saying, “The difference between confidence and arrogance is your heart. Arrogance is pushing someone else down or comparing yourself to others as if you’re better. Arrogance typically comes from insecurity.”
I found myself nodding with confidence during the podcast.
Tracy reiterated, “There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your accomplishments.” She also drew inspiration from a quote written by American author, Marianne Williamson, which she gracefully paraphrased, “We don’t give anything to the world by becoming smaller in it.”
Wow. I felt that… as an individual… and as a woman. We all have our own strengths, skills, talents, and gifts to share. There is space in this world for ALL of us to shine.
Let’s Elevate Others and Be Power Women
Tracy Lamourie also mentioned the importance of being a ‘power woman’, and the fact that we all can be ‘power women’. Let’s inspire and work together to elevate one another while on this planet.
Women on Business contributor Merly Hartnett discusses the advantages and disadvantages of having an accountability partner in her profound article titled, “The Benefit of Having an Accountability Partner as a Solopreneur“. She writes that as human beings, we are social creatures. We are more likely to be motivated by each other as a result.
To further elaborate on Merly Hartnett’s points, an accountability partner would serve also as a ‘promotion partner’. Someone who we trust and can motivate us to publicly celebrate our successes with confidence.
So, I challenge all of us to cease associating confidence with arrogance. As long as that person isn’t stepping on someone else or tearing individuals down, why the judgement?
As an educator and a mother (especially of two daughters), I encourage our youth to acknowledge their strengths, skills, and talents. It is my hope to influence our next generations to lead with confidence and to celebrate their successes — without an accusation of appearing arrogant.