The Best People Are Humble People (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 347)
“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.”
— Thomas Merton
When we think of greatness or what it means to be a successful person, the first things that come to mind are characteristics such as vision, motivation, drive, and self-discipline among others. One very important characteristic that is often lacking is humility. We don’t see humility on too many lists of what it means to be great or even what it means to just be a good person. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a leader or not.
Many studies have long touted the effects of being a visionary in business and in life. But studies have also shown that humility has an even greater impact on our lives and on the people around us. Humble people have more confidence, self-respect, and respect for others, willingly put others ahead of themselves, don’t make a big deal about titles, positions, and promotions, have more influence and are more attractive, pleasant people to be around. They know what matters; they know what they want, and they don’t have to elevate ego to get it.
We’re not born humble. We’re actually born feeling entitled, special, and even privileged. The opposite of humility is pride and most of us are born this way. Like most good traits, humility has to be chosen. Here are some characteristics of humble people:
Humble people embrace their inner strength.
Too often when we think about humility, we tend to correlate it to weakness or simplicity. True humility, however, has nothing to do with weakness at all; it is actually a sign of contentedness and inner security. Humility is a reflection of inner strength and confidence.
Humble people show respect to others.
Regardless of rank, role, title, or position, humble people treat all people the same way. From the barista at the coffee shop to the company CEO, humble people treat everyone they meet with respect, just for who they are as human beings.
Humble people are always willing to serve.
Everyone seems to want to be a leader, but very few people are willing to serve. Humble people quickly and easily shift the spotlight from themselves to others. They focus on what they can do to meet the needs of those around them.
Humble people are vulnerable.
Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness as many people view it. It is a willingness to be open to admitting mistakes, recognizing inconsistencies, and letting go of striving for perfection. Being vulnerable is one of the most difficult and beautiful opportunities in life. Humble people know that to grow, one has to be vulnerable.
Humble people seek feedback from others.
A part of being vulnerable as mentioned above is asking questions, seeking help when needed, and receiving feedback, criticism, and insight of others. Looking to others who are more experienced and whom you trust is a reflection of a humble heart. The input of others allows us to make improvements in every area of our lives.
Humble people work to earn trust.
Trust is earned, not given or taken, and humble people know this. They do the work necessary to connect with the people around them and create opportunities in which they can show they are worthy of other people’s trust.
Humble people understand who they are.
All people have strengths and weaknesses. Humble people understand their strengths and their weaknesses, they understand their limitations and willingly invite people who complement their abilities. They know who they are and live in a way that is consistent with their values.
“Selflessness is humility. Humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free.”
— Jeff Wilson