6 Ways to Overcome Your Pride

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. But putting pride aside can help us in our endeavors to be better and more successful.

Whether you’re hearing something new from an intern, an in-law, or a child, there are lessons to be learned every day from people you’d never expect. As Vernon Howard said, “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.”

The following six tips can help you put your pride aside so you can succeed professionally.

Be Aware

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.

The first step to checking your pride is recognizing when you may be too prideful. Be introspective but not too hard on yourself. Once you start listening to your thoughts and thinking about others, you’ll be able to exercise better control over pride.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Psychology Today explains that pride comes from fear of embarrassment or shame. If you’re 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 key leadership qualities, you won’t earn them or the admiration of others if you have too much pride.

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’re 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?”

Be Open-Minded

Prideful thinking can be interpreted as “your way or the highway.” By staying open-minded, you’ll already be serving yourself and team members better.

If you feel yourself shutting someone down before someone 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’ll also wind up with better ideas and results.

Listen, Don’t Talk

Being a know-it-all has never had a nice connotation. It’s impossible to know everything, and people who pretend to are often resented for acting that way.

As Brant H. McGill so eloquently put it, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

Listening is the antithesis to pride because when you’re giving someone else the opportunity to express themselves or their ideas, you’re putting your pride aside. Focus more on listening instead of talking and see how many new things you learn in the process.

Put Your Business First

Pride can be bad for business. If you’re struggling with pride, ego, and other unpopular human traits, put your business goals on a pedestal.

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 or even not an immediate yes, then you know you have pride to contend with and let go.

As you work to become less prideful and a better leader, employee, and business owner, cut yourself some slack. It’s never easy to change for the better, but when you put in the work to check your pride at the door, you’ll be amazed at the doors it opens and who’s waiting to teach you something new.