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What People Don’t Understand About Humility

Exercising Humility doesn’t mean you have less conviction. It means treating people with different convictions with respect and not as adversaries.

In our society today, leaders in politics, business, and sports misinterpret Humility. Somehow, people think that leading means never giving in, and never being wrong. When in fact, those behaviors should be a warning to all. These boastful, defensive, and inflexible leaders are usually the most insecure. They don’t understand that Humility is not a sign of weakness. It is a quiet declaration of strength.

Here is something we should all consider: The arrogant won’t claim Humility because they think that exercising Humility will make them vulnerable, and their fear of being vulnerable makes them insecure. While the humble understand that once they start patting themselves on the back for their Humility - they have lost it.

The arrogant often think that Humility means you lack conviction. They belittle the thoughts of others and say they are just passionate. The arrogant will attack others personally because someone has a different point of view. Their goal is to shut the other person down and avoid a true discussion. Therefore they talk, they yell, and they bully calling that conviction.

The loudest and most arrogant people are the most insecure people. Their insecurity prevents them from seeing all sides of a situation. The arrogance that they call conviction denies them the opportunity to learn from others, modify an incomplete plan, and grow beyond their current abilities. Ironically, the vulnerability that comes from Humility is the thing that will bring them strength, not diminish it.

Exercising Humility doesn’t mean you have less conviction. It means treating people with different convictions with respect and not as adversaries. Humility means we must care for others despite their differing operational opinions and moral positions. We exercise Humility when we maintain our convictions yet never allow them to make us feel superior to people with opposing ideas.

When the humble give others respect and keep themselves open to the possibility they could learn something from someone who has different ideas, they are demonstrating the self-confidence that the arrogant and insecure people are so desperate to convince themselves and others that they have.

What many leaders don’t understand is that their shallow arrogance actually makes others less likely to listen to the ideas they claim to be so convicted about. Humility opens the door for mutual understanding and progress. And that Humility is more likely to make people more likely to listen to what they have to say!


● When have you seen Humility get a point across better than loud and boastful conviction?


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