There are a lot of adages warning against pride. “Pride goeth before destruction,” and all that. However, taking a healthy pride in your work can be very motivating. Accepting wounds to your pride, even more so.
Photo by Tambako The Jaguar.
As productivity site 99u explains, there are many kinds of pride. The pride we’d call “hubris” doesn’t just say you’re confident in your abilities, but that you can do no wrong. This can quickly lead to your own downfall. However, taking pride in your own work – simply being proud of what you’ve done and how it benefits those around you – can keep you motivated to do good work, even when you don’t have to. Rather than putting in the minimum effort, your pride makes you go beyond to satisfy yourself.
That kind of pride can be easily wounded, though. When you fail or don’t meet your own expectations, it’s uncomfortable and you feel bad about the work you do. In that situation 99u suggests embracing that feeling, rather than running from it, to motivate yourself to improve:
If you recently suffered a disappointment — perhaps a design pitch was rejected, or your latest artwork commission fell through — and are feeling a distinct lack of pride, try not to bury this emotional discomfort. Instead, use it to motivate yourself to make the changes you need to turn things around.
If you internalise your criticisms and failures too much, it can turn into shame which has very few positive motivating factors. Shame says you can’t do anything and you may as well not try. Allowing yourself to feel pride – and expecting that it will be wounded from time to time – can push you to do your best work.
Why Pride is Good [99u]