It’s 2013: PRACTICE BEING HUMBLE (Part 4 of 4)

Greetings and welcome to my post. The purpose of this post is to engage in conversation about building trusting relationships. I believe that we are all created for relationships and what gives our lives meaning and purpose is to know that we are loved and accepted. When we have happy, purposeful, and meaningful relationships, then our lives become meaningful because we are loved and accepted by someone. Meaningful relationships really do bring hope to our lives.

In my first post, I asked you to consider becoming a loving person at the start of 2013. In my second post, I want you to consider practicing being humble as you journey through 2013. Each month I will ask you to consider practicing various themes so that by the end of the year, you will have seen that 2013 was not just a year in which you passively allowed time to happen to you, but that you actively became a different person by practicing healthy character and success in all relationships.


In part 3 of this series, I explained some benefits and rewards of living a humble life. Let’s go further and share some other benefits of being a humble person. After all, we are all in relationship with one another and the sooner we can figure out the importance of being humble and being concerned with what is right, rather than who is right, the sooner we will give up the need to be right. The need to be right will alienate you from keeping healthy relationships.

One of the main benefits of being humble is the process of giving it up and gaining it all. To be humble means to give up the thinking that we know it all or that we can do it all. It is giving up the thinking that we have to do it all perfectly all the time. It is also giving up the need to be seen as right or good all the time. It is also letting go of being defensive with others.

As a way to measure how you are doing and gaining from being humble, look over the following 9 items and ask yourself this question: How would I rate myself on a scale of 1-10 in terms of viewing each item in moving towards being humble? Can you see how you are acting out of pride trying to be right rather than humbleness trying to do what is right? Use this list as a checklist in measuring how far you have come:

1. Say you are sorry to your children, spouse, coworkers, clients, customers, and other people in your life when you fail them.

2. Seek to understand situations and people before thinking you know the answers or the truth of what is happening.

3. Get rid of any and all defensiveness when it occurs in you. What you are defending—the need to be more than you are—is not worth keeping.

4. Serve the people under you in your work environment and become concerned with all the people at your job weather it is the custodian or the CEO of your company. Serve others as humans, not based on titles.

5. Root out any attitude of entitlement that you may have. Embrace a spirit of gratitude for everything you have or any form of care you give.

6. When someone is hurt by you, listen. Try to understand what he or she is feeling and seek to learn how you can make things better.

7. Give up any investment in looking good, right, or any other posture that makes you different from the rest of humanity.

8. Embrace your imperfections and the imperfections of others. Do not ever be surprised by them.

9. Use failure as a teacher and as a friend. Join the human race and become a member of the, ‘We’ll, we’ve all been there’ club.

So look over these 9 descriptions and rate yourself in terms of how well you are doing with them. Can you see the benefits from participating and practicing in doing some of these 9 items? Sure, none of us have arrived nor can say, we can give ourselves a ‘10’ stating we have arrived or accomplished that description perfectly. The goal is to keep these 9 areas fresh in our minds always willing to do a gut check and assessing how we are doing in these areas.

As you give up the need to be seen as having it all together or always trying to prove or portray that you are right, you will see gains in your life. These gains will be the rewards and accomplishments of living and practicing being humble. It really is true that we do not know it all, we do not have all the answers; we do not always get it right or do well all the time. As we accomplish and perform in life, our success should not make us proud and arrogant people. Our humbleness will endear others to us.

Thanks for reading and I welcome your feedback, comments and reaction.

Phil Kiehl, LMFT, M.Div.
Licensed Therapist

P.S. Much gratitude is given to Dr. Henry Cloud from his book in the writing of this post: ‘9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life.’