We often mistake modesty for humility, and although they have similar definitions, one is authentic, while the other is not.
I was very lucky to have a mother who believed I could do anything — literally anything. Only and if I wanted it bad enough. My father reminded me often of my worth. He lifted me up while also making me tough. I wasn’t really taught modesty, like many of my peers. I wasn’t taught not to brag. I wasn’t taught not to be self-centered, or not to be self-indulgent.
Instead, I was taught to not only notice but also value my accomplishments. I was taught to be self-aware and honest. And, most of all, to cultivate and protect my happiness and well-being. Although indirectly, my parents helped me realize that modesty is by far the most false and unwise attribute you could use to sell yourself.
I never once questioned if I could ever, or would ever, earn the title of “writer”. I didn’t concern myself with the deep implications of this seemingly logical term to describe the practice I do often — write. I write — I am a writer. It’s not rocket science. Modesty is stupid.
It’s not only stupid, it’s manipulative and needy.
It’s a false crutch. It’s a way of saying: I’m insecure! The thing is, it takes great bravery to say, “Yes, I am good at this; I am good at writing” because there will always be someone, who is less secure about themselves, that will say, “Hey! You’re taking up too much space in the room; you’re too big — who do you think you are?” And that stings.
But, what is it you’re supposed to say? That you aren’t sure of yourself? That you are terrible?
That’s silly. The game of modesty is silly. Recognizing your strengths is not bragging. If you wrote an A+ piece, more than likely, you worked hard. Your hard work paid off. You did a good job — that was the entire point, wasn’t it?
But then you realize that you’re simply celebrating your victories — the ones you worked hard to accomplish. You’re doing this because it is more productive than sulking, whining, and marinading in failure.
Insecure people will always want to make you smaller,
and you shouldn’t take that personally. Find and seek comfort in your power, in your strengh, and in the energy that you possess. Celebrate your life force, shine bright, and be colorful.
Humility, on the other hand, is simply living honestly. It is being “real”.
Humility is admitting that no one gets to their destination alone. We all had help.
But, that doesn’t mean we didn’t work hard. That doesn’t mean we didn’t fight tooth and nail. That doesn’t mean that hard work doesn’t pay off — because, at the end of the day, nothing pays off more.
All humility means is that we’ve developed self-awareness. We know what we do well, and we know what it is we could work on. We are honest about our strengths and our weaknesses.
Sometimes you’re good. Sometimes you suck. Sometimes you’re brilliant. Sometimes you’re foolish.
And, you know what, when you start becoming comfortable with your strengths, you also start becoming comfortable with your weaknesses. Eventually, you want others to point them out — you want to improve. Why? Because you believe in yourself and you trust others. You want to be better for yourself and those around you. Don’t be modest. It’s bullsh*t.