Understanding the Difference Between Humility and Low Self Esteem

Humility has long been considered a desirable personality trait. We accept the accolade that humility precedes greatness; in the absence of one the other cannot survive. Modesty is an identifying trait of humility, yet many times a truly low self-esteem is mistaken as modesty. They exist at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Humility is a consciousness of one’s short comings and frequently appears as unpretentiousness; that of being sincere and natural. The humble person still holds their uniqueness in high regard but has no need to posture or display self-importance. Within a low self-esteem lies insecurity, self-doubt, uncertainty and a lack of self-worth. Making disparaging comments about yourself reveals a low opinion of your worth and is not humility.

Recognizing the difference between these two traits is essential to understanding who you are and who and what you are likely to attract as friends and associates in your life. Striving to be humble indicates that while you value yourself and your own ideas and beliefs, you also recognize where you have room to grow and you’re good with this. You ‘feel good in your own skin’ even if there is personal growth you hope to achieve. Humility encourages us to seek personal happiness without compromising the success of others.

Low self-esteem is an affliction born of a flawed belief in personal value. The causes of this are many; the results of it are devastating. When we embrace the belief that our personal value is less than others, we imagine that everything about us is equally flawed and without value. We become a bully to ourselves, always taking the low rather than high road when we view the world around us. We feel uncomfortable around others and unwelcome in most surroundings. The more we embrace these distorted ideas the deeper we fall into self-deprecation, or ‘hiding your light under a bushel’.

There’s more… in the grip of these unacceptable beliefs, we begin to voice our imaginary flaws to anyone willing to listen. We even express the negative events we anticipate in our future. Something truly dangerous begins to take place at this point. Our sub-conscious mind never rests. Like a sponge it picks up every word we say and begins to act, turning our words, which it perceives as truth, into reality. There is no kidding this giant within us; we have unknowingly commanded a powerful master to produce these inappropriate and undesirable results into our reality.

Humility likely does precede greatness; it contains all the ingredients necessary to achieve it. A low self-esteem precedes disaster and requires intervention the moment we recognize it. It is inappropriate for the masterpiece we were all created to become.

by Alexa Keating

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