It can be easy to confuse arrogance with confidence but what separates the two is COMPETENCE.
A competent individual with confidence in themselves will outperform a competent individual without it.
An arrogant individual will overestimate their abilities, be resistant to acknowledge or accept anything that would corroborate against their abilities, and they aren’t fully aware of their inadequacy.
Usually a person who is arrogant will be just as confident as someone who is competent but they will lack results.
A person who might be considered as confident and competent would exhibit justified levels of self-esteem (not inflated without reason), open mindedness, and results that align with this (Kleitman et al., 2019).
While other research suggests a benefit to underestimating abilities to be successful, it is again not without competence being present.
If you want to make progress, it is important to have belief in yourself and your abilities as well as your potential.
In bodybuilding, or going after anything, it would be necessary then that you can accurately and objectively reflect on your current standing in order to then improve on that.
For example, the last two times I’ve stepped on stage I realistically knew where my physique stood in comparison to where it needs to stand to be more competitive.
I did not experience a hit to my confidence in pursuit because I had a realistic self-evaluation and was open to feedback as well as exploring what would make me better.
The beautiful thing about this sport to me is that it always demands more.
You can be the best you’ve ever been and still find an area to improve.
It keeps you humble.
So what does developing competence even look like?
- openness to learn
- willingness to evaluate
- checking biases
- desire to improve
- ability to see areas for improvement
- focus on the craft
- healthy balance between fixating on negative presentations of ability and self compassion with encouragement
In short, all this is to say you can and “should” believe in yourself but not at the cost of developing yourself.
Support confidence with competence.