What does it mean to be humble?
Can you say that you’re a humble person?
Does success, fame, and other achievement seem to get to your head and make you feel more important than other people?
As a business owner, entrepreneur, or business leader can you say that you’re a humble person despite your position of authority?
A lot of people have different ideas about what it means to be humble.
While some truly understand what it means to be humble, others just have the wrong idea about the concept of humility.
In this blog post, we extensively answer the question, what does it mean to be humble.
We also dive deeply into what the concept is all about, why it matters, and some of the traits of a humble person.
Stay with us in this blog post to discover what humility means.
What Does It Mean To Be Humble
There are a lot of definitions or interpretations of the word “humility or being humble”.
Let me start by stating that humility is a virtue.
More so, many seem to know about it in theory but lack it in practice.
Let’s consider some simple definitions of what it means to be humble.
To be humble means possessing the virtue of humility.
Humility can be defined as the quality of being simple and modest in behavior.
Humility can also be said to mean not being proud, arrogant, and excessively self-centered.
Overall, to be humble means to be of modest and friendly behavior to everyone around you regardless of the many accomplishments you’ve acquired.
However, most people tend to think differently about humility.
Let’s consider some common thoughts about being humble.
Misconceptions About Humility
Most people have the wrong idea about the virtue of humility.
They simply think of humility as;
- lacking self-worth and confidence
- being vulnerable
- the dominant trait of introverts
- solely a religious virtue
- not being outspoken
- not speaking up against bullying or injustice
- a sign of physical, mental, and emotional weakness
- lacking self-importance.
- a trait or quality of the less privileged or poor
- allowing people to walk over you
- …..among other things.
Having considered what most people think of humility to be, let’s discuss what humility is not.
This is so you can understand what it truly is.
What Humility Is Not
Humility is an important virtue for anyone to possess.
This is true especially for people in leadership positions and who want to have a positive impact on people around them.
However, a lot of people tend to think of humility negatively and sometimes do not want to be associated with the virtue of humility.
What could be the cause of this?
This is because they think of humility as a sign of weakness and vulnerability.
Contrarily, humility is a sign of strength, courage, and discipline.
It takes a lot of courage to be humble despite your high financial or social status.
Hence, here’s a quick discussion on what humility is not.
This is so you can understand what it truly means to be humble.
Humility Is Not About Having Low Self-Worth
Most people tend to think that as a humble person, you lack the understanding of your self-worth and importance.
Self-worth is the perception or the value you have for yourself.
It is how you consider yourself which greatly determines how you allow people to treat you.
Contrary to this kind of thought, humility is knowing that you have high self-worth but not allowing it to get to you or make you feel more important than others.
For instance, if you’ve achieved so much success in your career, you are humble when you don’t see this as a yardstick to think of yourself as better than those who are not successful.
Overall, humility is about being modest about your accomplishments by considering yourself not to be more privileged than others.
It Isn’t Lacking Confidence Or Self-belief
A lot of people also believe that humility means not being able to speak up or stand for what you believe.
It also isn’t about thinking less of yourself or your abilities or feeling inferior to other people.
On the contrary, it is about being confident, knowing who you are, standing up for what you believe but politely and modestly.
Humility is what makes confidence different from arrogance.
So, humility isn’t a lack of confidence.
Humility Isn’t Self-Degradation
Another mistake people make about humility is thinking that humility means bringing yourself so low.
Being humble isn’t a yardstick to become people’s doormat or subject yourself to a state where people can easily walk over you.
To be humble doesn’t mean that you think of yourself as less worthy than others or undeserving of respect.
Rather it is being modest in the way you treat people.
Overall, it is treating people with respect just as you want to be treated.
Humility Also Isn’t About Denying Your Accomplishments
Humility also isn’t about not acknowledging your achievements.
It’s isn’t about denying yourself the joy of your hard work or feeling happy about your achievements.
It also isn’t about hiding your talents or not utilizing your potential in life.
Rather it is about maximizing your potential and using your talents to impact people’s lives positively.
It is also about achieving success without being proud or boastful.
Being Humble Isn’t A Sign Of Weakness Or Insecurity
Humility also isn’t a sign of weakness or insecurity.
For instance, as a leader, being humble doesn’t mean that you’re weak.
It also doesn’t mean that you’re insecure about yourself or your position.
Rather, humility in leadership makes you an efficient leader.
It just means that you understand that the position of authority you occupy doesn’t make you a better person than your subordinates.
Rather, being a humble leader means that the call to leadership is a privilege to serve and impact lives positively.
Overall, humility has been generally seen in a bad light by most people.
This is why in this time, it seems to be old fashioned.
Regardless of how insignificant people tend to think about the concept of humility, it still proves to be a very important virtue to possess.
This brings us to consider why humility is important.
Humility; Why It Is Such An Important Concept
In this time when the “me-first” ideology and arrogance seem to have taken over, can humility still be considered a very important virtue in this time and age?
It doesn’t matter how old-fashioned people consider the concept of humility to be, it still is a very important concept to consider and will remain so even in the distant future.
Why is this so?
Here are some of the reasons why humility is such an important concept.
- It is a vital ingredient for efficiency, especially in leadership- a humble leader will be more appealing and likable than an arrogant leader.
- It’s also important for establishing trust and integrity either as a business owner, leader, or a regular individual.
- Humility is also important for establishing a more meaningful and positive relationship with people around you either in your business, professional, or personal life – humility helps you to be polite in your relationship with people.
This helps you easily connect with people around you thereby helping you establish meaningful relationships with them.
- Humility is also important for keeping an open mind and makes you more teachable- as a humble person, you don’t see yourself as someone who knows it all or has all the answers in the world.
Rather, you’re open to learning from other people.
Thereby improving yourself and increasing your chances of success.
