Friday, July 20, 2012

Humility...Stepping Aside

Humility is a trait that is not often thought about or practiced in our daily lives.  Simply put it is the act of stepping aside for someone elses gain or moment to shine.  However, pride usually gets in our way when the opportunity for humility presents itself.  Leading a team or group of people, or even your own family presents itself with many opportunities to let others shine.  When your team or group accomplishes a goal are you quick to point out what you did as a leader and your input or do you let others step up and take the spotlight?  When you receive a promotion are you boastful about all your accomplishments or do you give credit where it is due to those that helped you get where you are at?  When you get in an argument with a friend, coworker, or spouse do you always have to win or do you allow the other's voice to be heard and step down to let them be right at times?

Pride is not always a bad thing but in many instances it can produce negative effects.  You have to realize that having an attitude of humility means understanding that anything that has come to you is because of help from someone or some thing.  You would not be alive, healthy or a functioning person had your parents not cared for you and helped you with your physical needs before you were able to be on your own. You would not have that promotion at work had your team not performed at the level you needed them to.  Pride can be a quick way to burn bridges and foster a negative environment around you.  All human beings want to be validated and affirmed.  And by taking this away from others to "toot your own horn", you are basically showing them how little you care about their worth.  When in reality we all lead worthwhile lives and make worthwhile contributions.  And because of this we all are where we are because someone has helped us in some way.

Another side to humility goes hand in hand with the human need and trait of service towards others.  By showing humility you are actually in turn thanking others for the gift they have given you and lifting their spirit knowing that they matter and that they helped you.  Think of how amazing you feel after helping someone or giving a gift to someone.  I guarantee you can even think of a time when you expressed humility and how it made you beam when you saw how appreciative and filled with joy the other person was because you let their light shine.

- Think of an instance where someone showed you humility? How did it feel? How did you react?

- Consider the past week or month and look for ways you could have showed humility or ways it could have been shown to you.  Become aware of the feelings related to that and how it did or could have made you feel.

It really is a gift to both involved and just like the last post about compassion it is another factor to living a happier and more fulfilling life.  I challenge you to look for an opportunity to take a step back and allow another to take a step forward in a situation in your life now.  You do not always have to be right or take all the credit in order to validate yourself.  Be confident in what you did and grateful for what got you to where you are.  If you look back at arguments or other rough situations in your life, you would probably not be surprised to find that your personal pride was something that was at the core of it.  No one has ever died from swallowing their pride.  It may not be easy, but you will be better for it.

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