There seems to be a growing trend in society, especially in men, that somehow arrogance or ego is what makes you strong. I get it, looking the part may actually work, for a little while. But the damages of an inflated ego last a whole lot longer than tricking a few people into thinking you are better than you really are. A lot of men seem to believe that putting on a front is strength. I, however, disagree. Humility is Strength.
What do I mean by humility? When I talk about humility, I’m not talking about some self-deprecating belief or being timid, passive, or weak. I’m talking a very clear understand that you don’t have it all figured out and you have a long way to go.
See, when guys put on a front or show to maintain their pride, what they really end up doing is exposing themselves to all sorts of blind-spots that could come back to destroy them. You hear of guys all the time who get blindsided with a separation or divorce, or a layoff, or they’re hit with the news that someone else got the promotion.
I used to think these guys we’re complete morons if they couldn’t see some of this stuff happening. And, while I know that we all get hit with surprises, I can’t help but think, at a minimum, when we get hit with surprise after surprise after surprise, that we’ve got to be delusional about what’s really going on around us.
And, that’s what this false sense of pride, ego, and arrogance creates – delusion, a false reality about how good we actually are and all the wonderful things we’re doing in the world.
Don’t get me wrong. It is important that we have pride in what we do and remain confident in our abilities but there’s a huge difference between confidence and pride.
Confidence is earned. Arrogance is not. Confidence leaves room for improvement. Arrogance does not.
And, isn’t that why we’re here? To improve. If not, what’s the point? Epictetus says, “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”
And, that’s the danger in removing humility from your life. You stop growing. You stop advancing. You stop learning.
So, with that said, let me share with you three very simple steps you can incorporate into your life right now to develop more humility in your life.
The first step to becoming more humble is to approach every engagement, encounter, project, and conversation with curiosity.
When I started this podcast, I thought it had to be done just the right way or people wouldn’t listen in. So, I pre-scripted all of my conversations and all of these Friday Field Notes. But what I didn’t realize initially is that didn’t need to be done.
I just needed to approach the conversations I was having with a curious mind and from the position that I was here to learn as much from my guests as you are.
Once I approached these conversations with curiosity, I was able to connect in a more meaningful way with my guests, deliver more value to you, and learn a whole lot more than I did when I wanted everything to be just right.
Number two is asking questions. It seems that more and more, asking questions has become a lost art. When you refuse to ask questions, you’re signaling to the world you have it figured out.
I know you don’t want to come across as ridiculous for asking a question that doesn’t need to be asked but if you don’t know, ask. If you do know ask for clarification. There’s a huge difference between appearing like a moron for asking a question than actually being a moron because you refused to ask a question and failed the project.
The most powerful form of validation is asking another human being a question.
The most powerful form of clarification is asking another human being a question.
The most powerful form of communication is asking another human being a question.
Don’t be above asking good questions. Use them to your advantage.
Include Other People
And, the last thing I want to talk with you about is including other people. Those men who are overly prideful and arrogant have a tendency to believe that they’re an island and that they are above anyone else who may simply be along for the ride.
Whether you know it or not, you have not achieved any level of success in your life without the help of someone else. Never overlook that. There are countless men and women who have helped me to get to where I am.
When I neglect that fact and remember that most of us are here to accomplish a lot of the same things, I spit in the face of anyone who has helped me along the way. And, I’m less likely to have those people and others rally around me in the future.
It is not noble to sit atop the throne by yourself. We live in a time where access to information and amazing people is readily available. Use a team.
Of course, those 3 steps aren’t the only steps you can take on your journey to exercise more humility in your life and, in turn, increasing your ability to do great things but it’s a start.
If you want to learn more about humility and the resources we have available to help you battle your pride, arrogance, and ego, I’d invite you to join the Iron Council. Every single week, we’re having some incredible conversations that are designed to push you. We’re doing challenges to help you step outside your comfort zone, and you’ll participate in a Battle Team that will be holding your feet to the fire. Quite honestly, it’s all a little humbling when you get involved for the first time but it’s exactly what’s needed to develop the strength you need to succeed. Join us inside the Iron Council.