A very fine line exists between humility and haughtiness.
I recently posted a picture on my Facebook page of me winning a Grand Champion Trophy. This was a personal achievement. I have also posted on my business Facebook page an event where I was speaking to a large auditorium of professionals. I know that this might be a little risky with some follower’s thinking that I am showing off or grandstanding, and I try always to be careful of my words when I post like that.
I was raised not to be boastful, but there is a fine line of sharing our excitement of victory and being so quiet that it affects how we market to an audience that we are attracting. I for one don’t want to be in the same boat as the politicians that are touting how great they are, nor do I want to be in the category of people not knowing what I do when I go to a networking event.
There is a spiritual lesson there too. I had a friend ask me once at one of the No Rules Networking events, “Why is it that we always look to the heavens and say “why me” when things are not going well, and we pat ourselves on the back when things are turning our way?” I looked at him and said it is pride pure and simple. Pride makes us believe it can’t be our fault when things go wrong, but pride makes us feel that it was just us that did all the work to make something successful. Any successful venture has never been self-created. Think about it, there have always been those that have come before, laying the groundwork, helping you learn, creating the lessons that allowed you to be where you are today. So I try… I try not to let my human emotions of being excited about something; become something that can be construed as prideful.
One of the things I have learned from my parents was that when we win, when we have a success, act as if you have won before, you come from a line of successes. This is not an illusion, because for every success there are many victories along the way, but making it a big deal could be seen as prideful even if you are just acting in a moment of joy. The line that separates your own excitement and the feeling that you might be grandstanding is a thin and should be considered.
I think we can all agree that Muhammad Ali was very vocal. “I am the Greatest” he called himself, but then he went on to fight and prove to the world that he could live up to that self-proclaimed title. Now I for one love the story of how Muhammad Ali pushed himself to greatness, and I remember growing up as he won, lost and then won again. There were many people that wanted to see him get beat because he was claiming that he was “The Greatest”. Honestly, I think that Muhammad Ali’s greatest achievements were not in the ring, but all the things he did after. His haughty nature created a lot of fervor and emotional conflict that he eventually had worked for him, but it was his humility in the greatest acts that created a deep love of community for him.
Where there is an obviously proven record of how being haughty and boastful can attract some crowds, I think that attracting a crowd, clients, customers, and friends alike through humility leads to more profound relationships. After all, we all fail at times, we all go through hard times, and those that you attract through humility vs a haughty nature will be with you to weather the storm.
Knowing and respecting the line between sharing our excitement/enthusiasm and demonstrating arrogance/haughtiness is challenging. It is a fact that the art of humility is a lifelong learning process. Sometimes even we need to be coached through a process, because we don’t even see the subtle ways we are creating emotional conflict.
Five Truths about bringing Humility into your life:
* Humility requires discipline and conscious effort.
* Humility springs from gratefulness instead of pride.
* Humility is demonstrated in our words and actions.
* Humility is a learned skill.
* Humility is a magnet that draws people to us in a more profound manner.
I am always open to your thoughts on these matters too. I work with people to enrich their business life through personal and professional development. So I am always looking at the trends that are going on that create attraction. After all it is nicer to have clients’ attracted to you instead of always having to “sell”. I am disheartened by the political turmoil that we have right now in America with the upcoming election. I see almost all grandstanding and haughtiness out there right now, and I see how this is creating further divides in all of us. This is why even though this could be a way of getting votes and identifying a “tribe” that one might want to belong to, leading through a grateful nature can actually be a powerful tool right now, because in a world that is being pulled apart, there is a need and a desire for that spirit that brings us together.
Founder of Managing by excellence and PUSH Coaching
Owner of Arkham Executive