Values of a Fearless Climber: Humility

Image of the blog title, Values of a Fearless Climber: Humility

By: Kathleen Ries-Jubenville   |    Read time: 3 minutes

The following is an excerpt from the book:

Grow a Pair of Antlers: The Fearless Climb to Lead Your Herd

A Fearless Climber is a passionate visionary whose intentional purpose is to enhance other people's lives. S/he takes courageous actions to foster dignity for others through inspiration and opportunity. S/he is an influential leader who promotes love, respect, grace, and hope.


I have always been a competitive person. I like this quality in me. Having the desire to win drives me to work hard, focus, and do my best, but sometimes it can get me into trouble. Many years ago, the company I was working for held a costume competition for Halloween. My girlfriend and I decided to dress up as a team and spent most of the night before making our costumes. We were a hamburger and french fries. She was the talented, creative energy behind the scenes. I was just a helper. We shopped, and cut, and sewed, and spray-painted, and produced top-quality work. We looked amazing! I would like to say we won the competition, but we didn’t. When the votes were tallied, our co-workers voted for me as the french fries, not my friend as the hamburger. We hadn’t thought to tell them to vote for us as a team. I was thrilled at my victory and didn’t once mention my friend. I didn’t thank her. I didn’t state that we were a team. I just basked in my glory. It took a perceptive co-worker to pull me aside and remind me about her feelings. That win almost cost me my best friend, but it taught me an important lesson about humility.

I learned that humility is the attitude of appreciation that our accomplishments are a result of the support and talents of the people around us. Even if our success in a particular situation was a solo act, we must not forget all the people - parents, teachers, coaches, friends, and leaders - who taught us and believed in us. This does not mean that we are to minimize our role in the project, nor does it justify sacrificing our self-esteem or pride in a job well done. Humility is not about being a martyr with a victim mentality. It simply means you should keep your ego in check and share the credit with your team. Allow others to feel good about themselves as well. Rick Warren says it best in his book, “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?”: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.”

Humility is also an awareness of your own imperfections so you do not become judgmental and hypocritical. It’s believing we are all just doing the best we can at any time and respecting that we are all at different places in our journey. Humility is the act of accepting and giving grace. It is a heartfelt belief that God created each person exactly right. Perfect, before we were subject to the mistakes of our ancestors and of our own free will. Thankfully, God’s grace picks us up and dusts us off again and again. Gratitude for those fresh starts produces humility in us. When we acknowledge that we all need grace, we work together with more patience, respect and camaraderie.

As a result, humility is the leadership attitude that helps create success. We win, but not at the expense of others. We lift others up with us. We win together as a team where no one is left behind. It’s how a Fearless Doe leads her herd.

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The Fearless Climbers

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