Over the last two years, I’ve visited so many different high schools in Germany and it is shocking to me to see how so many kids are filled with self-doubt, lacking the confidence to speak up and use their God-given voice for something they themselves believe in. But to be honest, I wasn’t that different at that age. Interestingly, I went from being super insecure to the other extreme – I became an arrogant asshole.
A few weeks ago, I got married to the most beautiful woman I have ever met. The love of my life. My partner in crime. My Godsent angel. Ok, I think you get the idea – I love her. And at my wedding, my best man started his speech by saying, “When I met Sebastian 12 years ago, I thought ‘omg this dude is so arrogant!’” He was so right. I was damn arrogant.
And actually, I know that this arrogant version of myself is still alive today. People around me know that whenever I’m super tired or under a lot of pressure, this arrogant asshole side of me tends to pay a visit. But over the years, with lots of training, coaching, consistent practice and a big portion of God’s grace, my arrogance has evolved into a healthy confidence that’s well tempered with humility. What does this mean?
To me, arrogance comes from a narrow place of righteousness and an unwillingness to accept any change or opinion other than one’s own. Confidence, on the other hand, is a stand you make, the certainty in one’s own abilities, and the openness, assertiveness and adaptability to handle any changes, differing opinion or situation. The former suppresses growth, while the latter invites learning.
I think it’s incredibly important to know when to let your confidence emerge and take over, especially when you’re up against doubters and naysayers who are determined to push you into a corner and force you to conform to their rigid worldview. And we all have those in our lives. The bullies, the incompetent teachers… even your parents, who may mean well but come across as not believing in you. At these moments, your confidence is the key to you making a stand for what you believe in. At the same time, it’s equally important to know when to switch on your humility.
I’ve been spending so much time thinking about confidence and humility. The confidence it takes to go after what I believe is right and the humility it takes to admit when I am wrong. It’s a fine balance, living and playing in the center of those two extremes, but that’s exactly what I try to do.
During my wedding, my younger brother Raffael stood up and gave a speech. It wasn’t planned, and he’s never done that before. Even though he was quite self-conscious about his English, he took the mic and started to give thanks to my wife and me and his other siblings for all the things we do and have done that added value to him. I looked at my wife next to me, her face captivated by the authenticity and gratitude we all experienced from my youngest brother.
That’s the other thing about humility and confidence; I think that I had nothing to do with my ultimate success. There were so many other people and factors involved. So, when people were praising me during my wedding for never giving up, I just think it’s a bigger indicator of my beautiful parents and the amazing childhood I had growing up in this great country, having amazing siblings and great grandparents, and having faith in Christ.
I was a countryside boy who started out as a carpenter, and I had been taught to never give a fuck about what other people think of me, to always follow my own heart and dreams, and to always take responsibility for every result in my life – good or bad. It’s all on me. Period.
Besides the fact that Jesus is working miracles, I think the DNA of everything I believe about myself and my abilities comes from my parents, the values they instilled in me, and the foundation they have laid for me.
So, when I have success, I am grateful to my parents for it. But, I also own every result that I have, good or bad. I am 100% responsible for everything. It’s all on me. Period. I will always ask myself this question:
What did I do to contribute to the result?
But I don’t get to blame my country, my parents, my teachers, the past or other people for me not being where I want to be.
I think that for me, to own it when I suck and to pass on the credit when I do have a winning moment is why I’m happy. Because It’s not about me. It never has been, and it never will be. It’s about so much more. It’s about the future I build for my children and the legacy I leave behind. So that my children will have a great foundation to build upon, to fight for their own dreams and follow their own hearts.
That’s exactly what I try to do.
Well, that’s how it works for me. That’s why I feel that I am winning in life. Because if I’m 100% accountable for everything all the time, be it winning or losing, and when I pass on the praise to others and never ever point fingers at someone else when shit hits the fan, I become unbeatable. I am in charge of my life, and I am never ever a victim of anything or anyone.
So many people tend to point fingers. Scared of taking responsibility. Living in fear of taking the blame, terrified of consequences. It’s so easy to blame your country, your parents, the school system, your boss or the circumstances you live in. Then guess what? Those things will always be your excuse for not getting what you want.
Don’t you get it by now? It’s nobody’s fault but your own. Blaming others will never change shit.
If you want to change your world, then man-up and take responsibility. Appreciate your family and friends. Value the simple fact that you are alive. Be grateful for the gift you are and ask yourself, how are you contributing to whatever the result is that you don’t like.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Be confident. Be humble. Be responsible.
That’s where I’m at.
That’s what I believe in.
I am curious! Tell me what you think? 🤔