- Humility is also important for practicing empathy.
As a humble person, you don’t see yourself as less or more important than others.
Rather you treat everyone around you with respect while paying attention to their emotions.
Thereby, helping you practice empathy which is a valuable skill to have either as a business owner, leader, employee, or a regular individual.
Now that you know what it means to be humble and why it matters, let’s consider some of the qualities that make a humble person.
How To Be Humble; A Look Into The Qualities That Makes A Humble Person
These are some of the positive traits/attributes that show that a person has the virtue of humility.
Selflessness is one of the vital qualities or attributes of a humble person.
Being selfless means being genuinely concerned with the interests of other people around you.
This doesn’t mean putting your interests and needs aside.
It just means being genuinely concerned with the people’s welfare as much as you’re concerned about yours.
Sometimes, genuine humility means putting other people’s interests before yours especially as a leader.
Tips on how to practice selflessness
- Firstly, love yourself because you can show love to other people if you don’t love yourself.
- Be genuinely interested in the welfare of other people
- Treat others with care and kindness
- Pay attention to the people around you.
- Control your ego
- Make the needs of other people a top priority
Overall, practicing selflessness will help you to be more humble.
Another important quality that makes a person humble is the ability to show respect.
Respect means having regard for people.
It also means treating people’s feelings and emotions as important.
Showing respect means that regardless of your status or accomplishments, you don’t treat people as inferior to yourself.
Tips on how to show respect to others
- Firstly, treat people the way you want to be treated.
- Speak politely to people no matter your position of affluence
- Value other people’s time, religion, culture, race, opinions, and ideas.
- Lastly, treat people with kindness.
Genuinely respecting the feeling of other people is one of the strong qualities of a humble person.
It is also a way to develop the virtue of humility.
There’s no humility without modesty.
Modesty is the quality of being moderate and doing things in appropriate proportions.
With relations to humility, modesty means not bragging about your accomplishments or “not being so full of yourself”.
It is about not being boastful or arrogant about your accomplishments.
Tips on how to practice modesty
- Avoid bragging about your achievements just to make people feel less of themselves.
- Don’t see yourself as more important than others.
- Talk less about yourself around people.
- Do not boast about the things you can do or have done for people.
- Do not allow your accomplishments to get into your head or make you rude and arrogant to people.
Confidence Without Pride
As we established before now, humility is the thin line between confidence and arrogance.
Hence, one of the qualities that makes a person humble is confidence without pride.
What this means is that you’re confident about your abilities.
However, you don’t let that get into your head by making you boastful and arrogant about it.
More so, it means that you have to courage to speak your mind when necessary but politely and calmly.
Tips on how to be confident without showing pride
- Believe in yourself but don’t think that you know it all.
- Be happy with your accomplishment but don’t rub it on people’s faces by showing off.
- Speak your mind when you need to but be polite about it.
- Genuinely accept compliments but don’t let it get to your head.
This is another important attribute that makes a humble person.
Humility makes you open to learning from other people even if they seem to be of lower status than you.
For instance, a humble leader will be open to learning from his/her subordinates.
This is because he/she believes that he can learn from everyone on his/her team regardless of how big or small they might be.
Also, a humble person accepts feedback and criticisms from others.
This is because humility teaches you that no one knows it all.
Hence, true humility means that you should be willing to learn from other people.
Also, keep an open mind and accept feedback from people as lessons that can make you a better person overall.
Tips on how to be teachable
- Avoid perfectionism
- Treat criticisms as feedback.
- Recognize your limitations.
- Don’t look down on people; keep an open mind to learning from people regardless of their age, status, region, race, or accomplishments.
Another attribute that makes a person humble is gratitude.
Gratitude is the act of feeling thankful about life generally and one’s own accomplishments.
A humble person doesn’t necessarily feel deserving of the things they have.
Rather, they feel grateful and privileged to have accomplished what they have.
More so, they’re able to stay thankful and contented with the things that they have in their lives at the moment rather than being consumed with selfish thoughts of the things they want.
They’re able to recognize each day as a gift while being optimistic and hopeful about the endless possibilities of the future.
Consequently, helping them stay motivated and positive minded in achieving their goals.
Tips on how to practice gratitude
- Keep a daily gratitude journal: this is a book where you write down the things you’re grateful for daily.
- Practice mindfulness meditation: this gives you the opportunity to reflect on the positive side of life and the things you feel grateful for.
- Practice saying thank you always: this will help you develop a habit of gratitude.
Genuinely Appreciating Other People
The last attribute we will want to consider as the qualities that make a humble person is being appreciative of other people.
Someone who is egocentric will find it difficult to value other people or appreciate their accomplishments.
On the other hand, a humble person doesn’t necessarily consider him/herself as deserving appreciation and compliments.
More so, they don’t see other people as competition.
Rather they acknowledge other people’s accomplishments and appreciate other people.
They don’t feel bad when other people achieve success.
Rather they feel genuinely happy for the victory of others and appreciate their success.
Overall, these are some of the unique qualities of a humble person.
Thereby, making them different from arrogant people.
Conclusion On What Does It Mean To Be Humble
Overall, that’s all we have for you on what does it mean to be humble.
Now you know what humility means.
You also know about some of the misconceptions about the virtue of humility.
You have an idea of what humility is and what it is not.
We have also considered some of the unique qualities of what makes a humble person.
You might begin to think about how to develop the virtue of humility.
Well, you certainly can develop humility by practicing the qualities of humility mentioned above.
Also, check out this article on how to be humble for more details on how to develop humility.
This is so you can get rid of every form of pride and arrogance in your life.
Thereby, making you a better person either in your business, professional, and personal relationships.
Before you go, what’s your opinion on the virtue of humility?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.
We would love to hear from you.
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