Humility or Humiliation? It's Up To You.
Humility: freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble
Humiliation: to reduce (someone) to a lower position in one's own eyes or others' eyes: to make (someone) ashamed or embarrassed: MORTIFY
Everyone has been humiliated, from getting caught in a lie to major business missteps, we’ve all been there. What we’ve realized through these lessons is that humiliation is the path to humility and each lesson gives us the chance to choose humility. First things first, we need to get this straight- we are NOT talking about humiliation inflicted by others or the kind of run-of-the-mill embarrassment everyone experiences. What we are talking about is those self-inflicted humiliating moments and lessons given to us from the universe. If we choose not to pick humility first the universe will continue to present the lesson and eventually end up delivering a moment where we humiliate ourselves. Either way the result is humility but you have the choice to be humble or get humbled through humiliation.
We have encountered many times when we had the choice to be humble but instead let our ego take over and got humbled. One particular instance is when we decided to change the POS systems at our restaurants. We thought that the POS software partner we chose was the right fit and despite some red flags we charged ahead. After implementing this system at one of our restaurants, we immediately saw that there were deep flaws. We had the choice right then and there to be humble and take the time to assess if this was the right system to use but we let our ego lead the way and convinced ourselves that we should charge full steam ahead. When 5 of our locations were all running on the new system-or should we say barely limping along- and we were near staff mutiny we had to face the truth. It crystallized in a staff meeting where in front of 100 employees we were interrupted and asked: what are you going to do to fix the terrible morale? Hello, humiliation? Kay and Shi nice to see you again old friend. Had we had enough humility to pause and listen and course correct early we would have saved ourselves from some major humiliation.
We have also had some personally humiliating times. Haven’t you?
Kay here! When I was 17 I thought this guy that worked at our restaurant was cute and nice so I decided that I was going to impress him with my vast knowledge of house music (can you hear the sarcasm here?). I cooly said to him, “so you’ve heard of Deadmau5 (pronouncing it EXACTLY how it’s spelled, literally said “Dead-mow-five) and he looked at me like I may have never listened to music in my life (OH and did I mention he was a DJ?) and said incredulously “do you mean Deadmau5 (pronounced: dead-mouse)?” I was HUMILIATED, I spoke prematurely about something I didn’t know enough about instead of being humble and asking questions. After this experience, I learned the hard way to always be humble and ask the question instead of letting my ego lead and pretend I know things that I simply don’t.
Shi here! One of my many humiliation experiences in life was centered around my identity as a great cheerleader. Okay, not just a great cheerleader, the best cheerleader on my team. I thought this because I had been cheering for longer than most of the team, I had been captain my freshman year and because like most 17-year-olds, I thought I was hot sh*t. So here comes the voting and campaigning for captain my senior year and I was SURE I was going to be named cheer captain again. I was already acting like and talking like I was cheer caption, to say the least, I was expecting the title to be mine. I was so wrapped up in the expectation and ego, nothing could bring me down. So imagine my horror when someone else was named cheer captain. I was mortified. Ashamed, depressed...in other words completely humiliated. I cried myself to sleep and hid away in my room in dramatic teenage girl fashion. Had I had humility I wouldn’t have made assumptions about winning and would have worked to earn it.
We have ALL been in a situation where we decided not to choose humility and in turn got humiliated. These lessons teach us to choose humility the next time around and we hope you’ll listen in to hear more on our podcast next week!