Embracing Humiliation

personal development Mar 17, 2021
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Humility is a paradoxical thing. Claiming to possess it reveals that it is lacking. More than any other virtue, humility is less about acquisition and more about the daily pursuit. And a daily discipline of embracing humiliation is a healthy way to remain on the path.

"I have prayed for years for one good humiliation a day, and then I must watch my reaction to it."―  Fr. Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

Humility is not the opposite of hubris. It resides at the golden mean between worthlessness and pride. Humble people possess a rare blend of a lack of self-importance and a firm sense of purpose. They accept their strengths and limitations while employing themselves in the difficult work of making a difference.

The world we live in neither cultivates nor rewards humility. Instead, certainty, judgment, and pretentiousness are celebrated and therefore sought. Our institutions, academic and occupational, nurture this narcissism by cultivating a culture dedicated to acquiring status, possessions, and wealth.

What to do?

Seek and sit with humiliation.

“Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem.”― Thomas Szasz

I know, that probably sounds a bit masochistic. But here's the thing, humiliation can only be experienced if there is already an excess of pride. Humiliation is an invitation to detach our identity from our opinions and return to humility. The virtues of humiliation are worth embracing.

How might a daily discipline of humiliation help you fly higher in the difference only you can make?


Scott Perry, Difference-Maker Coach at Creative on Purpose. 

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