The Importance of Humility
Humility is an underrated quality that isn’t touched upon often. It is something mentioned heavily in religious texts, and it may seem a little old-fashioned, but it’s a quality that is wholly necessary in this day and age.
Humility is in fact, one of the most powerful and important attributes of growth, both in and out of the ring. Being humble helps to build trust and facilitates learning, which are key aspects of leadership and personal development.
As the revolutionary Nelson Mandela once said “The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”
Let’s talk about the meaning of humility, how you can develop it, and how it can improve your performance both in and out of the ring.
What is Humility?
The definition of humility is the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others or having a lack of pride. At first glance, humility seems like a negative quality, almost like a sign of weakness rather than a strength. In reality, humility is a type of modesty that will get you very far in your life as a person, a contender, and a leader. Let’s look at it another way. A person who lacks humility is arrogant. It is a person who only thinks of themselves and sees themselves as higher and better than others. There is no room for an arrogant person to improve themselves because they do not recognize their flaws. A person who is not humble does not have a growth mindset. The best fighter in the world still makes mistakes. The best coach in the world still has much to learn about the fight, and should always carry out their duties as not only a teacher but a student as well. When a contender or a trainer lacks the ability to see their own weaknesses, they will never be able to reach their full potential, because life is a never-ending journey of growth and learning. Pride robs a person of their ability to achieve.
Why Do We Need Humility?
Humble people don't lack pride in their accomplishments. Rather, it is knowing the time, place, and tone with which to share their strengths with the world.
Here are some examples of what it means to live with modesty and humbleness.
- Saying “good match” to your opponent, whether you’ve won or lost.
- Being coachable and allowing criticism to fuel development rather than resentment.
- Apologizing after making a mistake.
- Wanting the best for others rather than trying to harbor all success for yourself.
- Helping others who are below you in skill to improve rather than looking down on them.
- Looking towards those above you with an eye of inspiration and not jealousy.
- Competing with yourself more so than with others.
Humility is an asset for self-improvement. By living a humble life, you recognize the areas of your life that need work. If your coach suggests changing a technique to aid your performance in the ring, you must accept that your current technique may not be the best suited for your goals. That comes with letting go of your preconceived notions and trusting your coach. Only with humility and emotional intelligence can you allow these encounters to fuel your growth and coachability.
We also need humility for inner well-being. Becoming frustrated and angry at failure comes with any struggle in life. It’s important we understand humility to be able to better navigate those losses and pick ourselves up after the falls. It might sound counter-intuitive, but the more humble you are the more resilient you can be. If you can admit and recognize your part in the downfall you can work towards changing it. If you combine humility with your passion in life, you’ll rise to the top and overcome failure.
5 Key Steps to Becoming More Humble
It’s clear how important a modest mindset is in achieving our goals. The next step is to learn how to build that mindset because it doesn’t always come naturally.
Here are five steps to developing humility.
1. Build Confidence
Confidence is the key to living a full life. And yes, a humble person can still be confident. Remember, humbleness is not about only seeing your weaknesses, but it’s about recognizing your strengths, but not stopping there. It’s about using those assets to become bigger and better.
There are many things you can do to build your confidence. Try some easy tricks such as dressing up each morning, even if you’re not planning on going anywhere. The thought of looking great has a profound effect on our confidence!
Take time to reflect on your accomplishments at the end of each day and remember, success is a series of small wins.
2. Ask Questions
Humble people know that asking questions doesn't make you weak. If anything, asking questions makes you a stronger person, both mentally and physically. Show your coach your willingness to learn and make them see that you are really trying. When learning something new, it takes time for understanding to develop. Asking questions can help this process along.
Think back to your school years. What if you never asked questions then? Remember that you can only succeed if you seek the motivation to do so. If there’s something you don’t understand about your training plan, ask your coach to explain in another way or demonstrate. Being afraid to ask for guidance could limit you from achieving your goals.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Anyone who has experience in leadership knows that your comfort zone is a safe place where nothing interesting ever happens. Gloveworx owner Leyon Azubuike said it best himself, "You must become comfortable with being uncomfortable, that is when you Become Unstoppable."
No one’s going to believe you’re a boxer if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. Try something new every now and again; you’ll thank yourself later. What’s on your bucket list? Skydiving? Traveling somewhere new? Meeting new people?
Many of these things are most likely out of your comfort zone, yet you still want to do them. Try something new every day, such as a yoga class or visiting an art gallery. You might learn something about yourself that you never knew before!
4. Remember Your Goals
Why are you training? Remind yourself every morning why you’re doing what you do, and how you can achieve your goals. Doing so just might make you understand the importance of what you’re doing, help you meet your goals, and help you inspire others to pursue their passion.
Try writing down your goals in a journal, and read it every morning after waking up. That way, they’re stuck in your head all day. Be sure to practice SMART goal-setting for personal growth and success.
5. Reflect on Your Behavior
If you act unfavorably, it will reflect back on your training, not to mention your lifestyle choices. Keeping a positive mindset can help you gain and maintain humility.
One of the most successful methods to reflect on your behavior is by writing in a journal alongside your goals. Is your behavior helping you you reach those goals or leading you away from them? By documenting what went well and what didn’t during your training, you can learn from your actions. Here are some things to consider when reflecting upon your behavior:
Strengths and Weaknesses
It's important to focus on the positive and remind yourself of your strengths. What did you do well today? How can you continue to improve? Having pride in your accomplishments doesn't negate the fact that there's always room for growth.
Additionally, it's important to take a look at your weaknesses, because everyone has them. What do you need to work on? Is there something that you're not understanding that you need to ask questions about? What are you doing wrong? If you acknowledge your weaknesses and view them as an opportunity to learn, you can cultivate personal growth.
Engaging in pursuing your goals, especially those pertaining to physical activity, can start to change your beliefs. Write down your ideas and pay attention to how your way of thinking changes over time. Think critically about the reasons for these changes.
In our culture, those who we perceive as great are often put on a pedestal. That's why it's so important to be a humble leader; ego has no role in a place of power. In your journal, write about those in leadership roles that you admire. Then take a deeper dive and determine the reasons behind that admiration. Why do you look up to them? What traits and characteristics do they possess? How can you carry these virtues into your own life?
How Can Humility be Used to Help in the Ring?
Humility is not something we can just achieve; it is so much more than that. We need humility to become better people. Therefore, humility is a construct of human behavior. If your coach teaches you something new that you struggle with, remember that you’re only doing your best – and practice makes perfect. As mentioned before, behavior in the ring reflects humility. Keep a positive attitude and make sure you thank your coach after every session.
Remember to Stay Humble!
Humility begins with accepting who we are and what makes us human. As a result of this, you gain control over your attitude and outlook on life. As A.L. Kennedy puts it, “Have more humility. Remember you don't know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life--and maybe even please a few strangers.”
Being humble is an important life skill. With it, we can choose to live a happier life. Ready to try something new, and work towards a happier, more humble livelihood? Book a session with Gloveworx today!