Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. It closes our minds to learning, makes us selfish, and jeopardizes our roles as leaders and successful business owners. It’s a feeling that you are more important than others. But putting pride aside can help us in our endeavors to be better and more successful. The bible says:
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.Proverbs 16:18
Whether hearing something new from a child, there are lessons to be learned every day from people, and you do never expect. As Vernon Howard said, “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.”
Career retrogression is a reversal in development; it is a return to a former and less multifaceted level of development or organization. Career retrogression means moving to an earlier and less efficient stage of development. Pride is a common reason for career retrogression because it makes one self-conscious. Many people lack the risk tolerance to start a business. Even if everything is in place for them (skill, desire, funding, idea, business plan), they can’t bring themselves to risk the time, money, reputation, or effort in something that could fail. Their low-risk tolerance rules out a countless number of opportunities.
Here are tips that can help you put your pride aside so you can succeed professionally:
1. Be Aware
The first step to checking your pride is recognizing when you are too prideful. Be introspective but not too hard on yourself. While pride shows you sufficiently value yourself and your accomplishments and it helps you work toward what you deserve, it’s dangerous in large quantities. Once you start listening to your thoughts and thinking about others, you will exercise better control over pride.
2. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.
Pride comes from fear of embarrassment or shame. If you are willing to laugh at yourself, admit that you don’t know everything, and ignore prideful thoughts when they enter your brain, you can avoid creating a mental and personality block that will hinder your growth. While confidence, determination, and respect are crucial leadership qualities, you won’t earn them if you have too much pride.
3. Ask the Right Questions
An insightful book called Change Your Questions, Change Your Life teaches how asking learning questions versus judging questions can help you and those around you succeed. But what’s the difference between these questions? How do you know if you are even asking the right ones? The book highlights learning and judgment charts, with the former leading to a positive outcome and the latter to “the judger pit.”
To open the door to resolution and growth, ask “What happened?” or “What do I want?” instead of “why am I such a failure?” or “why are they so stupid?”
4. Be Open-Minded
Being open-minded will allow you to serve yourself and your team members better. If you feel yourself shutting someone down before the person even finishes a sentence, take a breath and make yourself focus on their opinion. If you don’t agree or understand, ask a clarifying question. Being open-minded will boost team morale, and you will also wind up with better ideas and results.
5. Listen, do not Talk
Being a know-it-all has never had a good connotation. It is impossible to know everything and people who pretend to usually resented for acting that way.
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say.”Brant H. McGill
Listening is the antithesis to pride because when you are allowing someone else to express themselves or their ideas, you are putting your egotism aside. Focus more on listening instead of talking and see how many new things you learn in the process.
6. Put Your Business First
If you are struggling with pride, ego, and other unpopular human traits, put your business goals on a pedestal. Pride can be bad for business.
Whenever you feel yourself becoming stubborn, argumentative, or defensive (symptoms of pride), ask yourself this one question: “Will this help me become better at my job, move up in the company, or improve the business’s bottom line?” if it’s a NO, then you know you have the pride to contend.
As you work to become less prideful and a better leader, employee, and business owner, cut yourself some slack. It is never easy to change for the better, but when you put in the work to check your pride at the door, you will be amazed at the doors it opens and who is waiting to teach you something new.
“But he giveth more. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble”.James 4:6
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