I am not sure why there is conflict between self-awareness and humbleness. The reality of it is that we receive conflicting messages all the time on these two areas: Stay humble = Put others first, don’t talk about yourself too much, do your work and you will be noticed (eventually). Self-awareness = Know yourself, know your weaknesses, think before you speak (or email), know what you bring to the table, etc. However, we refuse to say that self-awareness and staying humble can in fact show up in knowing and articulating your worth, speaking up for yourself and others, putting YOURSELF first because in doing so you are in fact better able to help others. Maybe we need to go back and understand the meaning of humbleness, especially in the workplace.
Dictionary.com defines humbleness as:
The quality or state of being modest and lacking in pride or arrogance: We need to teach a
different kind of leadership, one where humbleness is more important than confidence.
The quality or state of being or feeling low in rank, importance, status, worth, etc: We
observed the humbleness of the local homes, but also the hard-working ethic of the people
who lived in them.
Even these definitions give off the sense that humbleness = less than and less than somehow is a good thing. The first example shows how engrained this idea this is in our culture. When humbleness is more important than confidence, who is the one taking risks, who will pose the provocative ideas, who will move the needle forward with passion and vigor if that can be construed as the opposite of humbleness, arrogance? When did being confident become a bad thing?
So what can we do. In order to balance the scale between humbleness, self-awareness (including articulating your worth) and not coming across as arrogant, consider these:
So, how are you showing up today? I propose we start showing up confidently self-aware and mindfulinstead of humble.