unlock hidden, untapped and unrealized potential

How to Hack Your Humility Trap

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on Nov. 23, 2014

"Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others."
Gordon B. Hinkely

"How many of you describe yourself as humble?"

I was speaking to a group of mid-level managers about leadership. Tentatively all the hands went up.

"How many of you worry about being viewed as self-serving if you talk about yourself?" All the hands remained in the air.

"How many of you worry that being humble is hurting your career?" The hands stayed up.

If you describe yourself as humble, there's a good chance you feel the same way.

Welcome to the humility trap

Look around. You're in good company. There are many people who feel their humility holds them back from recognition, opportunity, and even advancement.

Too many.

It's a leadership trap too.

How many organizations are being led by too many self-serving leaders because the humble ones stay trapped?

I think the world needs more humble people, and that organizations would be better served with more humble leaders.

Like you.

I'm on a mission to help you hack your humility trap.

Here are 4 ways to hack the humility trap

  1. Trust your humility.

    If you are truly humble, your humility will show.

    • Trust that your actions speak louder than words.

    • Trust that genuine humility shines even when you advocate for yourself.

    • Trust that you have the integrity to reel yourself back when you've crossed the line.

    • Trust yourself.

  2. Get inspired.

    I know what it's like to wrestle with advancement for advancement sake. I also know that my "playing small does not serve the world" (Marianne Williamson). I found my voice and my courage when I chose to fulfill my potential to help others in need.

    Choose to advocate for yourself to be in the position to advocate for others.

  3. Kick the humility habit.

    Humility is a virtue, not an excuse. Twitter icon

    It's one thing to be humble, but has your humility become an excuse to not try?

    Make an honest assessment of what you do well and what you need to do better. Are you truly too humble to speak up, or are you simply uncomfortable? When you stop blaming humility, and you'll find real opportunities for improvement.

  4. Focus on who you ARE, not on who you're NOT.

    People in the humility trap spend more time time more worried about being perceived as "NOT humble" than worrying about being humble.

    Remember: every minute you're focused on who you're NOT, is a minute you're not focused on who you ARE: humble, compassionate, and generous.

    Break free from the perception trap.

It's time to hack your humility trap.

Don't take yourself out of the leadership race because of your humility. Enter the race BECAUSE you're humble. The world needs more humble leaders.

Like you.

Looking for some more leadership hacks?

Career Traps The Simple Secret of Earning Influence

Paul Smith How NOT to Present to the CEO

Kick the I Can't Habit Kick the "I Can't Habit: You Can!"

Check out the Unlock Your Potential page for more insight and inspiration.

Follow Evoke.pro on LinkedIn.

Booby Trap

PHOTO/Booby Trap by Michael Li, on Flickr

« Previous Article More Unlock Your Potential Articles
All Articles
Next Article »