Someone presenting at a conference I attended recently posed the question: is it possible to display confidence with humility?
I guess it’s what’s behind that feeling I’ve heard expressed by many coachees over the years … of not feeling able to find the words to convey how genuinely good they are at their job; they’re held back, instead, by the notion that doing so is boastful and so just not them.
So is it a fair question? To work out where I stood on this, I looked up the word “humility” and discovered that I wasn’t sure I much liked it …
humility: the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance
synonyms – modesty, humbleness, modestness, meekness, lack of pride, lack of vanity, diffidence, unassertiveness
I can be modest and humble and absolutely, 100% believe that I am not the best at anything I do … but isn’t it good to remember that for most of the time, actually, we’re ok? We can be appropriately assertive, and proud of our ability and achivements, and not vain.
So I think in future, I’m going to ignore all the negative connotations of the word humility, and instead have the confidence to be humble in the best way possible.
Is that OK with you?