Why We Should Be More Arrogant / by Amy DeRosia

CC photo by Matteo Paganelli

Creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that-merely by being here-you are allowed to have a voice, a vision of your own.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

I've never been a fan of arrogance. But developing this quality was one of my major takeaways from Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Big Magic

We wait for approval, recognition, or confirmation that our ideas are worth sharing. We feel obligated to follow the rules, go through the proper channels, and stand in line until we're noticed by someone who matters. But that method is rarely the best way to create or add value.

You don't need anyone's permission to make your art, start a movement, or solve a problem.  Even though there is security in being chosen or invited by someone else to do something, waiting to be picked is disheartening. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all. We could easily become bitter, cynical, or stuck because we're giving someone else all the power. 

The arrogance of belonging is not about egotism or self absorption. In a strange way, it’s the opposite; it is a divine force that will actually take you out of yourself and allow you to engage more fully with life. Because often what keeps you from creative living is your self-absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgement, your crushing sense of self protection). The arrogance of belonging pulls you out of the darkest depths of self hatred-not by saying ‘I am the greatest! but merely by saying ‘I am here!
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Believing that you have a place at the table changes how you interact with the world around you. You stop listening to the voice that says, "who do you think you are?" You learn by doing and speak up when you have something to say. 

Leadership, like art, is something we tend to leave to the experts. But you can be a leader through small, ordinary actions. Here is an excellent TEDx talk on Everyday Leadership by Drew Dudley:

We have made leadership into something bigger than us. We’ve made into something beyond us. We’ve made it about changing the world. And we’ve taken this title of leader, and we treat it as if it’s something that one day we’re going to deserve, but to give it to ourselves right now means a level of arrogance or cockiness that we’re not comfortable with.
— Drew Dudley

Creativity and leadership are not supposed to be for the select few. We are all artists and leaders whether we define ourselves that way or not. This type of confidence will spill over into every area of our lives, relationships, and communities.

When have you been arrogant for all the right reasons? Did It pay off?