Apr 10, 2022

Happy Fire Friday, 🔥

I've consistently struggled with the balance between confidence and arrogance.

It was April 13th, 1996.

Kobe Bryant was set to play in the Magic Johnson Roundball Tournament--a classic tournament for some of the best talent coming out of high school.

It comes as no surprise to anyone that Kobe was one of the top-ranked players coming out of high school. With a season stat-line of 31 pts, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks as a guard, there was a buzzing excitement around his name.

But... he wasn't ranked number one.

A guy named Tim Thomas was the number one ranked player at the time.

Now, I believe that too much comparison is the empitness of all joy, but there is power in knowing who you want to become, and who stands as the goal you want to reach.

And this ate Kobe alive.

The night before the game, he couldn't sleep.

He was pacing around the room, and then back in bed. 1am... 2am... 3am... he kept repeating himself to his roommate:

"Tomorrow they've got Tim as the #1 player in the country. I'm gonna go out there and show the world that I'M the number one player in the country.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go out there and destroy anyone who tries to guard me.

Watch. Just wait and see."

Needless to say, Kobe did just that. He balled out and emphatically made his case for the #1 player in the country.

We all know who Kobe is now, but what would you say to someone who said that to you today?

Who had the audacity to call their shot?

To believe that deeply in themselves?

Is this arrogance? Or is this confidence? Maybe a little bit of both?

There's a fine line.

And the only person who knows whether you've crossed it or not?

It's you.

Confidence is a funny thing. All the psychology stuff says we need it to be successful. It's a direct contributor to motivation, enjoyment, and skill development.

But how do we find that line?

When you know you're great at something, there is power in leaning into that. Into continuing the work with a growing feeling that you're meant for something greater.

I think the line is drawn at honesty.

Arrogance is confidence without merit.

If you act with confidence in something you're not great at, and you don't work on... you know it.

That's not what we're shooting for...

But if you can honestly say you've put the work in.

That you're consistently pushing yourself past your comfort zone. 

That even if you're not where you want to be yet, you believe you can get there. 

Then there is so much power in leaning in to the confidence that you undoubtedly feel.

It can be so defeating to feel confident, but be called arrogant.

I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to be classified in the arrogant column.

I experienced this through my entire playing career, and I've begun to experience this in my professional career as well.

It can make you question yourself.

It leads to imposter syndrome.

It doesn't nothing to incentivize continued growth.

And the ticket to continuing to build confidence...

...is forgetting about the person thinks you're arrogant. 

It's knowing exactly who you are, what you stand for, and who you are committed to being.

Kobe rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. His level of self-belief was off-the-charts. 

Do you think he would have accomplished what he did without that?

You're not too confident. 

You're working

You're growing.

And you're exactly where you need to be.

Keep shooting your shot. 

Don't let anyone prevent you from doing so.

Keep fighting the good fight.

And when someone tries to tell you otherwise, you know what to say.

Shooters Shoot.

I'll see you next Friday. 🔥