Humility: What It Is, Why It Matters & 5 Ways to Grow in It

Humility: What It Is, Why It Matters & 5 Ways to Grow in It

Humility is an important yet often overlooked virtue. Cultivating humility leads to self-awareness, compassion for others, and connection in relationships. With humility, we recognize our shared humanity and interdependence.

What is Humility?

Humility is the quality of being humble and having an accurate view of oneself. A humble person recognizes their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their interdependence with others and life circumstances. Key aspects of humility include:

  • Self-awareness – Understanding one’s abilities, limitations, and role in the world.
  • Openness – Being open to learning, feedback, and self-improvement.
  • Gratitude – Appreciating all that one has been given.
  • Perspective – Recognizing the bigger picture rather than being self-focused.

Why Does Humility Matter?

There are many benefits to cultivating humility in one’s life:

  1. Relationships – Humble people are better able to connect with others through empathy, listening, and minimizing self-importance. This builds trust and intimacy.
  2. Learning – With humility, we recognize there is always more to learn. This continuous growth mindset prevents stagnation.
  3. Self-compassion – Humility allows self-acceptance rather than harsh self-criticism for imperfections.
  4. Perspective – Viewing our problems in context, humility helps prevent exaggerating struggles.
  5. Service – Recognizing our shared struggles, humble people are inclined towards compassionate service to others.

5 Ways to Grow in Humility

We can all benefit from cultivating more humility. Here are 5 positive steps for developing this vital quality:

  1. Practice gratitude – Start a daily gratitude practice to recognize all you have been given.
  2. See life as a school – Adopt a learning mindset rather than feeling you have all the answers.
  3. Make amendments – When causing harm, promptly admit mistakes and make earnest apologies.
  4. Serve others – Find ways, large and small, to be of selfless service in your community.
  5. Pray and meditate – Through spiritual practices, connect to the greater whole of which we are all a part.

FAQ on Humility

1. What does it mean to be humble?

Being humble means having an accurate view of oneself – recognizing one’s abilities and limitations, not exaggerating one’s importance, and being open to learning and growth.

2. Why is humility important?

Humility helps us build better relationships, have compassion for others, keep growing and avoid stagnation, accept ourselves non-judgmentally, maintain perspective, and be motivated to serve.

3. Is humility the same as low self-esteem?

No, humility should not be confused with poor self-image or low self-esteem. Humble people recognize both their strengths and weaknesses accurately.

4. Can humility be taken too far?

Yes, false humility involves pretending one does not have any strengths or exaggerating one’s faults. Genuine humility involves honest self-awareness, not self-deprecation.

5. How can you become more humble?

Ways to grow in humility include daily gratitude practice, adopting a learning mindset, promptly admitting mistakes, serving others selflessly, and spiritual practices like prayer or meditation to connect to the greater whole.