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When you define a positive virtue or quality, such as humility, in a way that limits your authentic self-expression…


Humility is considered as a positive virtue in many cultures and philosophical traditions. There’s no doubt about that, right?

But what does it mean and what is actually the difference between humility and denying yourself permission to do and be everything you are capable of?

In short, humility means recognizing and acknowledging your own strengths and abilities, but remaining modest and not boasting about them. Denying yourself permission to do and be all that you are capable of, on the other hand, means holding back out of fear, self-doubt, or external pressure. For example, a humble person may excel in their field but still show respect and appreciation for the accomplishments of others, while someone who denies themselves permission may have the talent and potential to pursue their dreams but chooses not to due to a lack of something like self-confidence or because of a flawed definition of humility – as was my case.

Let me share my experience regarding this topic.

For a long time, I lived with a definition of humility that often led me to settle for much less than I desired in my heart.

In other words, I settled for too little because I believed it was indecent to ask for more. Or rather, I deemed it ungrateful to “ask” for exactly what I deeply desired.

I was settling for too little in relationships, at work, and in many other important areas of life. The result, of course, was that I received significantly less than what I actually wanted.

Anyone watching me from the outside probably couldn’t see my dissatisfaction at the time because I was good at hiding it. But deep inside me, I sensed that something was wrong.

Reading A Course in Miracles one sunny afternoon and reflecting on my own shortcomings, I came across a compelling idea. The book suggests that one of our biggest problems is that we ask too little of life.

“You do not ask too much of life, but far too little.” – A Course in Miracles

As I continued reading A Course in Miracles, I stumbled upon the following idea:

“Only what you are not GIVING can be lacking in any situation.”


These two ideas resonated with me so deeply that I couldn’t think about anything else for the next few days. It dawned on me that in areas where I “ASKED” only a “LITTLE” from myself, from others, and from life itself, I was also hesitant to “GIVE” much in return.

In other words: After reflecting on these two ideas and some of my past life experiences, I realized that I was only willing to “go all in” if I gave myself full permission to do or be something that I deeply felt was “mine” to achieve or become. I wouldn’t look for a shortcut, I wouldn’t look for excuses, I wouldn’t try to “fool” myself, I wouldn’t care what the media said, I wouldn’t look for someone to blame when things didn’t go my way. Nothing would be difficult for me because I’d have a reason WHY I was doing it and I’d be fully motivated to achieve it.


I used to think I was a humble person because, for example, I agreed to do a job I didn’t like at all. Or tolerating a relationship that was boring and useless. Today, however, I know that my definition of humility was flawed. I denied myself the opportunity to create the life I truly desired because I thought that would be arrogant and ungrateful.

Now I believe it is my “sacred task” to become all that I came here to become. There is nothing better I can do for myself and the world around me than to manifest my soul’s potential as fully as possible. I no longer see settling for less as humility, but rather as a form of self-denial. An acorn does no one any favors when it refuses to become a mighty oak.

Remember that when you “ask” for less, you are also willing to “give” less – in business, in relationships, and in every other aspect of life. And when you “give” less, remember that, as A Course in Miracles says, “only what you are not GIVING can be lacking in any situation.”

Now you know what you can do when you feel you are lacking something.