Is It Humility or Lack of Confidence?

Is It Humility or Lack of Confidence?


Depending on the culture you have grown up in you may or may not be comfortable proclaiming your strengths.

How is this relevant?

Having grown up in a family that didn’t talk comfortably about positive qualities and having participated in faith communities that valued humility this has been a very relevant topic in my life.

How can I grow in my internal confidence and be comfortable with my strengths without crossing over to arrogant and obnoxious? Where is that line and how do I know I've crossed it?

We have all experienced people on the extremes of this line. Those folks who think they are the best thing since sliced bread and are happy to tell you all about themselves and how great they are. Then there are those people who have no idea how amazing they are and seriously undersell themselves.

What is that middle place and how do we get to it?

In my twenties I had a very painful moment with a leader that I looked up to a lot. I was excited about some personal growth I was experiencing and had shared it openly. To this leader this showed arrogance. 

I was crushed by his feedback and judgment.

It was a pivotal moment when I started to wrestle with this topic. Here are the conclusions I have come to so far:

  1. Being honest with myself about my strengths simply allows me to mobilize them better for the good of the people in my life. 
  2. Ignoring or minimizing my strengths out of a sense of (false) humility will likely lead to me using them less and actually may mean I am less able to help and support people who need my strengths.
  3. Being humble is more about being accurate about my limitations, not my strengths.
  4. Being humble also is about knowing where I need to grow but doesn't need to be paired with shaming myself!
  5. People who are "trying" to be humble feel like they are arrogant. Ironic.
  6. Confidence based in authenticity and vulnerability is beautiful!

So, what's the growth strategy here?

Get feedback and be open to it. Feedback on strengths, gifts, areas to grow in and on how people experience you.

Let yourself receive, enjoy and incorporate feedback on your strengths. So often people find it harder to receive positive feedback than they do "critical" feedback. 

Enjoy the gifts, talents and strengths that you have been entrusted with and granted. They are yours and no one else - they aren't just for the people around you, they are gifts to you too!!!

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