Why you should just let your work do the talking.
Confidence is an important quality of successful people. This one attribute can determine the power and effectiveness of their work. It characterizes the way people treat them and what they produce.
But with this necessary component for blazing your own trail comes the opposing characteristic of arrogance. No one likes a person who is arrogant and stuck up, downplaying the efforts of everyone else for the sake of building status and gaining a hardy reputation for themselves.
Eventually, these types of people become comfortable where they are. They see themselves as the ultimate standard of dedication. And in their eyes, there’s no one who can say otherwise.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with viewing your work as meaningful. You should definitely take pride in the output you produce. There’s no debating that. However, we must address the dark side of believing you’ve made it.
Comfort Is Not Your Friend
If we’re being honest, comfort is what we most often want in life. We want a robust salary, a beautiful home, and a perfect marriage (with friends to compliment). If you find a person who desires the opposite of those descriptions, they’re straight-up lying to your face.
That’s just how we naturally think about our aspired lifestyles. Comfort is our default strategy. When it comes to pursuing a goal, though, how sure are we that we’re actually willing to suffer for what we want?
I always hear speeches and talks about the discomfort of following the path to your desired destination. The brightest minds reveal certain aspects of working for what you want. But I never thought about it quite like this.
In our pursuits, we must accept the idea that in order to get where we want to be, we have to step outside of our pre-determined boxes, understanding the road to get there is littered with comfort-holes.
Along with the challenging obstacles we are frequently reminded of, there’s also the issue of complacency. Something out there will try and warn you of the scary possibilities of going too far. It sets before you the danger in taking those first steps. But the only way to get any farther is by laying aside those fears.
Every time we drive to work, school, or wherever we have to be, there’s a possibility of getting into a car accident. Yet, for the sake of getting to our destination, we put our vehicles in drive and press the gas pedal anyway. The same goes for pursuing your goals in life.
When you get comfortable where you are, you cease to improve. You get this false sense of achievement and lock yourself into a box that never allows you to move. In this worldview, resistance will cause you to cave into the false narrative of being good enough.
There Is a Rude Awakening
These uncomfortable realities won’t go away. They are a part of the journey whether we like it or not. Accomplishing any goal would mean nothing without them, especially if you spend most of your time comparing your work with others.
Fact: there are a lot of talented people out there. Many of them are better than you and better than me. So when we assume our work is the best there is to offer, we’re basically setting ourselves up for disappointment.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t even try or that we shouldn’t spend any effort. It just calls for a lot more humility than we sometimes exhibit.
When we over-emphasize our abilities, we hold ourselves accountable in an unhealthy way. Then when we don’t match up with our arrogant, bold assumptions about ourselves, we’re prone to give up.
Quitting will satisfy your pull to stay where you are and never push the boundaries of your potential. And what you find is a home for yourself that is not what you’d imagined. This home is fully-furnished with stagnation and the ever-present anxieties of past possibilities.
How much better would it be if we went after our goals with our heads screwed on straight, not comparing, not judging, not belittling…just getting our hands dirty in the activities that bring joy to our lives?
Open your eyes each day with this concept in mind: that you have a skill-set that contributes to society in a way that is unique.
If that’s true, then there’s no need to puff yourself up. There’s no need to assume you’re better than everyone else. Let your work speak for itself while you keep your eyes on the prize, ignoring the noise and focusing on your purpose.