Why is humility on my mind and in my heart? How does giving thanks go with the topic of humility? After spending time with family and communicating with a lot of people about family and those in need, it dawned on me how little I focus on humility compared to other leadership and parenting attributes, such as patience, presence and kindness. It doesn’t occur to me as often as it should to practice being humble vs. just believing I am at times.
I like this quote from an article I read recently:
“Patience is a virtue. And some people are naturally more patient. But we can all work to become more patient,” Johnson says. “Humility is the same way. If we focus on appreciating the strengths of others, focus on being teachable, having an accurate view of ourselves, we can actually become more humble people.”
As I look back over the last few months and specifically this past weekend, I ask myself, “Was I truly listening to and appreciating others, and was my heart full of thanksgiving?” As we go through life with intention to eat right, exercise, save money, prepare for events and more, we, too, must ask ourselves how we are doing on the humility meter.
Further, what is it we want in this area and what are we willing to do to get there? Being a leader partially full of self and ego isn’t going to produce the results and/or the relationships service leadership is made of. We must be mindful of our humility factor and our authentic desire to be just plain humble. As I have said several times, inspirational leadership is not about you, it is about those who follow. As I reflect on leadership and my own practices, some of my favorite questions to ask myself are: How do I occur to others? Do they see me as selfish or selfless? Do they see and feel my humility?
A helpful approach is to not think about humility, but simply feel it. Allow this way of BEing to take over moments of your day and see what happens. I practice this—but not as often as I should—when I take the time to really feel the gratitude in my life.
Assess where you are in these areas, and then apply some focus and practice to see if it doesn’t open your eyes, heart and soul to allowing others in through transparency and a “me second” approach. When we place ourselves first and continue to remind others of our potential, we not only create barriers, but we shut down natural listening channels.
Lastly, we must begin to believe in ourselves and the possibility that quiet, loving and supportive leadership is just as, if not more, powerful and inspirational than the ‘read about me’ and ‘notice how I help him and her’ style of management.
If this is an area you are looking to improve in, I challenge us all to go on a humble diet. See how it feels after a few weeks. Let me know what changes you notice in the comments below, or feel free to send me an email; I’d love to hear your input!