Shaina was known as a humble person. She was talented and excelled in studies, arts, and sports. But she wasn’t arrogant and was always willing to teach others. People respected her for her talents, but even more so for her humility.

At the same time, people also knew Shaina was not someone to be trampled upon. She would stand up for himself when anyone took her kindness for granted.

Humility is often wrongly assumed to be accommodative, submissive, or spineless behavior. The truth is quite the opposite.

Humble people are well aware of themselves. They know their strengths and skills. They come across as confident and polite, yet firm in their beliefs and actions.

People with humility don’t feel the need to boast about the things they can do. They prefer to let their actions and accomplishments speak for themselves.

What is humility?

Author C.S. Lewis has said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Humble people are not self-centered. They are usually capable of doing great things, but they don’t feel the need to show off their achievements. They know their strengths, which gives them a lot of confidence–but they are not arrogant about their abilities.

Humble people are usually not fond of self-praise or boastful behavior. They focus only on their goals and lack the desire to attain personal glory.

In today’s world, the common perception is that humble people don’t make it to the top. Aggression and dominance are often considered the right approaches to excel in any field, while humility is underrated.

Humility is an invisible quality. We may not even realize that someone is being humble unless we really stop to think about it.

However, if you think about two or three people at the top of your field who you admire, you will probably realize that they are humble in addition to being high-achievers. Their humility is the secret to their excellence.

As Russian author Leo Tolstoy said, “Perfection is impossible without humility. Why should I strive for perfection, if I am already good enough?”

It is the pursuit of perfection and not the praise of others that drives humble people. They are always striving to improve. This is why they are humble.

How to be humble?

Humility has several benefits. It helps you become more popular as people find you approachable and helpful. Your confidence improves as you are not worried or distracted, and you focus on your abilities.

Being humble is also known to influence your happiness directly. Humble people feel more at peace with themselves and their surroundings.

In case you have not experienced humility as a way of life so far, here are some things you can do to become more humble:

  1. Get Reviews

A humble person is more socially-oriented than self-centered. Being humble means you not only evaluate yourself with honesty, but also always seek honest feedback from people who matter.

By getting other people’s reviews, humble people ensure that they are not misguided about their own abilities. It takes courage to ask others for feedback, and one must know how to handle constructive criticism. Humble people are able to do both.

Thus, humility not only makes you confident, down to earth and polite, but also inspires you to improve yourself constantly.

  1. Overcome your own biases

One of the essential qualities of a humble person is the absence of any prejudice. You can’t be humble and discriminatory or prejudiced at the same time.

To be humble, you must stop thinking that your gender, class, caste, looks, educational background, or skin color make you special. You must learn to focus on your achievements. Being fair to people from different backgrounds and recognizing their abilities is the hallmark of a humble person.

Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has said, “There is a universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status.”

  1. Ask questions

Humility lies in never hesitating to seek guidance. Humble people are always up for self-improvement and are not afraid to ask questions. They understand that asking genuine questions is crucial to acquiring knowledge.

Let’s look at an example to understand the importance of humility. A global tech firm was having a crucial executive meeting where the CEO unveiled his plans to create an ambitious mobile app. After sharing his plans, he asked if anybody had questions but no one raised their hand. The plan was approved unanimously and a project timeline set.

However, there was no progress on the app development because the project manager had no clarity on its features because he did not ask questions. The project was eventually shelved.

  1. Pay attention

Humble people are not self-centered. They observe and remember small things about those around them–their strengths, their habits, and preferences.

In a collaborative work environment, it is important to always be ready to listen and understand the other person, and ask only what needs to be asked.

You can practice paying attention to others in the workplace in two ways. First, listen carefully to others when they speak, and pay attention to their verbal as well as nonverbal cues. Second, read people carefully so you understand them better. Humble people invest time and energy in understanding others, which enables them to get along well with all kinds of people.

  1. Be ready to fail

Mount Everest was not scaled in the first attempt. Similarly, If you are pursuing a great task then be ready to fail. You should learn to take the failures with a smile. It may hurt your pride to make mistakes, admit failure, and ask others for help. But you need to learn how to not take failures to heart. Failure is a great teacher, and humble people learn from their failures.

Reframe failure as a setback and carry on working towards your goal. This is the hallmark of a humble person.

Conclusion

Humility might come across as a sign of weakness to many, but it is actually one of the biggest strengths a person can have. A humble person is self-aware and always focused on doing the right thing.

Humility teaches you to improve and make a positive impact on the world. It also teaches you not to be arrogant and lose sight of your goals. In the words of hockey player Maxime Lagacé, “There is no need to show off when you know who you are.” This is exactly what a humble person knows.

Harappa Education’s courses help you improve your overall growth and inculcate humility in your life. The transformational Practicing Excellence course familiarizes you with the four parameters of excellence and will help you achieve your goals by inculcating the virtue of humility.


Explore blogs on topics such as humility and resilience in our Harappa Diaries section to continue on your path of self-development.

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