Give Yourself A Break: Don't Let Humility Overshadow Self-Esteem


Most people are afraid to admit their own best qualities.

"People have enormous fear to recognize their own quality. They are ashamed by the prospect of showing their skills, to assume their own talents. It is the confusion between humility and modesty. Some think that modesty is a virtue. Culturally, they learn it is not noble to assume their own qualities. It is appropriate to be discreet, deny or not being involved with praise. If someone questions about the success of any enterprise, the ideal is to change the subject. After all, to be well accepted it is important not to draw attention. But to make a point of not being noticed is a subtle way of wanting to be noticed. It is asking for appreciation by depreciating itself. It is to draw attention without drawing attention. It is showing superiority without assuming a superior air. Vanity creates modesty that is the much disguised self-esteem.

Non-vanity is better defined with the word humility. The true nobility is to be humble. To be humble is to be natural. One does not make a point to promote one's own qualities, as well as does not want to hide them. To be humble is to be sincere, is to deal with facts the way they are. It is to be authentic. To be humble is not to be concerned about drawing attention, but also not to avoid it. After all, both situations seek recognition and notoriety. To be humble is to recognize one's own limitations and not to keep illusions about them. It is to accept one's own disabilities but to seek to overcome them. Many people emphasize their own handicap only to get attention. They become victims themselves, demanding recognitions, consideration and even compassion. But to be humble is not to emphasize one's own weak points. To be humble is to have the ability to recognize those and seek improvement.

However, to be humble is also to value one's own virtues and skills. Just as it is important to recognize one's own limits, it is also vital to recognize and value one's own abilities. After all, it is not a sin to enhance one's own skills. On the contrary, to develop one's own gifts and talents is actually a personal obligation. We cannot despise our own vocation when we have the merit to accomplish it. After all, who is not proud to be recognized for something that is known to be true? It is not worth to be shy due to that of which we are naturally capable. We will lose valuable opportunities that could help our own improvement by being too withdrawn. It is necessary to believe in ourselves and learn to receive, be loved and accept praise when deserved. We can only contribute genuinely for others' improvement with self-awareness and appreciation of our own way of being. We must be humble, with no false-modesty or hypocrisy. Being natural, recognizing our weakness, but sincerely assuming our own qualities that are essential towards the growth process and authentic maturation. After all, it is said that it is giving that we receive, but we should first give ourselves what we have to give to others.

This article was originally published at Metacoaching. Reprinted with permission from the author.