When Stubborn Pride is Pulling Your Strings

stubborn pride

I am well acquainted with Stubborn Pride.

I have listened to that wheedling, guilt-inducing voice too many times in my life, and it has never ended well.

As a matter of fact, I learned some time ago that when I am really struggling with fear of failure, I can find it lurking nearby, working my emotional strings better than a master puppeteer.


Kim, you’re not making progress at a career like you thought you would.

You better hope no one asks you what you do for work.

Kim, your personal finances are are a mess.

If I were you, I’d really be ashamed of my money management skills.

Kim, your list of friends is practically non-existent.

Perhaps you are far less interesting or fun to be around than you thought.


Stubborn Pride attempts to manipulate you with a distorted view of the truth.

Your reaction is almost always to either hide in embarrassment or double-down with Stubborn Pride at the controls, continuing to do what you’ve been doing, and continuing to get the same result.

But here’s the real truth:

Your “failures” don’t matter to the people to whom you matter.

They love you no less for what you think you should have done or become.

They love and accept you for you.


They are able to see something you might not:

Stubborn Pride is the real problem, and until you recognize it is pulling your strings, it will hold you captive.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits offers turning toward the problem as a solution:

Turning toward a problem is scary as hell. That’s why we avoid it. But you can overcome that fear and do it anyway. You can look the problem directly in the face and open yourself up to it. Only then can you deal with it, and see that it’s not as scary as you think. Because by turning away from the problem, we give it power, and the fear of it rules our lives.

Let’s take away that power, and shine a little light on the problem. Allow ourselves to feel the pain, to feel the fear and still take action. To begin the healing. To begin to create something new and amazing from the ills that have been hiding in the dark.

Turn toward the problem and you turn it into something beautiful.


In my experience, cutting the strings of Stubborn Pride allows us to not only move forward from our mistakes and mis-steps, but also frees us to reach out and help others from the benefit of our experience.

More resources to help you cut the strings:

Barking up the Wrong Tree: What 5 Counter-Intuitive Things Can Help You Make Better Choices? 

Inc.: 4 Decision-Making Mistakes to Avoid

TDH: A Must-Have Decision Making Tool


Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. ~Malcolm S. Forbes


Comment: How have you cut the cord when Stubborn Pride has been pulling your strings?

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  1. Pride is really hard to control without the grace of God! Thank you for sharing this nice article :)

  2. I love that idea of turning toward the problem. Pride is really the voice of discouragement, making us feel that we aren’t enough and that if we pursue humility and ask for help, we will somehow be “less.” It isn’t easy to overcome. I find being with others who are struggling often helps.. we can all encourage each other.
    Seana turner recently posted…Timing MattersMy Profile

    • Great insight, Seana. I agree. Pride is about being discouraged about who and what we are. It’s so sad that humbling ourselves by asking for help has gotten such a bad rap. Your note about struggling with others who are struggling too reminds me of my time at Toastmasters. The clubs were full of encouragement to get up and speak, to not be afraid of making mistakes, because it was only through practice we’d get better.

  3. I must say that this post has given me something to think upon. Thanks for your insight and I can see that I need to turn towards a few problems that i have in this area.
    Blessings for your thoughts today~
    Living Waters by LeAnn recently posted…Welcome To The World Sweet Little Myah Makayla ~My Profile

  4. What an interesting and honest way to look at pride. So often I attempt to control and manage certain areas of my life. But I am not smart enough, funny enough, strong enough, etc…only can I do ALL things through HIM who gives me strength. You would think I would get a hold of that once and for all…?Thank goodness for God’s grace and His love and patience to remind me of these things over and over again.
    Great post.
    Cassie recently posted…Monday’s Prescription: A Dose of Motivation!My Profile

    • Kim Hall says:

      I agree with you completely, Cassie. Although I’ve become more aware since I became a Christian as an adult, I am still very much a work in progress. Nice to meet you, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hey Kim,

    You are not alone in your way of thinking. Many times I’ve caught myself thinking some of these same things.

    Adrienne, you’re not doing as well as you should. You better not hope someone asks you how much money you make or you’re going to look like you just got thrown a pie in your face. I use to have these conversations with me too but no matter what took place my family and friends remained very proud of me. They know that I’m a go getter and I don’t take no for an answer. I stick with it until I can make it work or figure it out. I think that’s really a good trait to have too thank goodness.

    Thanks for being so honest Kim and I’m sure you’re doing just fine. Oh and have plenty of friends too my dear! 😉

    Have a good weekend.

    Adrienne recently posted…Are You Sabotaging Your Blog Commenting EffortsMy Profile

    • Kim Hall says:

      Thanks for your honesty and encouragement Adrienne! I always said that if we could actually see these kind of thoughts that others were having, it would be much easier to let down our guard and concentrate on lifting both our own boats and the boats of others.

  6. Interesting stuff here. I tend to think that it depends on one’s reason for having what you’re calling stubborn pride in determining whether it’s a good thing or not. For instance, if you’re fighting a battle that can’t be won because of your pride, then that’s a bad thing. On the other hand, if you’re fighting someone’s belief that you can’t do something but it’s what you want to do or a dream of yours, and they have no experience or don’t have the background to criticize you, then it’s a good thing. Sometimes, when the line is really thin… well, that’s when one needs to be as perspicacious as possible to figure out the right way to go. But I’d agree that pride might not make it an easy thing to do.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…September 11th, 2001; 13 Years Later…My Profile

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