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Pride and Success

Magazine Cover

Pride; one of the few words in the English language that has both positive and negative connotations. There is a stigma surrounding pride. I mean, it is number one on the list of seven deadly sins. There are fifty-eight references to "pride" in the Bible. Being proud in the Bible is more than arrogance; it is about advancing our self-will to God's will. All of us must guard against that form of pride. But we all think it's okay to be proud of your family, proud of your country, proud of your religion, and proud of yourself. We encourage it. Ever wished someone "took more pride in their work"? Of course, you have. The idea that we should avoid feeling proud is not right. I believe having the correct type of pride is necessary to our success (yes, there is two types of pride). 


The English language does not distinguish the two types of pride. But new studies and research has come forth with two different forms of pride. There is Authentic pride and Hubristic pride. Both forms of pride can help us to achieve more success. But only authentic pride results in other people admiring us. And by success, I mean attaining the goals that you set for yourself. 


Authentic pride is the emotion you get when you are pleased with what you've achieved through hard work. Having Authentic pride is all about finding something meaningful to you and then working hard to attain that thing. Authentic pride can be a positive emotion. It serves to motivate us to accomplish great things. There is nothing wrong with the positive feelings of pride associated with accomplishments. The desire to obtain a sense of accomplishment and pride drives us toward excellence in life. 


So, why do I believe that pride is essential to our success? Research by Dr Jessica Tracy; professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia proves that people driven by authentic pride are more willing to delay self-gratification. They tend to work harder, make sacrifices and persevere in the face of difficulties because of the value they put in their craft. 


If you want to continue feeling authentic pride, keep earning it. Do everything to the best of your abilities. Take risks and work towards your goals. Do not seek external praise. Even when others recognize you, and it kicks in that pride feeling. You know they are correct in their assessment. You probably thank them for recognizing you, but you still do not feel any compulsion to brag about it. This form of pride holds the secret to life's greatest successes. If you are proud of your work, proud of the way you do your work and proud of the contribution your work makes in society, you will be motivated to do a good job. You persevere in your efforts despite obstacles, and over time you will be successful.


Hubristic, on the other hand, is that ego-driven pride most of us have felt at times. It leads us to brag and compare ourselves to others. Have you ever achieved something and been so proud that you decided to post about it on Instagram or other social media platforms? What you initially felt might have been authentic pride, but often, once we share the post and the accolades come pouring in via likes and comments, we feel regret for sharing the post. That is a sign you were experiencing hubris. You were bragging. Hubristic pride focuses on what we want other people to think of us. It is about getting praise from others even when we are undeserving of that praise.


But when you accomplish success, do not make the pitful mistake of putting yourself on a pedestal. Hubristic pride leads to the downfall of most successful people. Tiger Woods is one of many successful people who fell prey to hubris. After his infamous cheating scandal, Tiger Woods said this on an interview; "I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules did not apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame. I did not have to go far to find them. I was wrong; I was foolish. I do not get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself." 


Pride is necessary for our success. But it needs to be managed. Do not let success feed your ego and become conceited. If you want to continue feeling authentic pride, keep earning it by putting in the work. Stay hungry for success.


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I totally agree when used positively pride can be motivation for even better results

charles barry

It’s true we have to keep working hard to achieve authentic pride


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