Does confidence always express vanity?

As one of the seven deadly sins, even regarded as the sin from which all others arise, pride brings thoughts of arrogance and vanity. So there is no wonder that humanity has come to disregard self appreciation. But is there a place for pride, even if only small?

You must know the song lyric;

“What did you do today to make you feel Proud?” – Name that song! Bonus points for the artist!

When we had the business my friends often said how they were proud of me, that I worked so hard and must be proud. Like most business owners I never understood. I was just doing my job. I was doing what was needed. It wasn’t a case of working for praise, I simply got the job done and thankfully pretty well! However, in all the days throughout those 10 years I can’t pretend I didn’t experience pride. There are a couple of stand out moments for me.

This image still evokes such strong feelings. It’s one that I can picture in my mind at any time and I love that. After being approached by a international brand to supply their new national rail service, Mum and I said no. Twice! We didn’t think we would manage the extra capacity. On the third call we took the Branson approach, “Say yes and learn later”. It was 100% the best move we ever made. I took this photo as I stood alone outside our second unit. We had taken on the lease for this space after significantly growing our customer base in just 6 months. As I sorted through orders and cleared up after the day, I took a moment to look. Just thinking about this moment makes my heart pound with pride.

Another moment for me is most certainly receiving and accepting an invitation to Afternoon Tea at one of London’s most prestigious five star hotels from their Group Exec Chef. We had been supplying the company for a few months after receiving the business through an inbound enquiry.

Confidence is a major part of finding our true selves and for me, finding my true self came from these feelings of pride. My friends and family will confirm that I’m no good at singing my own praises! In fact, I have recently been advised I should work on my own PR, which I am trying to embrace.

So does pride create confidence and how can we feel pride without vanity?

Absolutely YES it does! One question I ask clients who are struggling to find confidence, is when did you last feel proud? For most this immediately changes their physiology. Shoulders drop to release tension, a smile forms, the skin becomes brighter. Simply thinking about these moments of pride can change our moods instantly. For some it takes time but inevitably there is always something to feel proud of.

What’s the difference between the two, confidence and pride? – I knew in that moment above that we couldn’t have done what we had without the input of others. I was able to admit that it hadn’t been an easy road and that it had taken some long days and weeks to get to a position where we had the correct processes in place to achieve the level of customer satisfaction we measured ourselves on. Feeling pride doesn’t have to mean arrogance and vanity, it can simply be “I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved with the support of great people”.

An old article on Psychology Today discusses two types of pride; Authentic and Hubristic. The general conversation is that if you are naturally kind-hearted and are looking to simply increase your confidence and self esteem, it’s unlikely you will become an egotistical maniac by just feeling proud of your achievements. It’s not in your nature, it is not something to fear. It’s OK to say you’re proud.

The solution – find pride in yourself and feel it! You don’t need to express it in any other way other than a new found confidence that you know you’re good enough and can achieve good things because you have done so before. So what did you do today to make you feel proud?

This one is dedicated to a bestie! You know who are x