‘Self Righteousness’ is the worst disease Entrepreneurs have, others too.
[This post is more of an introspection/reflection rather than a direction to the world, I myself am struggling to overcome this constant desire and compulsion to be self righteous. I must accept that i am extremely self-righteous and most of the traits mentioned below come from my own observation of self.]
We entrepreneurs and mostly ones in the social enterprise space have this insatiable habit of being right or believing so as there is perhaps a deep fear of being wrong. Despite this being one of the strong reasons why it isolates us from many or most, we indulge in it and come across as a sole proprietor of rights and wrongs of the universe. Well, i am not talking about belief or confidence that every individual must have, am talking about idea of being right all the time, subconsciously being judgmental about yourself and more so towards others, almost looking down upon others — their profession, means and modes of livelihood, their value system. Virginia Satir once said “Whether you point your finger in blame or extend the hand in partnership is only a matter of perception.”
Here are a few reasons why we should not be self righteous or avoid the compulsion of it as much as we can:
1. Because world is not Black or White, simple.
Some of us use ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ a lot in our vocabulary and we don’t know where or when did we fall in love with these two so militarified words. Perhaps a lot of us could attribute this to the strong value laden families we were born into, where decisions were mostly top down, patriarchal or seniority based. Our elders mostly parents and perhaps also our teachers had an unwritten code of conduct book for us kids and we were to align ourselves to those values. Now some of us questioned those ideas at some point in life, may be some of those values if not all, and for many of us it remains as a universal infinite structure. And that subconscious surrender to one set of values developed within us a habit or a liking for structured, organized and sometimes polar thoughts. May be it is the fear of not being wrong, for either there is judgement if not punishment if one is wrong. Therefore we want to be certain, we like being opinionated. And our ego just aggravates the phenomenon.
So people learn to question and also be prepared to be questioned.
2. You don’t have to be a perpetual critic cynic, grow up.
There are better ways to start a conversation or remain relevant in one, instead of being dismissive, arrogant or corrective. Value add has more means than one it could very well just be active ‘listening’ or appreciation. Everything is not a show and nobody will judge you if you don’t make a super intelligent argument and mostly critic or advice. We put our brain on overdrive when we are amogst intelligent people, we want to participate in a discussion, we want to make sense infront of others and mostly it begins with a ‘disagreement’ or critical anlysis.
Some sharings are just worldy lighter communication, not necessarily a soliciting of ‘assistance’ or ‘advice’. People will know you for your ‘head’ but they will remember you for your ‘heart’.
3) You don’t have to win everyone, its okay to be stupid.
Its actually an extension of the previous point i was trying to make about ‘brain’ and ‘heart’. We are too obsessed with our brain and our intellect. It sometimes also stems out of our over-confidence and superiority complex. We have a false sense of entitlement over certain things in life and we think we know best. We are actually closed to other ideas, other perspectives or sometimes other feelings, and may be deep inside to ‘others’. We want to be at the top, we want to be flawless, and this consumes us- our mind, body and soul.
Its important to surrender, to be stupid. Use your other body parts too and your world will be more fun.
4) Please don’t take yourself so seriously, chill.
We tend to take too much ‘load’ in life and mostly about ourselves and our projection to the world. We think we can ‘charm’ people through our stature and firmness or perhaps impress them. No, we mostly intimidate them. We have taken humor out of our life or understand it very selectively based on our convenience. Infact there is more connectedness around stupidity than always through ‘righteousness’ or virtues or intellect. And we think we are watched, judged. In the contrary, we are the one watching and judging.
So, lets relax a little and don’t take charge of doing all the right things in this world.