11 Ways to Be Humble
Many of us come from humble beginnings. We make something of ourselves through pursuit of knowledge, integrity, hard work, and a bit of good fortune. Yes, people have every right to be proud of the success that they’ve earned. But it’s important to keep success in perspective. The simple truth is that not everyone treats success the same. Some people who achieve success remain humble, never forgetting who they are and from whence they came. The others? Oh well…So, be humble. Don’t let success go to your head.
How to Be Humble
Get off your high horse. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. You may be successful, but that doesn’t make you better than anyone else.
Earn trust and respect. Money or a title can’t buy a person’s trust or respect. You earn these through your words AND actions.
Stop feeding your ego. Don’t isolate yourself from reality by building relationships with people who stroke your ego. Remember, surrounding yourself with “yes people” is just like talking to yourself.
Know your limitations. It’s important to know what you know, and know what you don’t know.
Listen up. Discover what others have to offer and ask for their opinions before offering yours. It shows that you value their opinions as well as their insight.
Compete against yourself. When you compete against others, it’s easy to emphasize winning over self-improvement. However, when you compete against yourself, you both win.
Apologize for mistakes. You’ll never learn anything or impress anyone by making excuses and diverting blame. And a little humility will remind you that you’re human.
Remember your roots. Remember where you came from and what you’ve learned along the way.
Strive for excellence. When you become successful, don’t become complacent. As soon as you take your eye off the ball, you risk losing your edge. Remember, success is a journey, not a destination.
Be modest. There’s a difference between excitement and bragging. As John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, said, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”
Share your success. You may be successful, but there’s a good chance others helped you along the way. Find creative ways to share the credit and pull people up the ladder of success along with you.
What Are Your thoughts?
Don’t Let Success Go to Your Head
Courage: No Guts, No Glory
Fair Is Fair
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Mark Hill says
I absolutely love the topic of ‘being humble” that you have presented. There was a time when I use to teach when I spoke on this very subject. The main thrust of that message back then was that “humility” is the fruit exhibited from a person that knows himself and his real measured relationship with Life and his/her God. Being that I was only about twenty three years old back then I am sure that after delivering this message I walked away with my ego inflated as I tried to “act” humble while mingling with the audience after speaking. But getting back to the theme of this message that humility is the fruit exhibited when you really “know thyself”, I still believe that except now I think I can say that I have experienced it instead of just preaching about it. My question to you is that do you think that humility can be taught by telling a person what humility looks like and how one should behave or do you think it is the experiential spontaneous fruit of years and years of gaining the knowledge of knowing thyself? To simplify this question: Can you real teach a person that is on their high horse to get off their arrogant positioning they have taken hold of? Can you really teach a person how to earn trust and respect or does this just happen because a person “has become” someone that can be trusted?
Frank Sonnenberg says
I believe people with huge egos feel they have something to prove. Conversely people who are humble are comfortable in their own skin. They’re proud of who they are and what they stand for. To address your question directly, I believe that humility is the result of years of soul searching –– resulting in a fresh perspective. I’m not sure you can teach someone to get off their high horse because people change only when change is their choice.
Thanks for contributing to the conversation.
Ann Wilson says
This is a very New England type of trait. I couldn’t act any other way. One of my ancestors arrived in 1638 from England, but some came in the 1880’s. Some of my great grandparents couldn’t read or write and worked in factories. I know a lot of people who are very modest, even heads of Fortune 100 companies. I like it.
Frank Sonnenberg says
I’m glad the folks who you know from New England are humble. I think that’s more a factor of the people you choose to surround yourself with and the values they cherish. That speaks volumes about you 🙂
Unfortunately I learnt a lot about humility when I experienced failure. Success in business (or other fields) can feed the ego and create self talk (fuelled by many gurus) who make many comments about how luck is really just hard work and so on. We feed on this, believing that success is only due to our own hard work (its certainly an important factor) to the exclusion of all else. I think the lesson in humility helped create a platform for greater business and personal success for me and a greater appreciation of the other factors that contribute to our success, or otherwise.
Thanks for the great reminder.
Frank Sonnenberg says
While achieving success is hard, staying successful is even harder. (That’s true in sports, business and life in general) When folks become successful they often lose focus, take success for granted and believe that future successes are guaranteed.
On the other hand, humility encourages us to welcome fresh ideas, fight against routine and remain grounded. The bottom line is that we have a choice…remain humble or learn humility the hard way. As I like to say, “Those who serve arrogance as their main course will eat humble pie for dessert.”
The other important lesson is that failing one time –– or even several times –– doesn’t make you a failure any more than losing one game makes you a loser.
Hassan Bouyebri says
This is one of the most inspiring and motivating posts I read recently. I completely agree with every single phrase in the article. Thank for reminding us the countless virtues of being humble.
Frank Sonnenberg says
Thank you Hassan. I’m glad you like it. As I say, “The more you try to impress someone, the less impressive it becomes.” Be humble 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to write.