Abandoning The False Pretense of Humility

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Take a moment to think about the significance of confidence and humility. Most people would consider humility an important personality trait, but in light of the troublesome power dynamics and double standards that the innovation economy is increasingly critiqued for, there may cause to break away from this dogma. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for arrogance or braggadocio, but rather juxtaposing confidence and humility. Modesty and restraint can be admirable but, by definition, humility (sans pretense) and confidence are mutually exclusive.

A confident person who demonstrates humility under false pretense is disingenuous at best, and in the worst case scenario lacks integrity. So why do people prize the trait (and why are some seemingly exempt from the expectation)? Perhaps because people are flattered by deferential behavior and desire admiration. Watching a season of Downton Abby (or one of my film faves, Belle) we’re reminded that the call for humility is also a vestige of the class dynamics our society has evolved from.

When humility is expected, required, or even advised in social / professional settings, however, it perpetuates hierarchies that undermine self-confidence. Should people be entitled to respect or to expect humility from others? Rather than humility, I believe we should promote empathy — among and between peer groups.

With empathy, one can express respect and admiration (if merited) without abasing one’s self. With empathy, one is more likely to abstain from insensitive behavior. With empathy, one can be confident in communicating authentically while exercising such restraint. In instances of adversarial or opposing views, how much better would the world be if we practiced mutual empathy instead of putting on airs of feigned respect or humility?

Why don’t we put aside the patronizing, paternalistic idealization of humility? We could all use more empathy instead.

To Inspire Your Confidence:

(feel free to suggest others)

The Searchlights Project

Muhammad Ali Quotes:

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.

I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.

The man who has no imagination has no wings.

It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.

Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.

Beyoncé — Formation (Slay)

James Brown — Make It Funky Part 1 Thru 4

Venus William’s Father Defends Her Confidence To Reporter’s Chagrin

(makes me laugh every time)