Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 hit begs listeners to “be humble.” Poet Alfred Tennyson refers to humility as “the highest virtue.” In today’s society, however, it’s difficult to grasp a true humble definition. It’s even more difficult to apply that definition to everyday life.
Humble Definition And Cultivating It For A Better You
In this article:
- How Does the World View “Humility” Today?
- What Does it Mean to Be Humble?
- Benefits of Humility
- How to Cultivate Humility and Self-Awareness
How Does the World View “Humility” Today?
“Unless we are very, very careful, we doom each other by holding onto images of one another based on preconceptions that are in turn based on indifference to what is other than ourselves.”https://t.co/7ydS0okRMr
— Maria Popova (@brainpicker) February 6, 2018
Humility is no longer viewed as the most desirable quality. Rather, the modern culture encourages pride in all situations. Competitive, attention-seeking behavior is expected, even celebrated. Yes, personal pride can deliver notable benefits. It can also be taken to excess. A little more humility and self-awareness could make the world a friendlier place. The more you know about humility and its connection to self-awareness, the more capable you are of enacting lasting changes in yourself and on a large scale.
What Does it Mean to Be Humble?
According to Merriam-Webster, a humble person is “not proud or haughty.” The dictionary also states that humble individuals are not “arrogant or assertive.” This definition, although valuable, falls short in capturing the true essence of humility.
The average person associates humble with being subservient or self-deprecating. These flawed views of humility fail to grasp the quiet confidence that this quality requires.
Humility means understanding and accepting yourself exactly as you are. To be humble, you must assess both your strengths and weaknesses. A humble acknowledgment of strengths lacks boasting.
Humility focuses not only inward but outward. In assessing him or herself, a humble person acknowledges that everybody faces unique challenges. True humility means expressing empathy for these struggles.
Not sure if you’re actually a humble person? In all likelihood, you aren’t. That doesn’t make you a bad person; just part of today’s pride-focused society. The very concept of humble-bragging shows that real humility is in short supply.
Characteristics of a humble person include:
- Focusing on the needs of others
- Patience, especially when dealing with difficult circumstances
- Openness to collaboration
Benefits of Humility
Despite common perception, truly humble individuals do not possess low self-esteem. Unrealistically negative self-perception is actually the antithesis of humility. ‘Reverse narcissists’ who constantly deride themselves lack empathy, much like their ego-driven counterparts.
Rather than distressing, humility can prove soothing. Humility means acceptance. Those who understand and accept themselves are less anxious. They no longer feel the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ Nor do they focus on being happier or more accomplishments. Despite this, their efforts to help others naturally lead to joyfulness and impressive achievements.
On a broader scale, humility translates to strengthened relationships and better leadership. Humble individuals work harder and strive more consistently to help those in need. As leaders, they actually listen to their peers. They acknowledge when they made mistakes. As a result, they significantly improve their performance over time.
How to Cultivate Humility and Self-Awareness
Humility involves extensive self-awareness. To be humble, one must understand his or her own personal limits, and how they relate to everyday life. Unfortunately, developing self-awareness is easier said than done. It’s never easy to acknowledge weakness. Typically, we prefer to hide behind delusion.
Ready to unmask and take a closer look at your flaws in the name of self-awareness? Begin by seeking feedback. Your self-perception is likely clouded. Honest feedback can counteract harmful delusions. Acknowledge revealed weaknesses without judgment.
Meditate to build awareness of your inner world. As you focus on breath, examine biases impartially. Allow nagging thoughts to float away.
Now, expand your view. Determine reasons for gratitude. Find new ways to bring blessings in your life to others. The more you help others, the more awe you’ll experience. You’ll be amazed by the inner beauty you see in every walk of life.
Listen to those you assist to ensure that your efforts actually deliver what they need. Humility requires empathy, but empathy requires understanding.
The AI Team shows Bianca talking about self-awareness and being humble when taking feedback:
Although all but forgotten, humility remains a virtue worth building. By cultivating this quality, you can alleviate not only your own suffering but also the suffering of others.
What is your definition and outlook on humility? Let us know in the comments section below.