Being Humble

Being Humble means you recognize when your actions are ego-driven and based in pride, and you choose instead to look for motivations based on care and respect for others and yourself. You take a balanced approach serving both yourself and others because you view both as equally part of something larger. Humility involves your struggle with desires that are deep within you for strength and security and recognition.

Have a grounded view of your success. Yes, it has to do with you and your efforts and talents. But it also has to do with luck and timing and gifts from God and others. Many, many others have contributed to your success-–your parents, mentors, colleagues, competitors, friends, family, and everyone who is part of the web of community that you live in. In many ways, your success might just be an accident of fate. Maybe, maybe not, but being humble means you know it is never completely of your own making.

In Contrast: Being Humble is not:

You will know that your ego is asserting itself and your pride is taking over when:
  • Your problem or need is more important than the other person's.
  • Your problem or need is an excuse to be rude, pushy and demanding.
  • You believe that you deserve special treatment that others don't deserve.
  • You look down on others, judging them to be lesser than you in some way.
  • You see yourself as a big wheel and others as cogs.
  • You aren't grateful for what you have; you deserve more.
  • You don't check your work.
  • You don't accept any criticism or input. You're sure you are right.
  • You are complacent with things as they are and satisfied to "just get by."
  • You're a free rider.
  • You are a doormat and let others literally walk over you without speaking up.
  • You give to get, expect a public thank you, and crave recognition.
  • You encounter a needy person and assume you know what they need and how you can help.

When you meet another person, do you typically place yourself above them (in command), below them (in deference), or do you do something else?

Every person, including yourself, is a unique combination of qualities and none is “better” than any other. Any standard by which you might judge them to be superior or inferior to you-–wealth, intelligence, appearance, and so on--is looking at only a mere fraction of the fullness that makes up that person. If you knew them from childhood like a brother or sister they would be much more to you than these qualities so resist looking at others through these lenses. Instead, be open to the idea that you and the other, together, are part of something larger, an extended family. The family bond means that you value your relationship to the other person just as you would to a brother or sister.

Explore Being Humble

Recognize that just about everything good in your life is a gift. This is key to finding joy because there is no transactional aspect to receiving a gift. You can’t get less than you deserve because you deserve nothing.


Humility means knowing the reality of your place in the world, and that starts with the realization that you are the recipient of many gifts.