Noun: a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness.
- modesty, humbleness, meekness, diffidence, unassertiveness
- lack of pride, lack of vanity
- servility, submissiveness
At its surface, humility does not seem like a trait of those who thrive. Undoubtedly, in the animal kingdom, the meek, unassertive members of the pack are the first to get eaten. So, considering our own importance is essential to our survival.
But, how does our ego affect our ability to thrive financially? In this arena of our life, what is the benefit of humility in spite of our ego? And how do we become humble? It might begin by asking for help, being vulnerable, and being ok with the fact that you might not know everything.
At first glance, this might seem foolhardy in the face of a successful financial life. Isn’t thriving financially dependent upon a show of confidence, power, expertise? Isn’t being the smartest person in the room the best way to thrive?
It takes something to look underneath the hood of this one. It takes a bit of courage to truly take in this next bit of insight.
Being smart doesn't make you right.
I would argue that the smartest person in the room admits it readily when they don’t know. That quality - being ok with not knowing - is the essence of humility.
Most of us would consider the strength of our finances a factor in our personal success; ideally, we are successful enough that we eventually attain a sense of financial freedom and security. But an inherent feature of success is humility - that ability to be less certain, to share that uncertainty with others, to sit with that vulnerability - and to hopefully, reach out to those we trust and allow them to help.
Now, after receiving sound counsel, you are armed with more dynamic information, ideas you may not have considered, knowledge you may never have heard before. Self-preservation can kick back in, take all that information that our humble, vulnerable selves gathered, and assess it against our desire to survive. But for those who are playing to thrive, humility is key. Vulnerability is essential. Asking for help in order to better ourselves, and thus one by one, better the tribe.
You will make many decisions today, and some of them will impact your finances. Those decisions, and the way you approach them, have huge bearing on whether you’ll financially survive or thrive. When you find yourself at a decision juncture, pause and ask yourself:
- Have I engaged the people I most trust in this decision?
- Am I ok admitting that I don’t know?
- Can I be less certain?
- Can I balance my confidence with humility?
If you are asking these questions, then you’re playing to thrive.