How & Why to Be Humble
The best place to start is to understand what the word humble means; according to Merriam-Webster online, it is an adjective “1) not proud or haughty, 2) reflecting, expressing, or offered in spirit of deference or submission, 3a) ranking low in a hierarchy or scale: insignificant, unpretentious b) not costly or luxurious.” Throughout this article, I will share why and how we should choose to be humble in our life.
Do you know the meaning of the Latin word’s root humus, “refers to of the earth.?” Often, one judge others because that is easier than accepting ourselves and acknowledging our shortcomings. The next time you are home, at the office, with a client, or out with friends, notice if you are judging another and ask yourself if you do that with others. After you see things you don’t like in your behavior, please commit to changing them.
Miley Cyrus said, and I quote, “I always say the minute I stop making mistakes is the minute I stop learning, and I've learned a lot.” I say, “If you aren’t making mistakes, you are not growing and learning,” John C. Morley, Serial Entrepreneur. Remember that when making mistakes, you should admit and learn from them so you will not repeat them. When others make mistakes, always be supportive and allow them to learn from the experience. If someone yells at you when you make a mistake, remain calm and say, “I guess you never make mistakes then.” They will freeze in their tracks, often apologize for their behavior, and explain that it is not you, but the situation is stressing them out.
Spend time outdoors to admire all the beauty in nature by walking, sitting next to a large oak tree, and realizing your small size in this vast world you are living in. When was the last time you walked outside and observed all of the creatures, from the smallest butterflies, birds, and animals to the tranquil places water is contained and flows through? If you have yet to go out, choose to explore your backyard, a park, or even your local zoo today.
My favorite part of being humble comes from a true story I am happy to share with you that inspired me for this story. Only a few years after I was born, I went out to explore, and while doing so next to our well, I was stung by a bee in my left arm. Since that day, bees have always been a creation that I wanted to stay far away from and have been scared of even though. While visiting with one of my IT Clients, he and his wife said I should come and see their bee hives. Each time after that I visited, I put it off until the last time when he said you should check out my bees today.
I finished the service call and said I needed to get going, maybe another time, but he told John we ended fifteen minutes early. Well, I’m not appropriately dressed to be around bees today. He said, sure you are. You have a white shirt on and tan shorts. My bees are friendly, and they will love you. Thus, I decided to walk toward the back door as I got a bit of trepidation that built with every step closer to the door I got. I said they looked nice, but of course, he said you are not even close enough as you are about 500 feet away. I then got the nerve to walk to the gate and said this is close enough. I can see the five hives. They look nice. No, you have to come closer; feeling more nervous as I slowly opened the gate. Next, bees started to swarm around me, and he said you have to close the door, which I did. Following this, I walked closer as the bees continued to arrive in more significant numbers circling my legs and some even my upper arms and body. He told me not to make sudden movements or attempt to swat them, and I will be fine.
After being within inches of one of the five bee hives' entrances, seeing the queen bee and how they enter/exit and even make the honey was fascinating. However, I’m fortunate to share this story with you for two reasons: great friends and my humility to be open to learning about bees. Thus, being in the presence of the bees got me to learn about and appreciate them more. Did you know that bees are responsible for pollination, and without them, many of the fruits and other vegetation would not be able to grow? The next time you are on the fence about learning, choose to open your mind and suspend your judgment, and you might learn something unique.
From my story above, we can see that an essential component of humility is exploring our curiosities. Whether it appears simple or complex, it will broaden our minds and allow us to connect to new horizons. When was the last time you explored a curiosity of yours? Did you know it doesn’t have to be in a formal educational environment but anywhere from your dinner table, outdoors, or a lab to anything in our universe?
Being humble also means you welcome consistent, constructive feedback to help you improve at a task or in a relationship. Remember, when you give feedback, be kind and use it as tips others will use to improve. Feedback should never be about putting you or another person down but instead allowing you to correct yourself to keep getting better.
Indeed, being proud of your accomplishment is great, but remember not to brag or boast about them. If someone asks you if you did something, it is more than ok to let people know you did it, but after saying it be humble and let it go. Thus, remember it is ok to share with others, even if it is about an accomplishment, but if you intend to put others down or make yourself look better, then you are bragging.
Remember to thank those who helped you get where you are today; if it were not for these great people, it would not have been possible. When you are around others, take time to give a sincere compliment from the heart. This is not, your hair looks great, or that’s a nice tie, something more substantial than that. Perhaps the person is great at doing their job, so complimenting a specific skill or behavior of work style would be sincere.
Listen more than you speak and ask questions that show you understand what they are discussing. Choosing to make eye contact and keeping your body turned inward toward the speaker, along with your facial expressions, will tell the speaker you are paying attention. Remember to compare yourself to you in the past, not others.
Becoming humble and expressing humility is vital because it will get others to support and like you. When you say humility, others will be more connected and allow you to express empathy. Did you know that acting humbly will increase your physical and mental well-being?
Choosing to suppress your ego and make a choice to be humble every day will improve your daily life. Those who live a humble life will notice doors opening with opportunities around corners they never imagined were possible.
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