Today is the day you’ve decided to do something completely out of your comfort zone. You've stepped into uncharted territory with nervous sweaty palms, thinking “all eyes are on me,” so you just want to get this new experience over with. But stop right there. Just take a moment to breathe. What are you ashamed of? Contemporary society places many arbitrary values on an imaginary pedestal, where we have been conditioned to hold so much esteem to accomplishments, appearances, and identities through which we define our lives. It is challenging to express humility and demonstrate vulnerability, because we hold such high standards to things that we believe are important to us. These expectations, however, only serve to place limitations on our ability to grow, and could only be damaging in the long run.
In essence, the barriers you construct to avoid embarrassment or mask poor performance do not serve to make you great. It is only by embracing the genuine “truth” of yourself through humility, will you learn the virtues of success and growth. You need to transform your way of thinking and be humbled by the experience. The end goal is to be comfortable enough to admit your weaknesses and limitations without defensiveness or fear of judgment through the good, bad, and ugly.
Here are some tips on practicing humility.
1. Realize you’re only human.
Your self-esteem reaches an all time low when you fail at something that is important to you. Though you may link your self-worth directly to accomplishments, they are but fractionally representative of who we truly are. If you allow the fear of failure to permeate your mind, where you begin to see yourself as unworthy, you end up doing more harm than good. You need to be able to accept criticism and failure as integral parts of the process. If you fail a task with humility, you won't succumb to negative emotions or guilt. Our flaws are a validation of the human experience, and so, to live a life without flaws is to shed one's humanity. Remember that.
2. Practice self-appreciation.
You are without a doubt your own biggest support system. It takes the same amount of energy to say something positive about yourself, as it is to say something negative, but we need to be mindful of catching ourselves at these points. It is easy to fall into a pool of negativity, but let’s try to redirect that into developing a universal belief system. It enables you to relax noticing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. The more you become conscious of yourself, the easier it is to see where unhealthy thoughts limit your actions and behavior. Give yourself credit for trying, and with time, progress will come.
3. Seek out expertise
At one point, someone was in the same position as you, so it is completely fine to not know everything. By seeking out help from those who are experienced in a particular skill set, you can gain the knowledge of their failures and triumphs. Be open to looking at things from a different perspective, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
To conclude, these steps will slowly open the doors to opportunities to your goals. Only allowing humility into your life will enable you to develop a greater relationship with the experiences you share, and most importantly yourself.