I grew up with a very low self – esteem. Soon after I landed at US, I determined to rebuild my life from ground zero. The large part of this “reconstruction” processes was to regrow my inner confidence.
I started making eye contact while talking with others, encouraging me to speak up in group meetings even though I wasn’t one – hundred percent sure that my ideas were correct. I even forced myself to approaching strangers in large parties even after I knew some of them were much more powerful, much better looking, much smarter than me. Once in a business gathering I was brave enough to approach our bank’s CEO and introduced me to him while offering a handshake. At work, I wasn’t afraid of making small talks with our division heads, and I was amazed that they stopped by my office whenever they saw me inside and we chatted about projects, kids, family and hobbies, etc.
While I was proud of my progresses in building my confidence, I was surprised to hear from one of my friends that somebody might think I was a little arrogant.
Have I overdone it? I need to sit down to check what I did incorrectly.
- A confident person talks to powerful people because he doesn’t doubt the value of his ideas; an arrogant person talks to powerful people because he wants to be seen as one. I don’t want to be seen as one of the powerful people while I was interacting with any of them. I talked with them since I enjoyed interacting with them. So I didn’t do anything which makes me arrogant.
- A confident person admits his ignorance because he doesn’t doubt his intellect; an arrogant person shows he is right because being wrong hurts his credibility. I am not afraid to admit any mistakes regardless at work or at home. So I didn’t do anything which makes me arrogant.
- A confident person approaches strangers because he doesn’t doubt the values of his company and conversation; an arrogant person works through his networks because he already knows they accept him. I feel very comfortable to know somebody new to me while maintaining my existing networks. So I didn’t do anything which makes me arrogant.
- A confident person acts like a fool when he feels like it because he doesn’t doubt his worth; an arrogant person acts like he is confident all the time because otherwise people might stop take him seriously. I didn’t know how to acts like a fool when I actually did something foolish.
Now I have identified an area which I should work on to remain confident but not to go over the border to become arrogant.