Development tips

Topic of the month | humility

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. ~ CS Lewis

Humility is often misunderstood as self-deprecation, modesty or even a lack of arrogance. But self-deprecation, or having a low estimate of oneself, is not humility. Neither is modesty or its cousin, false modesty, the same as humility. A person can be modest – in other words, not be self-aggrandizing – without being truly humble. Neither is a non-arrogant person necessarily a humble person, although an arrogant person is never a humble one.

Humility is more the outward expression of a realistic sense of an inner self combined with a liberation from a focus or concentration on self. Here are some quotes on humility worth reflecting on.


“If I only had a little more humility, I’d be perfect.” ~ Ted Turner


“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” ~ Thomas Merton


“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know who you are.” ~ Mother Teresa


“There is something in humility that strangely exalts the heart.” ~ Saint Augustine


“Just knowing you don’t have the answers is a recipe for humility, openness and acceptance….” ~ Dick Van Dyke


“Stay true in the dark and humble in the spotlight.” ~ Harold B. Lee


“Do you wish to rise? Begin with descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” ~ Saint Augustine


“To lead the people, walk behind them.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Be like the bamboo, the higher you grow, the deeper you bow.” ~ Chinese proverb

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of seven best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: |