Pride – a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
I am confessing something that I have held onto which has held me back for quite some time in business and in relationships. I am doing so in order that I may repent, be accountable and make a positive change. I have allowed this small thing to grow into a mighty tree with strong roots. Roots so strong and deep that I didn’t realize how much work it would take to dig it up and how vulnerable I would feel in the process of doing so. That thing is pride.
Most of us see nothing wrong with having pride in something or being prideful. And the very definition of the word and its interchangeable use for what seems to be good can sometimes make us feel justified in holding onto it. I know that was the case with me. Let me explain. I have held onto pride in my accomplishments, allowing them and the high that I receive from them to fuel me into looking down on others and even beating myself up when I wasn’t achieving or meeting the standards that I had set. I was so high-minded of myself that I wasn’t allowing myself the grace to make mistakes or learn from them. I wasn’t being human and allowing God to make up the difference for me. When I failed or when I really needed help, I was too ashamed to ask for it. I wanted to have the pride of saying I did this all on my own. I kept masking it as fear but that isn’t really what it was.
It wasn’t until it was placed on my heart to really help others that I saw myself in those I kept extending myself to. I have a heart to help women pursue their purpose and to step into entrepreneurship. I have been led to do this for a while and I believe it came out of my own silent cries for help. I see so many women who are gifted, talented and struggling, just like myself. And I desperately want to help them overcome the hurdles to success. But one thing has been holding them and myself back – pride. Pride will cause you to believe you are strong when you are truly becoming more weak each moment you don’t let it go, humble yourself and be true to who you are. It will rob you of opportunities to let your light shine. It will stifle you when you really need to reach up and out before drowning in the sea of your own haughtiness.
I started a group on Google+ for women to connect with others, push through stumbling blocks and help each other on the road to success. I post there every day – whether it is an encouraging word, a resource, or an event. I have asked them what they need and how I may be of assistance to them time and time again. No one responds. I put out a call on my Facebook page to find out what women needed most to get to the next level. Was it finances? Accountability? Connections? Know-how? Not one person replied. I found myself being frustrated with this because I sincerely want to help and I know these women need it. But they just would not respond. That’s when I started to take it to prayer and God showed me myself. I too am one of these women who is afraid to ask for help. I pride myself in figuring it out on my own. But the truth is, I do not know it all or have it all together and I will stagnate my growth by sitting in silence and not making genuine efforts to connect with those who can assist me on my journey.
The Bible says pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. I have failed enough times in business and in relationships to know that this is nothing but the truth. So allow me to implore you not to make the same mistake. If you are in a place where you are trying to get to the next level but can’t figure it out, stop and ask yourself if you are allowing pride to stand in your way. If you are, ask for help. I took my own advice and stretched myself by connecting on LinkedIn with Dr. Venus Opal Reese to ask for mentorship. And guess what? She responded and we will be talking tomorrow. This is just one step of many, but I am determined to defeat this nasty spirit of pride that has robbed me of so much growth and opportunity. I hope that you will do the same. If there is any way that I can assist you on your journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.
With love and in humility…