Can you be Confident AND Eat Humble Pie?
When we think of the word humble we often think of meek, submissive, unassertive and possibly even lowly. Some people see humility as a strength and others view it as a weakness. Recently a friend of mine told me she didn’t want to appear too self-assured so she often leaned toward being humble so as to not make herself appear too big, confident and above anyone else. In that sense, she made herself more ‘invisible’ in order to avoid standing out and appearing to be too outstanding. I love the idea of being humble, however not at the cost of being self-assured and powerful in our own right.
So how can we be both? How can we stay humble and at the same time remain confident in who we are and what we have to offer the world? Just like my friend, I have struggled with the same thing. Maybe you have too?! I brought myself down to a lower level so as not to appear as if I was above anyone else, God forbid they may see me as arrogant and self-centered. So I decided to think deeply about how people could navigate through this interesting conundrum. I hope these 7 ways to be both humble and confident at the same time will help you play big!
- Remain Open to Feedback
Humility involves having an accurate view of ourselves. Humble people allow others to speak into their lives and give them their open, honest opinions. When we are open to feedback, we give people permission to tell us what they truly think. When we receive that feedback, we can listen to it and choose which parts to leave and which to keep. The trick is being open to it in the first place, because when we are open we can grow. It involves being proud of our strengths and accomplishments and also knowing and working on our weaknesses. Humble people never stop being coachable.
- Stay Grounded
The Latin word “humilis” is translated into English as “humble”, but also as “grounded”, or “from the earth” since it derives from “humus” meaning earth. Being grounded means dropping down into a place of the infinite and living from the soul. When people are living from their soul they feel more free and don’t hold on to things too tightly. They are not prideful when living from that place because the soul encompasses love and peace. Being humble is a lot like being soulful! Humility involves centering around a place that recognizes something bigger than ourselves.
- Practice Gratitude
Humble people are thankful for what they have. They see the wonder and beauty laid out before them and know that they are small compared to the enormity of the world. They know their worth and are thankful for their blessings. They see themselves in relation to what’s around them and ask, “How can I contribute to the world so it’s a better place for everyone?” They desire for others to find ways to be thankful so they look at how they can improve things to make the world a better place for all. Humility is focused on others more than the self and humble people want to give back and strive to contribute to the greater good.
- Check the Other Side
If you think you’re an expert in a certain area and have nothing more to learn then you are probably lacking humility. Humility involves knowing as much as you can about something and then being humble enough to check the other side. When we are experts in teaching we can choose to become a student and look at the world through that lens so that we can learn the full scope of what there is to know. I truly believe that it’s difficult to fully understand something until you understand its opposite. We understand happiness because we know sadness. We know what it’s like to have not because at one point we had. When we are humble, we are open to knowing more so that we can grow and develop to a higher degree. We never know everything – we are always looking for more knowledge and deeper experiences so we can see the entire picture to the best of our ability.
- Take Leaps of Faith
If we aren’t making mistakes or failing some of the time then we probably aren’t taking enough risks or going deep enough into ourselves to really make a difference in this world. We get to allow ourselves to be humbled by our experiences in life, accepting challenges and taking leaps of faith. Humble people are confident that life will refine them into more, better, deeper and that they can take the hits and grow. Do not fear failure, fear never doing enough to actually stretch. If we feel like we must be perfect and don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes, we are prideful and we will eventually come crashing down. Humble people understand that they don’t always have to know the answer and appear put together. They are willing to accept what comes and roll with the punches.
- Live into Your Potential
Being humble does not mean that we make ourselves small and avoid embracing our true potential and purpose in life. Humble people don’t avoid these things, they know who they are and where they stand so they are able to move forward into their potential without the worry and concern of someone living from a place of pride. They have confidence in the abilities they’ve been given and rise to the people they are meant to be without putting ourselves above others. They know their worth and live in a place of possibility around what could be.
- Be Present
When humble people are with others they listen to them. They don’t just listen to respond or agree/disagree; they listen to understand, seek more wisdom and connect with the other person. They listen because they may learn something significant when they aren’t in their own heads thinking about what their response is going to be. As humble people, we choose to be present with the people we’re with and to be open to thinking about things differently. When someone is sharing, humble people don’t interrupt and they often practice waiting a few seconds before responding. Giving the speaker that space allows us to learn. Humility is sitting at people’s feet and taking them in fully. We all get a turn to share what we feel when the time is right.
Remember that humility is a strength, a positive force in the world, a way of being that helps move us and the people we interact with forward. Confidence, used in the right way, also has this ability to move everyone to a better place of being. The trick is to balance both and have them work in synergy, creating the beingness that you want to bring to the world. So keep practicing the art of humble confidence and soon it will just come naturally!