I want to talk about humility in this posting. I set standards for myself which are too high, and I also judge myself way too harshly. I'm a lousy judge when it comes to myself. I tend to do that a lot when I am singing. It's not humble to do that unless it is constructive. Humility to me means that I accept who I am and what I am, treat myself and others with dignity and respect, and do whatever job I do professionally and graciously. I like the definition of humility which states that humility is the act of being humble. That helps a lot doesn't it? It's the act of being teachable in my opinion. I need to listen to people and not go on the defensive. It's hard for me sometimes to do that, but its humble if I am open and receptive.
I'll use singing as an example. Although humility applies to everything, my craft is one area where I really need to remain teachable. Guess what, it makes the coach of my teachers and coaches a lot easier. I was told constructively, and I repeat constructively that my e vowel was a bit in the throat. How do I get it out of the throat? I listen for guidance on how to solve the problem, and work on it. That's the humble approach. The not humble approach is getting pissed off and frustrated and judging myself for the problem. I did that in a recent lesson. That wastes time, and the problem remains, and possibly gets worse. Humility in a situation like that is accepting there is a problem, and listening to suggestions on how to solve it. I would underline the word accepting. Problem is not even the right word for this situation. Thing to work on, or improve on sounds more positive in this case.
If I am not being humble, the ego is the winner. However, lets keep in mind that the ego is two fold. With the ego comes stubbornness, arrogance, sloth, anger, self pity. I'm not talking about self confidence at all here, because self confidence is actually humble. I'll go back to the singing example for a moment. If I think that I sing well already, but need to keep working to get better and better, that is a humble attitude. It means, okay, what can I do to work on my e vowel. Versus, oh my e vowel is still in the throat at my age? I'm bad, I can't even sing the e vowel properly. That is the ego, not humility at all. Humility is not thinking you suck at things, it is accepting things and working on them in a constructive manner.
Humility is a state of being, and not a matter of talking about it. It's a matter of listening and being teachable. It's a deflation of ego in a constructive way which helps a person grow. If someone deflates an ego, they do so with constructive criticism, sometimes with a strong delivery when needed, but always with love and helpfulness in mind. As I am writing this, I'm thinking who am I to say how criticism should be delivered? I am making a distinction between someone who is helpful versus toxic. Now, if someone is intending to be helpful, it is my job as the person being right sized to listen and learn. I like this topic, and learning humility is a life time process for me, so I will end this blog at this point.