When Pride Becomes a Prison

Published on October 20th, 2016
Prison cells

My mom beams with pride when she tells the story. "Rick could do double digit addition in his head in kindergarten." I'm not going to lie. Seeing my mom so happy feels great because she's gone through a lot of challenges in life. Over time, it fueled my own sense of pride that I was one of the brights spots in her life, particularly during the darkest of times.

The problem arises when we crave and rely on that source of pride so much that it becomes a prison, preventing us from making new choices and changing some aspect about ourselves. Honestly, I knew my mom would always support what I did, but I was also hesitant to tell her that, after 10 years of college to obtain two degrees from MIT, I was going to "throw it all away" by abruptly changing career paths and moving into web development as a freelancer. And it wasn't just my mom, but the entire identity I had constructed with my friends and colleagues, most of which I've completely lost touch with as I've constructed a new version of myself.

Pride becomes a prison because it's easier to choose to remain who we are rather than allow ourselves, even for a little while, to lose the very thing that made us special and important. However, there are many situations in life where it's the only way to reinvent ourselves or break free from a lifestyle or life that no longer serves us.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.