I’ve always had a secret garden.
Having my own safe space allowed me to nurture my creativity and let my imagination run rampant. I thought I was happy like this, but not really.
I recall the day I first talked about my blog. To my surprise, my friends were thrilled and impressed by my knowledge and the hard work I’d put into it.
I’ve spent a lot of time studying the workings of the human mind and sharing it online, always intending to make people happier. In doing so, I never considered that my expertise might be valuable to those closest to me.
My once-beautiful secret garden, which used to be a place of creative growth, may now be a prison for my potential.
I was afraid of being judged for what I loved to do, and It took me a while to see that the modesty I had always believed virtue was the root of all this.
I don’t want this for you. That’s why I’m writing this.
What Are Modesty and Humility?
People often mistake humility for modesty. Still, there is a distinction worth understanding before moving forward.
Modesty Is External
Each group has its hierarchy. To join one, you must start from the bottom and gradually earn its members’ approval. If you come and brag about your achievements, you will offend some. And as a result, those members affected will use their influence to convince others you’re a toxic arrogant asshole to avoid at all costs.
So, by staying out of any story, even those for which you would have valuable skills, you will not upset anyone’s ego and easily fit in.
Acting modestly helps us blend in with others. It is hypocritical behavior because it lies only in appearances.
Humility Is Internal
A humble person is someone who recognizes its value. He is aware of its imperfections but acknowledges its strength. And unlike modesty, the only way to identify humility is through one’s actions and self-awareness.
That’s the main difference.
If he lacks the necessary qualification, the humble will steer clear of any situation. If the situation warrants it, he will exhibit his skills with confidence.
Just because someone acts modestly doesn’t mean he is humble. He could still be narcissistic underneath.
So yes, modesty can be helpful at the start of a relationship or in some professional settings. But its limit lies between your ambitions and those of the masses.
The Danger of Modesty
Here is an example to illustrate my point: “strong” and “weak” are two groups of people with the same ambitions. Except. They approach them differently.
The strong get up every morning with the flame of will blazing fiercely. They work every day to achieve their goals.
The weak procrastinate. They lack motivation and can’t find a way to reach their goals.
They’re both moving toward their goals in their way. No problem so far…
Now, let’s clarify something.
All ambitions aim to give you more power. Meeting your ideals often goes hand in hand with improving your social standing and wealth, giving you more value in the eyes of society. And that. That makes life a cutthroat competition.
Life is all about winning or losing.
Going back to our story, you and I know who has the best chance in this game. The weak aren’t stupid. They know their winning chances are lower, and one of the methods they found to stack the deck is modesty. Why?
1- Modesty to Avoid Facing Failures
What if you meet someone who shares your vision and rubs their successes in your face while you’re stuck in the mud?
You’re jealous and want him to stop.
A surefire way to shut him up is to remind him of modesty. That he is arrogant.
But the harsh truth is that It reveals more about your own insecurities than it does about its supposed arrogance.
Weak people lack self-esteem and confidence. They cannot stand the idea of others achieving success in areas they desire to succeed in themselves. So they use modesty as a defense mechanism to avoid facing the truth.
What’s dramatic is that weak don’t just shoot yourself in the foot by striving to advocate modesty as a virtue. They also bring everyone down to your miserable level.
2- Modesty Stifles Progress
By hammering that you are arrogant and boastful and that this makes you unbearable if you say this or that, the weak place themselves in a position of moral superiority. They know what’s good and bad, but you don’t.
For fear of being seen this way, you lower yourself to their demands. You stay in your place and don’t make waves.
This behavior ruthlessly destroys any hope of achieving your ambitious goals. If the world can’t see your results, you only get half the reward you deserve.
Are you happy being a sheep and sticking to the objectives the masses set for themselves? Yes? Fine. But if you want to break free from the herd and forge your path to greatness, cultivate humility.
What you accept with modesty is dumbing down.
Let’s be clear. I’m not saying you should make the most of every opportunity to show how great you are. I want you to stop promoting mediocrity for fear of being left on the sidelines. I want you to surround yourself with people who know the distinction between humility and modesty, so you won’t feel the need to hide your true nature.
Here is how to replace toxic modesty with honest humility.
Ask yourself: Is what I said or what the other person said true?
Can you bring evidence you’re a great engineer? A wonderful writer? A good person? If you can back up these qualities, you should not keep them hidden but rather showcase them to the world.
You still have a lot to learn, but don’t forget your unique talents and skills. Apply the same objectivity you use to assess others to judge yourself. You’re not as disposable as you think. F*ck modesty. Come and claim the rewards you deserve for your efforts.