Pride is not always a bad thing. It is a downfall of many, a positive light in so many more. Too little pride in yourself can lead to self-doubt, a lack of confidence and a sign of weakness. Too much pride can be seen as arrogance, immaturity and, once again, a sign of weakness.
In my short career, thus far, I have witnessed individuals with not enough pride and others who are overflowing with so much self-pride it can be distracting It is so easy to be on one side of the fence or the other when it concerns pride. I would allow pride in the job, pride in the profession, pride in your coworkers. However, I would throw caution at too much pride in one’s self. In no way am I encouraging those who have a lot of self-confidence and a feeling of self-worth to feel otherwise. What I am encouraging is an increased awareness of overt and transparent self-pride; that is, thinking that you are so good you are untouchable. Turn pride into an overt sense of humbleness and humility, for none of us, as LEO’s, are untouchable.
This leads to my next discussion point. If we are able to sit down and take control of our pride and transform it into a humble understanding of ourselves, then we are going to be able to allow everyday lessons to “stick”. We will be able to learn. By allowing pride to lose out to our humble nature, we are inevitably opening ourselves up to numerous learning experiences we would previously have been closed off to. Having too much pride will close off opportunities to learn. We won’t be able to see things with the openness and understanding that our humble selves would be able to. By bringing our heads out of the clouds, we are able to take the smallest experiences from every single day and learn from them.
I encourage everyone in the profession of law enforcement to identify one area of their lives in which they think they have too much pride. Now, allow that pride to remain as a strong sense of self-worth and change from a sense of entitlement and superiority. If this change has been successfully made, not only are you allowing yourself to become open to an increased number of everyday lessons, but you are allowing yourself to become a teaching point to others. You have now become a more useful and valuable professional.
Too much pride will eventually lead to a professional downfall; potentially one that is extremely difficult to rebound from. We do not wish this on anyone at all. We all want to be successful in our own regard. I advise you to be cautious of your ambitions, follow them with a fevered passion but keep them in check. At the end of the day have pride, but have it in the sense that you have done things the right way, with integrity, with regard to safety, your coworkers, and a sense of humility that many find themselves without.