“Our ego builds walls to help us survive in troubling times; yet, they also prevent us from accessing what we need the most — the love, strength, wisdom, and experience of others.”
In my darkest hours, I came to believe my greatest source of survival was my inner strength and my inner will. In the heat of battle, I called on my internal forces to guide me, sustain me, and push me forward no matter how much I struggled with the pain and frustration of what was going on around me. In my focused and determined commitment to get through it on my own, I was completely unaware of the physical and mental tolls of my solitary battle to survive. I was convinced this was my challenge, my battle and my personal adversity. In that mindset, I was completely unaware of or not receptive to all the resources being offered that provided comfort, inspiration, love, and support through difficult and trying times. Instead of being open and accepting, I built a fortress around my feelings, my pain, and my struggles and continued to fight these battles on my own as though that was my only option and resource.
Little did I realize how powerful these resources were. Until I became vulnerable, humble and receptive to these resources, I battled, struggled, and survived. Once I opened up my heart and my mind to the powerful insights and influences of others, great changes and outcomes started to occur.
Practicing humility takes on three behavioral traits:
- Authenticity: I am real and true to myself at all times. I do not need to have the answers, I do not need to know what to do next, or do I need know how to fix what is broken. I know who I am. I know what I do best, I know what I have to offer others, and I know what my values, beliefs, and gifts are. Being consistently and authentically me enables me to live, love, and learn without fear, judgement, or pride. When lost, confused, or struggling, I am comfortably honest with myself to ask for the help, guidance, and advice of others.
- Collaboration: I cannot solve any problems, discover all the answers to any challenges, or experience incredible outcomes without the support, guidance, insights and feedback of others. My life is not about being right, being in control, being in smart, or winning – my life is defined by how effectively I can, in active collaboration with others, discover the solutions to the challenges every one faces every single day. It is through the open, receptive, inspired and caring collaboration that I am able to leverage my skills, offer my support, and engage others to guide and inspire me on my journey and them on theirs.
- Community: It is often said it takes a village. Change, success, accomplishment, innovation and incredible outcomes can only be achieved through an inspired, focused, and committed community. The strength of any community is defined by the effectiveness with which it makes everyone involved better. Success and accomplishment are measured and defined not by what I did and accomplished; but, what those around me were able to do as a result of my interaction and engagement with them. The practice of humility not only requires that I have the courage to access those that can assist and guide me, especially in my most challenging moments; but, it also requires that I have the strength, the love, and the grace to actively engage in supporting and guiding others regardless of where I am on my journey.