Of course, we want to take care of our families. Of course, we want to serve people. Of course, we want to be physically healthy. We want to have pride in ourselves and how we show up in the world, and what role we play with our family. Feeling proud of yourself and achieving is healthy.

That’s healthy pride.

But there’s unhealthy pride that can show up and can cause us a lot of pain.

My Experience with Unhealthy Pride

There are leaders in the world who are excessively proud and attached to what they have already created. I count myself as one of them, but I’ve moved past this. (It still shows up all the time, so I’m sure there are elements that I get to work on in the future.) By being proud and connected, and attached to what they’ve already created, they’re leaving a lot on the table. Some are more worried about having people know that they know something rather than being open to learning new things that can accelerate their process and growth.

I want you to consider this when someone is trying to teach you something. Is the first thought in your mind, “I already know that!” or do you immediately think “I’ve already been there and done that”? Those thoughts shut you down from learning something new. Those aspects will attach you more to what you’ve already created, and keep you playing small instead of allowing you to recognize and open yourself up to what is possible.

Get past the need to prove yourself. This will get you out of ego and unhealthy pride.

How It Showed Up For Me

When I began my coaching business, I started building very fast from the start. At the time, I had a lot of coaches around me who were also new, and they weren’t having the same experience. I was so egoically attached to my accomplishments that I ended up shoving their noses in them.

I wanted them to see my success more than I wanted to open myself to new success. I wanted so badly to be seen as accomplished. I was afraid to just open myself up – even in the presence of people who hadn’t accomplished what I had accomplished. I was afraid to open myself up to what wasn’t showing up in my life. It was more important for me to know or to have them know the fact that I knew something or I did something that they hadn’t. I was more attached to that than I was to surrendering to the other 99.9999% of what I hadn’t accomplished.

Unhealthy Pride Keeps You Small

Unhealthy pride will shut you off and keep you small. My two most successful clients – multimillionaires – will learn anything from anyone, anywhere, at any time. They will tell you everything that they haven’t yet accomplished. They will tell you all of their shortcomings. They will tell you all of their pitfalls. They will tell you all of their challenges. They will tell you all of that because they’re forward-looking and the only way they can be that way is to not be unhealthily proud.

You can be proud of where you are, but if you’re attached to that, you are just concerned with what everybody sees, instead of what you want. Unhealthy pride keeps you stuck, but vulnerability and exposing your opportunities and telling people what you haven’t yet accomplished is really what’s going to open you up to everything that you want.

For me, it shows up in two distinct ways – needing other people to know that you know something or constantly broadcasting your wins to make sure that people see you in a certain way.

Where Is Unhealthy Pride Showing Up for You?

When you can identify unhealthy pride, you will see the exact reason you are staying stuck. That’s the reason you’re playing small. I had a coach who said that there are people who show up at her full-day workshops out of resistance because they were almost forced to be there by someone else. They immediately shut themselves off. She can feel the fact that they’re not open to learning and just there to prove themselves. They’re more concerned that people in that room can see that they shouldn’t be there. I first heard her share that story when I sat in her full-day workshop next to my wife, who had asked me to attend. This coach was speaking to me, and I later hired her when I realized that day that I wanted everyone to see that I had it all figured out, even though I hadn’t.

Where is unhealthy pride showing up in your life? Identify that and you’ll open yourself up to the next step of achievement.