Humility is a much overlooked concept in modern society.
A quick search of humility from Google brings up synonyms like “meekness, lowliness, submission”. Generally speaking, humility is seen as having a low estimate of one’s own importance or accomplishments.
This is an outdated definition of the phrase, and it deserves an overhaul.
I propose that we re-frame what humility means to us as people on the path of increased self-awareness and personal growth.
Humility: to be proud of your accomplishments and abilities while maintaining a healthy level of awareness about the love and support that allowed you to get to where you currently are. You realize that it wasn’t all your doing.
To be sure that we’re on the same page with this new and improved definition of the word, here are five ways that you can action-step humility into your empowered life.
1. Actively Practice Gratitude Towards Peers, Mentors, And Family
The people that you have surrounded yourself with your entire life have helped shape who you are today. Mirror their love and encouragement back to them on a regular basis.
Send extended thank you letters, treat people to meals, let others know the effect that they have had on your life. Be honest and lavish with your praise.
2. Work On Becoming An Amazing Listener
One of the earliest lessons that my father taught me about life is that “You have two ears and one mouth, use them accordingly”.
Other people have wisdom that you don’t yet possess. Always seek first to understand, and then be understood. And don’t brag, it never gets you anywhere.
3. Pay The Support Forward
When your emotional well-being is overflowing because of others contributions to your character, there is a natural desire to want to pay it forward.
Be constantly on the look out for ways to add value to other peoples’ lives.
4. Be Direct About Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Always be forthcoming and transparent about other people’s contributions to your accomplishments.
Imagine you get a heaping dose of praise from someone on a project that you completed 80% of the work on and the other contributor isn’t around. It is your ego that wants to bask in the praise and take it all for yourself. It is your integrity that is urging you to mention that you had help along the way.
If you feed your ‘lower self’ attention by basking in the praise, your character and emotional state will suffer. If you make an effort (even if it seems awkward to bring it up) to mention the work of your co-contributor, you will feel better about yourself and your integrity will remain intact.
Don’t take the easy way out.
5. Show Respect To Every Single Person That You Interact With
How you do anything is how you do everything.
If you are a good person to friends and mentors but you are rude to restaurant servers, that speaks directly to your character.
Treat every single person that you meet like family and it will make you a happier, and better person.
Don’t let this habit slide. Every time that you do feed into this habit a part of you will feel terrible, and even more of the other person will feel just as bad.
Humility In Action
I once met a man and his father at a business networking event who had a very interesting family dynamic.
The father was a well established serial-entrepreneur who had had a massive string of successes.
Whenever I asked the son about his relationship to his father and his father’s companies, the son was quick to brush their relationship under the rug and talk about his successes. He feared living in his fathers shadow and his ego would almost repel the idea that they were even related because he was so adamant about forging his own path independent from his fathers.
Contrast this to a sports interview I once saw where MMA fighter Nate Diaz was asked how it felt to have to forge his own career underneath the shadow of his successful older brother Nick Diaz. His response? “What’s wrong with being in the shadow of Nick Diaz?”
Nate was well aware of his position in his familial hierarchy and took pride in the opportunity this his lineage had afforded him.
The first example shows a man with a tender ego who has a chip on his shoulder. The latter example shows a man with integrity, self-awareness, and humility.
So where could you express more gratitude and show more humility in your life?
Who has helped you become who you are today?
Think about it.
Dedicated to your success,