Humility is considered a state of being, highlighted by your behavior and approach to things. It’s also considered one of the virtues of the human condition, along with kindness, patience, diligence, charity, temperance and chastity. Humility is often thought to occur in the absence of pride.
Humility is a complex virtue to explore… I have worked with many educators and know too many amazing people who are humble and this modesty can tend to hold them back… Equally I have worked with many people who are overly-proud and entitled and they could have done with some lessons in humility… Confidence can lead to pride which can breed arrogance…
When we started the #10%braver hashtag 5 years ago, we encouraged #WomenEd to be #10%prouder too, as their accomplishments went under the radar and we wanted to amplify and celebrate promotions and progress.
The humility-pride continuum is a delicate tightrope to walk.
A humble person recognises that they are a work in progress, that they do not know everything. Humility is teachable.
A humble person is aware that they can always learn more – from education and from reading deeply. Humility is a learner.
A humble person acknowledges they are not the all-knowing expert, that they can learn from the experiences of others. Humility is not proud.
A humble person’s heart and ears are open and welcomes feedback to help them grow. Humility is committed to growth.
A humble person does not expect anything but it is thankful for its blessings. Humility is grateful.
A humble person listens to others and asks good questions. Humility is curious.
A humble person asks for help and accepts support and advice. Humility is modest.
A humble person treats everybody with respect and believes that we all have value to add. Humility is respectful.
A humble person does not need to be right and accepts when it is in the wrong. Humility is balanced.
A humble person helps us know who we are and who we are not. Humility is authentic.
A humble person sees opportunities to develop and knows their own limitations. Humility is self-aware.
A humble person at peace with themselves and others. Humility is harmonious.
A humble person does not get frustrated. Humility is patient.
A humble person forgives others for their mistakes. Humility is mindful.
A humble person knows that we are all imperfect, that we all make mistakes. Humility is accepting.
A humble person sees others as collaborators and not competitors. Humility celebrates the accomplishments of others.
A humble person embraces simplicity. Humility is content.
My commitment to cultivating humility:
I spend time listening to others. I focus on the present. I am grateful for what I have. I ask for help when I need it. I ask for feedback. I review my actions. I consider my language.