Humility will open more doors than arrogance ever will. This quote, by Zig Ziglar, is something that I try to keep at the forefront of my mind as I consciously walk down my purpose path. Of course, we all know what it means to demonstrate humility, but what about “intellectual humility”? Intellectual humility is often defined as understanding the limits of one’s knowledge. This mindset ultimately guides your intellectual growth. I can attest first hand that true humility is staying teachable, regardless of how much you already know. It is key to both personal and professional growth.
When you claim to know more than you actually know, your perspective is going to always be limited. Intellectual humility will require you to intentionally monitor your own intellectual confidence. Implementing this way of thinking will help you avoid making impulsive decisions and from spewing flawed opinions. In order for you to be an effective leader of any kind you must be able to manage your responses to one specific belief or set of beliefs. Practicing intellectual humility will teach you how to understand and process information so that you are not influenced by your own motivations, but more oriented towards discovery of truth. Researchers believe that intellectual humility improves well-being, strengthens tolerance for others perspectives, and supports inquiry and learning. It also enhances tolerance or respect for the beliefs or ideas of others. When you assume that you have already discovered what is most important, you will never reach new heights! This is turn will delay you towards reaching your destiny.
I believe that it’s safe to say that you cannot learn without humility. But when it comes to your purpose your intellectual humility should always be in check! Socrates once said that it is only when we understand the depth of our own ignorance, only when we appreciate how little we know, that we are ready to develop the lifelong habits that will best support learning. When you are overconfident in both your abilities and knowledge you can possibly create obstacles that may hinder your growth. It’s perfectly okay to entertain the possibility that you may be wrong and that you don’t know everything. After all, you’re not perfect. When you are truly humble you are open to the possibility of improvement in all facets of life!