Workplace Wisdom

January is Mental Health Month, inspiring a time to reflect on what can enhance our well-being and positive sense of self. In this article, we highlight a quality that receives too little attention in spite of being a superpower with respect to building resilience, self-esteem, and mental wellness.

Humility: The Unspoken Virtue

No one gets through this life unscathed. Every heart that beats is broken at some point and usually more than once. Every soul has a story. And while it may appear that some people walk on water or eat from a silver spoon, that’s a mirage that either you, or they, created. But it is always false.

Fundamental to all meaningful personal evolution
is humility, and its absence is the epicenter of
what ails the human experience.

Humility: The Unspoken Virtue

No one wins the “bigger better thinner richer” competition. And if we are on that trajectory, we have already lost the battle. This is an ego-driven foundation, which is always fragile, and inevitably results in “narcissistic wounding.”

A narcissistic wound or injury is one that overwhelms our defense mechanisms and devastates our pride and self-worth.

The universe will always remind us with its harsh and seemingly unjust realities of our vulnerabilities and flaws. In humility, we can accept these limitations and circumstances with dignity and grace but from ego, we will fall from our fragile perch in humiliation and grief for lost grandeur.

When we prop ourselves up on shallow illusions of greatness through social media posts, material, intellectual, or professional success, we are destined to fall. We are standing on a house of cards.

And this shaky externally constructed foundation will buckle at its root as the universe forces grandiosity to humble itself with some unsuspected assault that will hit the fragile core that isn’t soul-driven and founded on humility.

Albert Einstein is ranked as the greatest physicist of all time, most widely recognized for developing the theory of relativity. His intellectual achievements and originality have made the word Einstein synonymous with genius. And yet he said,

“A true genius admits that they know nothing.”

Humility is the prerequisite for true listening, deep learning, and the capacity for empathy and change. It infuses curiousity, appreciation, gratitude, and wonder. It thrives on compassion and seeing beyond one’s own interests. It’s warning bells are anger, entitlement, resentment, and self-righteousness where we all are guilty at times of elevating our feelings, needs, judgements, and interests above others. Sometimes we need to but healthy humility lets us know when we’ve gone too far and addresses the damage we cause through acknowledgement, apology, and repair.

Power of any kind is dangerous, without the humility to underscore it. The picture above captures the beautiful cohabitation of weeds and wildflowers. The flower you nurture and bloom within yourself should bathe in the sun and grow into all its glory but never lose sight of its roots. From these anchors, each blossom realizes its potential by drawing its nourishment and resources from the plentiful earth and its hidden ecosystem that props it up. Keep in mind that the foundation of the weed, what wills it into existence and ripens its’ buds is no different from the flower.

Dr. Stephanie Bot, C. Psych., Psychoanalyst and Co-Founder
Donna Marshall, MA, Counselling Psychology, Registered Psychotherapist and Co-Founder

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Excellence Canada
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Tom Beegan
Donna Marshall

Donna Marshall
M.A., Counselling Psychology, RP
CEO and Co-Founder

Dr. Stephanie Bot

Dr. Stephanie Bot,
C. Psych., Psychoanalyst
President and Co-Founder

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