When I was a kid, I lacked confidence at times. As an adult, I finally got my confidence. Perhaps too much of it at times. If I'm not careful, that confidence can turn into an ego trip.
Understanding both ends of the spectrum allowed me to settle finally into my "happy zone" of healthy optimism. Here are 11 ideas to help you maintain your humility by keeping your ego in check.
1. Stop and think before reacting.
Have you ever overreacted and not realized until later on that it was an overreaction? When your ego gets offended or poked, it's easy to get fired up and say or do something that you will later regret.
It may be better to stop and think before quickly reacting. I find that I react better from a calm and strategic mindset rather than a frantic or defensive mindset.
2. Don't negate your humility.
I see a lot of self-described humble people, who quickly negate their humility with ego trips. They begin casually name-dropping, going on about their riches, or showing pictures of their Lamborghinis. That is just being a show-off.
3. Know your crowd, but don't label.
It's all about who you are talking to and what you are talking about. I know people I could label as hardcore business-only people, but in reality, a lot of them are also super deep and spiritual. There are no rules, and I don't use labels. I let people show me whatever they want to show me, and I act accordingly with them.
4. Pay gratitude to what you have accomplished.
We all started somewhere. We had to learn many things along the way to know what we know now. Just to be sitting here reading this post, you have accomplished many things. Be grateful for what you have learned. It's OK to tell people about accomplishments, as long it's not an ego trip in disguise.
5. Experience different cultures to gain perspective.
"There were times when I felt like the world was at my feet, but after visiting Japan, where the more successful you get, the more humble you have to be, I realized that I need to be humble all the time," says Jacob Laukaitis, co-founder of Chameleon John.
6. Complaining is as bad as bragging.
Have you ever sat around with a friend and complained forever? The downward spiral can escalate quickly. Next time you find yourself complaining, make it into a positive. Instead of complaining about how bad something is, talk about what an amazing lesson you learned instead.
7. Treat famous people and influencers the same.
I have met many famous people in my life. Why would I treat them differently because of that status? Treating those people as superior is no different than treating someone as inferior if they have less of a "celebrity status."
8. If you take credit for success, take credit for failure.
"I always try to keep an even keel--something I practiced and learned playing sports. Which means not getting too excited about my wins, but also not dwelling on my losses," says serial entrepreneur Clinton Senkow.
9. Remember, it could always be worse.
Have you heard the story of the boy who cried and cried because he had no shoes? He cried for a long, long time. Until he met another boy, who had no feet. Things could always be worse.
10. Focus on the present, and realize the journey is not over.
Your journey is not over yet. What you do today can affect tomorrow. But you can't change yesterday.
If you are focused on the present, your ego can't get too carried away. Ego trips start from bragging about past accomplishments. What is more valuable to me is what you can do right here, right now. Not what you did yesterday, last year, or last decade.
11. Always give back.
I don't care how accomplished, successful, or famous you are. Always give back. Look at someone like Tony Robbins, who puts millions of dollars of his money into philanthropic efforts, and feeds millions of people per year out of his pocket.
There are smaller ways to give back, too. You can teach someone what you know and what you have learned. Use these ideas to keep an even balance between humility and ego.