David was an overly-serious professional who came to psychotherapy to work on his low self-esteem. Yet, whenever we discussed exercises that could strengthen his feelings of self-worth, something interesting happened: David resisted. When I asked him why, he admitted it was because he was afraid.
“What of?” I asked.
“Of becoming prideful,” he said. “I really need to be more confident but I’m worried that if the therapy succeeds and my self-esteem improves, I’ll become arrogant.”