develop one's humility


How to be humble? A boastful attitude always denotes a complex of inferiority. A compulsive need to feel superior hides a lack of confidence. When we meet someone -who we think is superior to us- we lose that same confidence. The problem is: there will always be someone who’ll outshine us. In our journey to success, we will also encounter setbacks and failures.

Putting ourselves on a pedestal is a misleading strategy. It gives a false sense of confidence. Instead, why not accept that we are neither superior nor inferior to others. Why don’t we develop more humility? As we learn to be humble, we achieve inner peace. Humility is the real demonstration of strength.

Stop comparing yourself to others

We didn’t come here to be perfect; we came here to be real

Humility is neither boasting nor underestimating ourselves. Everyone is unique. We all are equals in the Universe or God’s eyes. At the same time, no one is ever perfect; we all have some flaws and shortcomings.

But we cultivate a culture of perfection. Our social conditioning values competition and individualism. Material possessions and bragging prevail over humility and temperance. “When you have it, show it” would summarize most of our actions.

If you base your self-esteem by comparing yourself with others, realize that there will always be a person who will do better. Our ego likes to think that we are the best. Yet, thinking this way can do us more harm than anything. It is the sure way to undermine our self-esteem otherwise.

We didn’t come here to be perfect; we came here to be real. So be YOU and stop comparing yourself with others because we all are unique. You are neither superior or inferior, you are YOU.

how to humble yourself

Humility and our relationship with others

In our dealings with others, remember that envy creates enemies. The human ego rarely accepts that someone is superior in skill or talent. And everyone has an ego. On the contrary we feel discomfort, envy and even jealousy.

Why is it so? Because when you brag, you consciously or unconsciously belittle others. You want to feel esteemed and superior to others. Truth of the matter is, some people would not hesitate to put obstacles in your path. Some will even voluntarily eliminate you. Everyone wants to feel important. We all want to be the center of attention, even to various degrees. In this sense, we should manage other people’s egos and develop more humility.

I know a close friend who likes to boast about his own achievements. He always felt underestimated by the others as he lived in poverty until his 30s. When he landed a great job and finally got a promotion, the first thing he did was to invite all of his friends, showing off like never before. He might’ve felt a little pride and satisfaction at that specific moment. But most of his invitees despised him. His boastful attitude, not humble pride, upset people. That night, he basically created even more silent enemies.

It’s not hard to think that people like us more when we are humble and respectful. There is a hidden gem in humility. It is sometimes easier said than done, but it’s a principle to live by: be humble and respect others.

Nothing is permanent, never take anything for granted

As we think we are the best, we want to keep that false-image of ourselves: “I am the greatest and the baddest”. At the top of our accomplishments, we no longer want to risk anything that might jeopardize that status. But life always teaches that nothing is permanent. Who knows, maybe you’re a millionaire today and a financial crisis arrives tomorrow? Never take anything for granted.

This is why we need to develop humility. We can be proud without bragging too much about our accomplishments. Adopting a vain attitude will just make you look self-centered. You will have less influence if those around you don’t even recognize your greatness.

People will naturally recognize our efforts and congratulate us on their own. We shouldn’t get attached to other people’s approval; you are enough.

how to be humble

The key to be humble: Listen more than you talk

Listening is among the hallmarks of a good leader. It is a way to appreciate others and be more humble. We can contribute to the conversation by letting others talk about themselves. We must do it sincerely; letting others express their concerns, their point of views. Ask questions to show interests and to demonstrate that you understand what the person is talking about. Listening is also a skill to develop when you learn how to network.

Humble yourself by taking feedbacks

Receiving feedback can be tough if we lack humility. Feedback however is the beginning of improvement. There is always something to improve. No one will ever be perfect. Therefore, we should actively seek feedback.

There are two types of feedback: positive and negative ones. We tend to solicit more positive feedback such as praise, results and money and avoid suggestions for improvement. But in any constructive feedback lies an opportunity for improvement. It is a piece of information that will help you get on course.

Although not all feedbacks are useful; we should ask for the accurate ones, and this requires humility. Will you get upset and ignore the feedback or will you be mature enough to listen and integrate it in your own behavior?

How to humble yourself: Develop resilience

A humble person recognizes that mistakes are normal and everyone makes mistakes. In our projects, we will face difficulties and unforeseen turns of the event. We can either get upset and give up or learn and carry on. Observe that our ego feels threatened with failures. We want nothing but positive feedback, victories and awards.

Resilience will be a skill to develop throughout our journey to success. We will get rejected, people will ignore us, and we will not have the positive feedback we expected. But we don’t have direct control on other people’s feedback. As long as we produce results based on our own criteria, we are good to go; we’ll have peace.

So let’s develop more resilience and analyze the things we can change and those we can’t.

Should we always be humble?

A journalist once asked Cristiano Ronaldo who he thought the best soccer player in the world was and he responded: “I don’t really ask myself that question but in mind, I am the best player in the world”. We might judge Cristiano in his answer, considering him as an arrogant and big-headed player. To some extent, that might be true. But such a mindset can produce positive results as well. He gets all annoyed and irritated when his team loses. On the contrary, he tries his best because he thinks he is the best in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t the single athlete who thinks this way; we don’t even need to be an athlete. We can apply that mindset in our daily lives.

Remember when Mohamed Ali, alias the GOAT (Greatest of all times) said: ““It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”  “Bragging’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.” “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

We can develop a competitive mindset, give our best but be totally unattached to the outcomes. It is in such a situation that humility and resilience kick in.