True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
A few weeks ago I was talking about humility with a client. She was having difficulty grasping the concept so I decided to look up the definition. This is the definition I found from google: noun a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness. synonyms: modesty, humbleness, meekness, diffidence, unassertiveness.
I researched several other places online and none of the other definitions were anymore encouraging or inspiring to practice humility. Needless to say this was an unsatisfactory answer for me. Being in recovery I was taught that humility had to do with learning to be right sized. Learning to be right sized it is very helpful concept to learn to let go of ego, which always seems to get us into trouble. Keep reading to learn 5 ways to practice more humility in your life.
1) Try letting others have the spotlight and release the need for attention.
I know that in today’s world it seems to be the norm to want to get as much love, attention and recognition as possible. We have social media to thank for that. The only problem of relating to the world this way is that it is very narcissistic. Living this way creates an unhealthy need for external validation and makes you forget about others. Maybe it is time to let your coworkers, siblings or friends have the spot light for today? See how it feels to let others have the spot light. Praise others, revel in their accomplishments and be happy for them. Take the focus off yourself and see how it feels to connect with others in their successes.
2) Let go of always needing to be right.
I come from a family of debaters and they do not back down until they have won. For me personally although this way of relating has been ingrained into my psyche, it no longer is worth being right. I frequently ask myself, “Would I rather be right or happy?” I know it is difficult to let go of your point, it makes you have to eat humble pie and take a blow to your ego. But in the end your nervous system will thank you and so will you self esteem. The need for being right is petty and it does not benefit the greater whole and feeds perfectionism.
Try this for today: Listen and digest what others are saying before you respond. Be open to learning from others. After listening decide if it is necessary for you to give your opinion. Remember you are great and have everything you need with or without winning a debate. Try putting your ego in check and put it on the back burner.
3) Don’t give unsolicited advice.
I know it is easy to have perspective on other people’s lives and feel that you know what is best for them. But unless these people are actually asking for help, then you are criticizing them. Be kind and keep your opinions to yourself, unless your asked for help. A great way to check in with others when your in a conversation is asking them what they need. Ask the person if they want advice so they do not shut down and you feel like a jerk.
4) Admit your mistakes.
This tip is probably the hardest thing for most people to do. Societally we are not encouraged to admit our weaknesses or faults. If you truly would like to change the way that you relate to others, begin by admitting your faults. It is strong and adult to take responsibility for your mistakes.
Owning your mistakes acknowledges that you hurt another person and that you are willing to mend the situation. This brings more peace, compassion and understanding to the person and the world. When there is less fighting and strife there is more peace and understanding. I promise you will not spontaneously combust from apologizing. Your ego might sting but no one has ever died of a bruised ego. Be willing to own and see your own mistakes.
Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.~Bruce Lee
5) Be of service.
This can be practiced at anytime. It can be done in small ways or large ones. Here are some ideas:
- Let someone go before you in line at the store.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Give food to a homeless man on the street.
- Volunteer at a non profit you believe in.
- Help others succeed and help them follow their dreams.
Be supportive to others and care about them instead of being stuck in your head. The way that our world changes is with one act of kindness at a time. Be a part of this revolution.
Try practicing one or all five of these tips this week. Let me know how it goes. And please comment below! Feel free to contact me.