No. 76

On Being Humble

starislandartshed

Somewhere in the past, I discovered humility and put it on the shelf of virtues I wanted to possess. I chased it, searched for it, was willing to do whatever I must to possess it.

But I never properly understood it.

I thought to be humble was to believe you were not better than anyone else. And in some ways, it is precisely that: to see everyone as equals. Perhaps we have different talents and strengths, but we all possess that infinite potential of being.

My humble was something else: I believed that to possess this virtue, I had to put myself down. When people complimented me, I brushed those compliments off, afraid the confidence they might inspire would diminish the humility I’d worked to create.

I had it all wrong.

It was only recently that I saw humility for what it is: the willingness to give of oneself, one’s knowledge, one’s wisdom. Humility allows you to be confident, to believe in yourself, to accept compliments graciously. Humility is passing what you know onto the next generation in hopes they will shine more brightly than you.

I’ve stopped criticizing myself. I’ve stopped telling myself that I’m not enough. And I’m rediscovering my confidence. Because more than anything else, I want to help people shine like supernovas.

How do you understand humility? And what virtues have you chased?

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

5 thoughts on “On Being Humble

  1. I always thought humility to be having less myself … less confidence, less material things, less professional things… so as to never look like I was trying to be more than I was or be something I wasn’t.
    It’s not that at all. When we are our best, we make other people good. Kind of like happiness being contagious.

    I truly enjoy your blog! Have a beautiful day!
    Sarah

    1. I think you’ve got it exactly right — shining is contagious. Thank you so much for your comment! (And I’ve tried to find your blog but the web address you left isn’t working!)

      1. sorry, I typed it in wrong and it won’t let me change it.
        It’s onedaywithsarah.blogspot.com

        Sarah xo

  2. For me it’s just knowing that no matter how good I am at something, no matter how much I know about it, there’s still so much to learn. Share what I know, give give give and keep on learning.

  3. My husband taught me humility.

    As a rather typically handsome man and excellent writer/guitarist, he is often given compliments. His response is always a gentle and charming ‘Thank you’.
    It’s so damn sexy to see a man own himself and thank people for recognizing him.
    And that’s essentially what someone is doing when they dish out a compliment: recognizing your most sacred attributes. His sweet and charming response has now rubbed off on me. I often say ‘Thank you so much’ genuinely when I’m complimented in some form. I feel good, the person dishing out the compliment feels good and we all get on with our lives a little happier.

    Too often people confuse apologetic with humility. When really, owning and showing yourself is just being authentic, allowing people to recognize you with grace is humility.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.