These days, it seems that the difference between being humble and being confident has been muddied to an extreme point. Many if not most seem to believe that being too confident means you can’t be humble and/or vice-versa. I’m not entirely sure that’s true. But in a world of attendance trophies and no-person-left-behind scenarios, it makes sense that people can forget the importance of being humble; albeit while allowing themselves to know their own self-worth.
Depending on what religious text you’re reading, humility (or the act of being humble) is defined as recognizing your place in relation to a grander design or deity. That is to say, acknowledging and knowing that you are bit one spec on a very big marble. Humbling, indeed. Most traditional dictionary definitions are no better, associating being humble with a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. I rather like to think that humility is the ability to see beyond oneself and recognize that it isn’t all about me. There’s a great, big world out there and although my wants, needs and expectations are important, it would ignorant of me to assume that the world will grind to a halt to accommodate them.
I also recognize that I sometimes need to show respect and deference to those who are in a position of authority, even when they may not be correct; a task that is most difficult and sometimes impossible for most, especially if they’re hidden behind the protective veil of a keyboard. But to be clear, being humble doesn’t mean one needs to grovel before others or lower their eyes in someone else’s presence. The big problem is that the average person never seems to realize that one can be humble but still be confident.
Confidence can be easily described as knowing the worth of one’s own accomplishments and skills. Not to be mistaken with bragging, confidence becomes a negative thing when it dominates a personality, meaning that one will put too much stock in those accomplishments and ultimately face a potential downfall because of it. But confidence on its face is something everyone should have and everyone should acknowledge.
Where humility and confidence meet is in being able to acknowledge one’s accomplishments and trust one’s knowledge and skills WHILE being humble enough to exercise those aspects under the radar. You really can’t have one without the other. To have no confidence but still be humble means that you’ll prostrate yourself to others ad nauseam, which is never a good look for anyone.
To have confidence, or too much thereof, without humility means it may potentially be your downfall. You’ll be one of those jerks who walks around with their chest puffed out, bragging about you or prowess in one thing or another… In my experience and in martial arts circles, it’s usually the ones who brag how well they can fight that are the most easily defeated. This concept applies to life in general. Be confident in yourself and what you can do but be humble enough not to brag about it or assume you’re better than others. After all, no matter how strong, fast or smart you are, there’s always a bigger fish. Food for thought…☯️