Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Are You Intellectually Humble?

intellectually humble

If someone were to ask me this question, my instinctive reaction would always be, “no way, I am intellectually humble,” whatever that may mean. The truth would be different if someone else were asked to comment about my intellectual demeanor.

We are all guilty of grossly overestimating our so-called “virtues’.

I often ask myself these five questions that I picked up from a book of quotes long back to test my “intellectual humility.”

Do I think like a soldier or a scout? 

A soldier fights and defends while a scout explores and looks to discover.

Would I rather be right, or would I rather understand? 

When I approach any situation with a mindset of being right, I activate my “defensive” mode and close out avenues to learn and grow.

Do I solicit and seek out opposing views? 

When I do something, what is my approach? Do I seek validation or actively solicit feedback for improvement even if it makes me uncomfortable?

Do I enjoy the “pleasant surprise” of discovering I am mistaken?

When I am in the wrong, am I comfortable admitting that I am wrong, or do I try to myself look faultless?

Intellectual humility is a crucial building block for any personal growth. It’s about knowing what you don’t know. It is very easy to fall into the arrogant trap of thinking that one is intellectually humble when the reality is otherwise. 

Intellectual humility helps you recognize the limitations of your knowledge and beliefs and inculcates a sense of open-mindedness towards learning and becoming a better thinker.

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