Are you being humble or hiding?

I often hear successful people talk about the importance of being humble. Humble is defined as “showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”  In my mind, this is about doing your best work without needing the applause of others. It is about learning to cancel out the noise and do your work regardless of who is or isn’t looking at you. With this kind of posture, you never “fully arrive” but always are willing to learn, explore, and stretch yourself to be and do better.

Keep in mind that being humble doesn’t mean that you don’t do the work. Humility isn’t hiding. The most humble performers still perform. The most humble actors still act. The most humble entrepreneurs still do business and make money.  Being humble doesn’t stop you from doing your thing. Humility doesn’t impede on you making progress.

Hiding is something different. It is all to easy to think that you are being humble when you are straight up hiding. I have to call myself out on this daily.  In an effort not to “toot my own horn” I have not shared, not served, and not shined my light as brightly as I could. I have waited for someone to notice me rather than put the spotlight on myself. Hiding looks like concealing what you do. Hiding looks like trying to make it absolutely perfect before you share it (which usually means you never share it). Hiding looks like procrastinating on the one thing you really want to do.  This is right in line with the definition of hiding which is “to put or keep out of sight conceal from the view of others.” You are keeping your head down not to work and focus on your craft, but to make sure that no one sees your face. When you hide, you aren’t acting on the potential that you within you.

Photo: CreateHer Stock

Make it a practice to check in with yourself. Are you being humble or are you really hiding? Know that you can be gracious about your craft and still slay. Queen Bey shows us this time and time again. You can be humble and expand into your dreams. You can practice humility and secure the bag. You can be humble and do what you want. But when you hide, you prevent yourself from getting all of that goodness you deserve Sis.

There are times when you need to be a little less nice and a little more bold. Times when you need to share who you are. When you need to work on your passions without blocking your own flow. We can get so used to posturing ourselves and bending to everybody else’ expectations of us that we think this is the norm. Anything outside of that not only feels different but a little uncomfortable and wrong. Let it be uncomfortable so that you can unlearn this belief that you have to hide your brilliance. You are meant for more. You know what you want to do. It’s time to do it.

Stay humble. Shine unapologetically. Live free.

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