We’ve all been there. When you’re up on the mountaintop and everything seems to be going your way, it’s hard to imagine things being anything but good. Then your world starts to crumble. Maybe you lose your job, or your health takes a nose dive, and panic sets in. You’ve got a wife and kids counting on you not to mention bills to pay. You start to wonder just how long it is going to be before the creditors starting looking for you…
We’ve all heard people saying, “I would never work THERE,” as if “there” is beneath them. The term “there” generally applies to unskilled labor or work that pays poorly. We know in our hearts that an honest day of work at any honest job is not beneath us, but we sometimes start to think a little too highly of ourselves. Until life deals us a blow we weren’t prepared to handle…
The truth is sometimes we need a lesson in humility. We can get too big for our britches and find ourselves in need of a change of perspective. It’s at these times we need to swallow our pride and do the thing that we’ve been dreading doing.
Why we struggle with swallowing our pride
Behind every emotion, there is a root cause, and when it comes to pride, the impetus behind it is often fear of embarrassment. Sometimes, this comes across as arrogance. We say we would never accept a certain job because we think people will make fun of us. We’ve come to see ourselves a certain way, and that type of job just does not fit the profile.
Status in life sometimes plays a cruel trick on us, and we are left believing that we are more than we really are. The problem with this is we have confused our worth with the things we have and the things we do when in reality our worth comes from who we are.
Life kicks us all in the teeth from time to time. It’s nature’s way of keeping us humble and levelling the playing field. And as much as it hurts, it’s good for us.
What you need to know about swallowing your pride
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and when we find ourselves verging on “cocky,” we know which end of the spectrum we’re on. Confidence is both attractive and infectious. Unfortunately, pride is the exact opposite. It’s obnoxious and off-putting. So why do we cling to it so stubbornly?
We foolishly cling to our pride because our ego says it just can’t take the “hit,” but sometimes the hit is precisely what we need to grow.
Maybe you have had the fortune of starting your own business and seeing it swell to great success only to experience a setback. Perhaps your wife has decided you work too much, and it’s the business or her, or your health is starting to break down under the wear and tear of all work and no play, and it necessitates a change.
What can you do when slowing down is the only option?
It feels like a defeat, especially considering money was never an obstacle before, and now, you’re faced with worries about where your next pay cheque is going to come from. The truth is sometimes you have to swallow your pride and take the job. You know the one at “that place.” The one you would NEVER work at. Yes, the time has come to take THAT JOB and to be thankful for it.
Here are some things we need to know about swallowing our pride:
- It is necessary.
If you want to grow, your pride has to take a back seat. There is no room for pride in a healthy person. It destroys work relationships, families, and even marriages. Nothing positive comes from pride.
If we truly want to grow and achieve success in life, we must learn to be confident in our abilities and our future but not to base our self-worth on them. Jobs, cars, money, and fame do not last. Ultimately, they are not real. The truth depth of who you are and what you are worth comes from what is inside of you, your strength of character as a person and your integrity. It has nothing to do with what you can produce, what your title is at work, or any physical thing that you have to offer. Your worth comes from your heart, and sometimes you need to be reminded of that.
- It is a mark of maturity.
Pride is selfish; it causes us to only think about ourselves and how we are affected by things. A mature outlook is characterized by thinking of others first.
The humble person realizes that when times are tough sometimes you need to take the less than ideal job because it is far less than ideal to fail to provide for your family. Putting food on the table and keeping a roof over your heads becomes the priority.
When money is tight and life is difficult, things come into sharp focus. Pride goes before a fall, and the things of this world are stripped away, leaving behind only what matters. It is only then that we can see clearly and with mature eyes.
- It builds character.
Sometimes we need to be forced to give up things that are harmful for us. Our vision becomes clouded, and we cannot see that the things that we are permitting in our lives are causing us nothing but grief. We overlook the blessings as we strive to accumulate more when more isn’t what we need.
It is during the times when we experience a humbling that we gain strength and knowledge. We can see ourselves more plainly, and we get back to the root of who we are.
- It makes you likeable.
The truth is proud people can be pretty tough to take. They’re constantly telling you how great they are while you’re constantly trying to figure out a way to get away from their “greatness.” But we can easily fall into this trap as well.
When we have a proper perspective of self, we are automatically more likeable. We’re more fun to be around, and we are ready and waiting for success to find us. We’re not hampered by unrealistic expectations.
- It reduces your stress level.
Proud people feel intense amounts of pressure. After all, it’s not enough to achieve a certain level of success; now, you must maintain it or top it.
Did you realize that you don’t have to top anything? You can set your own course and let only your conscience be your guide. You determine your own successes in life, and you determine your own failures. No man is your judge.
Swallow your pride and say no to things that leave you overburdened, frustrated, and feeling stressed. Yes, we all need money to survive, but we don’t need boatloads of it at the expense of our health and family.
- It is freeing.
As difficult as it is to let go of, saying goodbye to your pride is the ultimate freedom. You’ve been a slave to it for far too long. Though in the initial days when you feel your pride has been painfully wrenched from you, you feel naked and ashamed; over time, you start to feel as if a weight has been lifted. That weight is often nothing more than the weight of your own expectations. Being freed from them provides you with the greatest sense of peace. There is often great release in simply letting go.
We don’t like to let go of our pride; yet it is crucial in order for us to grow and to thrive. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and take the job, and it hurts at the time. All change can be painful, but it is for your good. Though the pill is bitter to swallow, it brings a freedom that you could not have imagined. Letting go of your pride is one of the very best things that you can do.