Humility. The Merriam-Webster dictionary aptly defines it as, ” freedom from pride or arrogance.” (source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humility). We all probably know someone with a lack of it, but what does it mean to be full of humility and why is being humble so important? Here are just three reasons why being humble is so important:
- It shows genuineness-When we are honest about ourselves and our shortcomings, it shows that we are real. When we hide our faults and give others (and sometimes, ourselves) the perception that we can do no wrong, people will either a.) put you up on pedestal and think you’re some kind of god or something. or b.) Despise you and call you out on your lies and hiding, because perfection is something that no one (but the real God) can attain to anyway. When you are prideful, and not humble, you will inevitably fall. As it says in Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) , “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” However, when we are willing to admit to others that a.) yes, we were wrong on that particular issue and b.) No, we don’t know everything, it shows our human-ness, something that others can relate to. This is why humility is so attractive. It also shows that we are honest and can be trusted to be not only true to ourselves, but true to others as well. That is why, in another blog post I wrote, I shared that humility (i.e..being humble) is the Number One quality I look for in a person I admire!
- It shows consideration for others-Along with this, being humble shows that we are willing to consider and defer to others. We are not spotlight hoggers, so to speak. People who are truly humble don’t necessarily think less of themselves, but don’t think of themselves much at all! They are other-centered and other-focused. True humility shows itself up in many ways. For example, when someone wants to go ahead of you in line, if you are a humble person you would let them, not to let them to “take advantage” of you, but because you are purposefully putting their needs ahead of yours. Also, when someone tells you that you have hurt them, you don’t make excuses or explanations why you are “justified” in hurting them, but simply and contritely say, “I’m sorry for hurting you,” and resolve not to hurt them the next time. For another example, when someone gets a promotion at work and you don’t, instead of getting jealous or angry at them, you congratulate them and are happy for them.
- It shows that you are teachable- Being humble opens us up to learn new things about ourselves and others, and it allows us to learn from our mistakes and grow as a person. One of the ways, one of my managers is helping me cultivate this quality for myself is after I straighten the aisles in the store where I work, she always points out things that I can do better. This is not to make me feel “less than” or “inferior” to her, but to help me to do the straightening even better than last time. I know this because she also points out things that I do well. If I weren’t open to being teachable, I wouldn’t ever learn how to straighten the aisles better and I would ruin my work relationship not only with her, but with many others as well. And I am, by no means, a humble person, but striving to be sometimes is all we can do. One way we can do that is by being teachable and learn from our mistakes. This will allow you to gain knowledge in many different areas of life, especially areas where we are weakest. As they say, knowledge is power.
This is why humility is so important. It shows honesty, consideration for others, and it shows that you are teachable and willing to learn new things. Even if you still struggle with being prideful (like me) at times, humility is still something you can strive to cultivate. However, once you are aware of your “humility,” you are no longer being humble. So, it is also something that you should not be too aware of in yourself, but always strive for being.