Extract from 18 Ways We Make Life Way Harder Than It Needs To Be by Carl Massy (WAY 16)
“Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.”
Thomas Jefferson (US President and primary Author of US Declaration of Independence)
I think most of us were taught that ‘pride’ is a good thing. To feel proud for who and what we are. To take pride in what we do. To take pride in what we have achieved – be it over the course of our lives or over the last few weeks working on a new project at work, which we totally nailed!
So yes, pride can be a good thing. But like many things, there can be another side to it, when taken to extreme. It is like all great virtues. They are great when they are applied in a conscious self-aware way. Too much bravery and someone can become reckless. Too much loyalty and someone can be taken advantage of or stuck in something for longer than is healthy. Too much single-mindedness and someone can meander down the wrong path. Too much flexibility and someone can be all over the place.
Just like in those examples, there is a place where pride can hold us back from our evolution and our ability to experience higher levels of consciousness. It can hold us back from the most unique and fullest expression of our own potential. It can stop us being the unique light we have the potential to be.
Want to know how?
The downside of pride is when it makes us too outwardly focused on external feedback, as our measure of whether we ought to feel proud or not. Put more simply, it is about caring too much about what others think of us. Many people use their measure of what to be proud of, based on the feedback they get from others. Be that their peers, their family, their community and even society as a whole. We feel proud when someone tells us we have done something, which is worthy of being proud about.
But what happens when someone has a different map of the world or point of view? What if they don’t like what you have done, or the choices you have made? Have you ever done something you are really proud of, and then someone who you might care about (or care about their opinions) says something negative or derogatory and you end up feeling pretty crap? In this case, you did something you were proud of, which made you feel good, only to let someone external to you give you their negative opinion (based on their different worldview or insecurities), which ultimately made you feel bad.
This is the real downside of pride – if it is based on external measures – which is unfortunately what most people use as their determinant of whether they ‘should’ feel good about themselves or not. Most people rely on OTHER PEOPLE’S feedback to determine if they can feel good about something they have done.
What we want to do is to transcend our sense of pride based on other people’s opinions. One of the ways to do this is to step into living a life based on Courage. Dr David Hawkins, in his amazing book – Power Versus Force – talks about how Courage, as a level of consciousness, is higher than pride, and how Courage is also the entry point to evolving beyond the influence of the lower mind and ego. When we show up with the consciousness of ‘Courage’ we have the potential to leave behind what other people think of us, our life, and the way we choose to live life. We are no longer attached to external approval for our sense of self-worth. We have the courage to do what we want to do, without seeking approval, recognition, or agreement from people outside ourselves. This opens up a whole new world of opportunity for us, and an opportunity to advance into even higher levels of consciousness.
When we choose to live life courageously, we care less about what others think of our life, and the choices we make. The reality is that no one can know us better than we can know ourselves. Mum and dad might have a good guess. Our friends might come close to the mark, but no one can truly know what we want to be, do or become, unless they are actually living inside our body, mind and soul. So, stop getting too caught up in pride, and what other people think about the choices you make.
I tell all of my clients to stop caring so much. Especially what other people think of them. This does not mean I want them not to care at all and turn into a narcissistic menace to society. I still want my clients to care. I just want them to care less about what other people do or don’t think about them. I want them to care more about what their heart is telling them. And like I suggested in the very start of this book, pay attention to what their gut (intuition) has to say. This is about being a great human-being in accordance with what they believe that to be, and as it relates to them.
Care less about what others think, and care more about whether your heart is singing with the choices you make in life. That feedback is much more relevant and accurate as to whether you have something to be proud of or not.
Choose Courage each and every day. Choose to be more courageous in your relationships. More courageous in the workplace. More courageous in your dinner table conversations. More courageous in co-creating your destiny. More courageous in your goal setting.You only need to be a little more courageous than yesterday (i.e. 4%), and the compound effect of being more courageous, day-to-day, will change the entire trajectory of your life.(I actually think if you don’t go into true stillness and inner quiet, you might think you are hearing the heart, but what you might be hearing is the brains intellectualization of what it THINKS the heart is telling you. That is a very different thing IMHO.)
My Parting word
Pride is an interesting thing
And like most interesting things, there is a difference in our relationship with them, depending on the level of conscious awareness with bring to their application.
Pride applied unconsciously can definitely hold us back from our full potential.
I hope you enjoyed this 16th WAY, we make life WAY harder than it needs to be.
If you want to check out the other 17 WAYS, then grab a copy of my latest book and go for it!
It is less than 120-pages of actual reading, so a doable for even the slowest reader.
Plus every chapter stands-alone, so you can do the stop and start thing and not lose the groove.
Have a pride-aware day and a courageous oriented week.
See you next week.