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Stop telling people to "humble" themselves.

Just the other day, I decided to do a google search of the word humble. I have a broad idea of what it means, but I wanted good ol' google to bless me with a concrete definition. Here are the definitions that came up:


1. having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance.

2. of low social, administrative, or political rank.

3. lower (someone) in dignity or importance.


Now, I understand that there are some pros to being humble, such that you are more liked by others and you're viewed as an overall nice human being. However, if the three definitions listed above are the definitions that we are following, then this can be a bit problematic. Notice how all three definitions include the word "low"...interesting. If someone feels safe to tell you about their accomplishments and success and the only thing that you can tell them is to "stay humble," that might not only interfere with their confidence but also force them to refrain from accomplishing more. The way I see it, when someone is told to stay humble, they are also being told to stop growing...for now. They are being told that they can't be achieving so many goals at once because it's greedy and boastful. Yes, it is extremely vital that we practice humbleness and be thankful for every achievement and opportunity, but it should not be at the expense of our drive to achieve more.


When I first got an offer for a Ph.D. program, I was so thrilled! Of course I was letting all of my close family and friends know about this exciting news. Then there was this one family member who responded, "wow! Just be continue to be humble and put God first...okay?" No congratulations, no "I knew you could do it!" I mean, that was hurtful and this particular family member just sounded like a hater (sorry, not sorry). There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a person feel special, valued, and important. Y'all know that right? Like we can and should hype up our family and friends when they show us how dope they are! A person doesn't need to hear "humble yourself," they need to hear "well done, keep going."


I challenge you to call or send a text message to at least two people that you know who are doing amazing things and let them know that you are proud of them. Also, encourage them to go bigger and accomplish more because THEY ARE capable. I also challenge you to think of all the great things you have done and have a glass of wine because you did that! You can be humble about the things you've achieved WHILE achieving more. And if you haven't heard this lately...I am proud of you. You are doing great things. I am glad you exist!




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