Being humble is often associated with being passive or meek, but humility actually means that you feel confident enough in yourself that you don’t have to be overly assertive. It's a quiet confidence that often serves yourself and others a great deal more than loud insecurities.
I believe that we could all benefit from cultivating a spirit of humility. You might be wondering why and how? What does being humble and having a spirit of humility serve and what does it look like?
People who live from a spirit of humility recognize that failure isn't the end of the world. Instead, they learn from their mistakes, recognize a problem and push forward to solve it with new awareness and knowledge. They live life with the mindset the there is always something to learn from everyone, every situation and every experience. They stand in contrast to prideful people who are unwilling to allow adversity to be their teacher and as a result fail to learn.
People who live with a spirit of humility talk less and listen more...being more interested in hearing what others have to say than what they desire to say to others. They are genuinely interested in other people and think of others instead of themself.
They don't think less of themself, they just think of themself less. We incorrectly believe that a humble person thinks less of themself...that they downplay gifts and skills, or are silent when treated unjustly. Humility is not about thinking poorly of yourself, it’s simply not thinking about yourself at all. Downplaying your gifts and thinking less of yourself leads to resentment, which is the opposite, it's hyper focusing on yourself.
Humble people live with curiosity which drives them to learn from the best instead of striving to be above the rest. According to Lewis “Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of pride.” He defines pride as “the pleasure of being above the rest.” Truly humble people have self-awareness and continually acknowledge their tendency toward pride and ego.
Do you want to be right or happy? A spirit of humility, chooses being at peace over being right. Many of us get our feathers ruffled over relatively small things. A minor disagreement can easily lead to an epic battle of wills. You may win the battle, but chances are you’ll lose your peace in the process.
A spirit of humility resists the urge of always wanting to be right...willing to admit error when wrong, allowing others to save face when they’re right, and not taking things personally. Their secret to enjoying life is letting go and moving on.
Cultivating a spirit of humility is a lifelong practice. A practice that sets aside ego and pride in place of awareness, curiosity, learning, service, and ultimately peace and happiness. It's a quiet confidence that speaks volumes over loud insecurities. It's a breath of fresh air within today's world. It's a practice I hope that I get just a little bit better at each day.