Have you ever met someone who can’t take a compliment? You try to tell them how wonderful their work is and they reply with, “No, not really,” or “I was just lucky,” or “Other people are so much better,” or something similar. They apologize all over themselves whenever they feel like they are intruding on your space or taking up too much of the conversation. They seem to be apologizing for their very existence.
Often, this mindset is reinforced at a young age by well-meaning authority figures who repeat axioms like “Be humble!” or “No one likes cocky people!” We learn early that to be humble means to downplay your own achievements and elevate those of others, even when it means being self-deprecating.
However, that’s not at all what humility means. Humility simply means having an accurate assessment of yourself. The root of the word ishumusmeaning “ground.” It simply means not elevating yourself above your place. In fact, false humility is often a form of ego. People down- play themselves publicly but secretly think they are better than everyone around them.
Embrace your giftedness! When someone pays you a compliment, simply reply “thank you.” Be confident in your abilities, and learn how others see your unique gifts and abilities from the way they pay you a compliment. We know ourselves best through the eyes of others.
True humility means embracing your giftedness but recognizing your limitations.
Are you ever tempted to shrug off compliments or downplay your own giftedness? How does that affect your mindset and work?