Aplomb (n.) calm self-confidence.
When I was growing up there was a game called “Pick-Up Sticks,” where everything was thrown down in a pile, and I had the job of picking up the sticks from the pile without disturbing the other sticks around it.
It was nerve-wracking–very similar, matter of fact, to the game Operation, in which you had a pair of tweezers to remove a plastic body part without getting buzzed by touching the sides.
That’s why I find it difficult to justify the word “calm” and the idea of “self-confidence” being linked together.
Because I will tell you, self-confidence is a house of cards.
Those who truly believe they are full of it … well, are usually full of it. They are trapped in a misconception that what they bring to the table is sufficient without any addition and certainly without correction. It is a dangerous profile which robs you of your calm because humanity is very willing to remind you of your lack and remove all praise in the process.
Actually, I think the best way to become jaded is to insist on a profile of self-confidence. You will quickly find that a situation comes up beyond your scope and requires some adjustment–and if you don’t, you end up looking foolish, or worse, rationalizing your lame efforts.
If I were defining the word “aplomb,” I would say it’s a “calm use of true humility.”
Humility is much better than self-confidence simply because humility demands that you show up with some stats and facts, otherwise you’re not being humble–just unrealistic. And also, humility opens the door to the realization that since you had to learn what you’ve done so far, the possibility for additional learning is likely.
I meet many people who would insist that they’re self-confident. Matter of fact, they wear it as a badge of honor, unaware that it is actually a cloak of deception, leaving all parties who don the masquerade eventually looking over-dressed.
The reason I am calm is not because i believe I am sufficient. I find peace in my soul because I realize that the same humility which allowed me to do some great things will prepare me to gain the wisdom to do more.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix