Humility and Self-Esteem

The pride spectrum has two extremes. It ranges from self-loathing all the way to vanity.

The key is not to be at either extreme, but to find the balance in the middle.

Photo © Tara Fox

Photo © Tara Fox

The balance between these extremes is humility and self-esteem. You are able to see your good and bad characteristics. But instead of thinking of yourself too little or too much, you hardly think of yourself at all.

Let’s contrast the middle with each extreme to make it more clear.

Shame and self-loathing are the sneaky side of pride. They are extremely negative. They paint others in a perfect light.

Instead of thinking horrible things about yourself, humility means realizing your strengths and unique gifts. It means being aware that others are not perfect either — they have just as many flaws and weaknesses as you.

Vanity and selfishness are the obvious side of pride. They come out as entitlement, condescending talk, and arrogance. They lead you to think you are better than everyone else and to see others as below you.

Instead of drowning in your own ego, humility means realizing your weaknesses and flaws. It allows you to see others as valuable and appreciate their strengths.

Neither extreme will work. Both lead you to think about yourself (and others) inappropriately.

Whether you are optimistic or pessimistic about your self worth, living in the extremes still means everything is all about you — a huge problem.

Humility is not about you. It’s not about looking up or down at those around you.

It’s about looking outward with a realistic perspective on the value of yourself and others.

Do you think about yourself too much? What is a remedy?