Understanding Pride vs. Confidence as Leaders

Published by Tirzah Magazine on April 21, 2017

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

Proverbs 10:9

I am the worst when it comes to comparing myself. Being a millennial, I’m trying to succeed with the least amount of work possible. Currently, our world is filled with idolized celebrities and public figures that seem to become popular out of nowhere. Some of them gained a celebrities’ status solely based on their physical appearance and “selfie game”. (Hi, Kim Kardashian.)

Commonly, I noticed that all of them have this sense of pride about their work, brand, business etc. It seems that they use their pride to gain popularity and ultimately become successful.

In my head, I have associated success with pride.

“But no, no…they’re just confident in themselves.”

The line between confidence and pride is blurred.

Pride –

  • a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct etc.

Synonyms: self-righteousness, self-fulfillment, satisfaction in oneself

Pride is “all about me.”

Sometimes, as leaders, pride can get in the way and hinder the way we lead. Pride in leaders ultimately comes from insecurity, personal anxiety and self-doubt because of a leadership that is seemingly disconnected. Prideful leaders are unsure about themselves and what they can offer to others.

Along with these doubtful feelings is a desire to make oneself and one’s voice heard in an attempt to compensate for insecurity. As a result, pride is verbal and is heard because their mouths. Meanwhile, inside of them, insecurity is silent, hiding on the internal of their hearts.

Insecurity can manifest in all sorts of ways, but there is an alternative in leadership which is confidence—humble confidence.

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

 Matthew 23:12

We are called to lead with humble confidence.


Humility comes from the Latin root, “humilius”, which translates to “earth, ground, dirt”

We are dust.  

“For He knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust.”

Psalms 103:14

Having humility is knowing where your identity comes from.

A confident leader finds their identity in Christ.

We are children of God.

We are deeply loved.

We are His mission.

We are given confidence to pursue Him and His works through grace.

We are dust and we are loved.

Confidence –

  • the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something

Synonyms: trust, faith

We are created in His image and gifts, strengths or opportunities are given to us because of grace in our lives.

Born in humility, confidence is about using the gifts and abilities you have been blessed with to their fullest, and not just having these gifts benefit yourself.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Proverbs 16:17-18


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