The Merriam-Webster Dictionary contains full definitions for nearly 200,000 words. Humble is just one of them:
Not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive
Reflecting, expressing, or offered in the spirit of deference or submission
Ranking low in a hierarchy or scale: insignificant, unpretentious
We rely on words and their meanings to quite literally define our world. However, we also frequently assign connotations to terms. Humble is often inferred to mean that someone knows their place, is weak, or unable to be a force in the world. This is an unfair connotation.
Stepping back from the definitions of words for a moment, we live in a world today where many people wait to do things – date, take that dream vacation, follow a passion, and so many other enjoyable activities in life – until they feel that they are perfect or ready. Humble can be inserted here to add context that these individuals know they are not prepared: they are not proud; they understand their place in the hierarchy or their insignificance.
This is not what being humble means, dear friends. Being humble is both an acceptance of your shortcomings, and an understanding of what you have to offer the world, just as you are right now. A person can be both humble of the gifts they have to offer, and still, extend them. Hiding your gifts is not the same thing as humility. Hiding your gifts and talents won’t teach or help anyone, including you. Giving in to the fear of doing something wrong or not enough or too much won’t help you become better.
Moving into the world with something you want to try, give, or teach others is a wonderful act, one that you can do while still practicing humility (read: without being boastful, haughty, or arrogant).
If you genuinely want to be humble, go into the world with the mindset that you will share your talents and experience those that others have to offer. Be proud and assertive of what you provide to others. You should also be willing to learn, not only from new experiences but from other individuals. Being humble is about giving and receiving with intention, as well as being willing to admit when you don’t know the answer.
Being humble is not a negative trait; it is instead a misconstrued concept. Consider cultivating some of your more modest aspects while giving and receiving.