10 markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight

Most of us love to get credit for our accomplishments. 

We want the gold medal, the letter of commendation and the pat on the back. 

But there are a rare few who give others the spotlight and give selflessly of their time and energy to assist those around them. 

Here are the traits that define these precious few… 

1) Knowing what they’re doing

The first of the important markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight is competence. 

It’s hard to be humble if you have nothing to be humble about. 

Humble people tend to be highly capable and competent. 

They seek results and they are knowledgeable about whatever they are working on. The difference is that unlike louder and more egotistical folks, they don’t crave awards and praise for what they do. 

They’re much more interested in actually being useful and coming up with solutions than being applauded for it. 

In short: humble people are interested in living with maximum impact and minimum ego

2) Being a team player 

The next of the key markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight is that they’re a team player. 

They see the talents and capabilities of others and put them to good use. 

They’re supportive, enthusiastic and helpful to their colleagues and friends

They want to have the best work environment possible and they actively assist in that by being mindful of the good of the group and its goals. 

3) Working hard for results

The fact is that humble souls don’t just avoid awards and applause because they’re such kind, gentle souls

They do it because they find it a waste of time. 

They’re interested in actually getting results and the work itself, and for this reason they often prefer to leave the fanfare and ticker tape parade to others. 

They are more interested in the actual process. 

For example, an individual who makes a brilliant discovery in the field of treating cancer but gives most of the credit to her team may be doing so mainly so she can focus on expanding the scope of research and publicity would just get in the way. 

Results first. 

4) Tackling problems calmly 

Another of the key markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight is that they tackle problems calmly

Every job and endeavor in life is going to have challenges and unexpected obstacles. 

The humble individual takes this in stride. 

They don’t take setbacks personally and they try to be solutions-oriented instead of complaining or playing the victim

This brings me to the next point… 

5) Having a mission larger than themselves

Humility comes from having a mission larger than yourself. 

The truly significant markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight center around their mission. 

So how do you find your mission and become an effective, powerful person? 

How do you get to the point where you are so in love with your purpose that outer praise and external validation is no longer very important to you? 

One thing which I highly recommend for discovering your mission is the free masterclass on finding your purpose from Justin Brown.

Justin has unlocked a really powerful way to find your purpose that doesn’t rely on “positive visualization” or many of the techniques being pushed out there in the self-development space. 

Instead, Justin shares a remarkably effective new way to find your life’s mission that he learned from the Brazilian shaman Rudá Iandê.

I found it incredibly helpful in unlocking my own purpose and becoming much more mission-centered and less ego-based. 

Check out the free video here.

6) Actively assisting others to succeed 

Next up in the markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight is that they actively help others to succeed. 

If a coworker or friend is having problems, the humble individual is there to help out, give advice and actively assist. 

This is often in a professional context, but it could also be personal. 

For example, say a man is having a problem with his health and turns to his very fit friend for advice. 

His friend, a personal trainer and highly-paid consultant, has known him since adolescence and helps him out with free advice that greatly improves his diet and fitness. 

It doesn’t take the friend much time to assist, but he could easily claim credit or use his friend as a case study to boost his publicity more and turn into a marketing gimmick. 

But he doesn’t do that. He just helps. Because he can, and because he values friendship and wants to see his friend growing and glowing. 

Beautiful stuff. 

7) Highlighting the contributions of others

In addition to actively helping others succeed and overcome challenges, the humble individual helps trumpet their successes. 

Using the previous example, the personal trainer might tell his friend’s wife that he’s so proud of him. 

“It was all him!” he’d insist, praising his friend. 

Whereas another trainer might claim credit or make sarcastic jokes about fat hubby and how hard it was to get results, this guy is praising his friend. 

That’s how it is with humble people. They want win-win situations and victories, not personal recognition. 

They’re proud and happy to see those close to them succeed, and never jealous. 

8) Putting their own accomplishments in context

The previous point relates directly to this one:

One of the top markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight is that they prefer to put their own accomplishments in context:

  • Yes, she discovered groundbreaking research on fighting cancer, but she had an amazingly hard working team of fellow visionaries who helped massively in leading to that breakthrough…
  • Yes, he helped his friend achieve incredible fitness results in only four months, but his friend put his whole heart and soul into that endeavor and was an inspiration as well due to his determination!

This is how it works:

The humble individual puts his or her accomplishments in context. 

And almost always that context leans heavily in favor of recognizing the input, effort and inspiration of others who were involved or supportive during any important process. 

9) Eschewing awards and individual recognition

This brings up the next point about the markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight:

They don’t really like getting awards and recognition. 

At the very least, they don’t seek it out. 

It just doesn’t mean a hell of a lot to them. 

Sure they recognize that they may have done something notable or even deserve some praise and award. 

But they tend to look awkward and give short and concise speeches when accepting any award. 

They’d rather others get the lion’s share of the attention and praise. 

10) Celebrating win-win situations more than win-lose 

There are two basic frameworks to approach life:

Win-win or win-lose. 

In the first case, you focus on situations where both individuals or groups or ideologies can coexist or collaborate. 

In the second case, you focus on situations where one individual, group or ideology has to lose in order for the other to win. 

It’s dog eat dog versus dog help dog. 

Both are possible. Both can be true. 

But one of the most important markers of a humble soul who puts others in the spotlight is that he or she tries their best to find situations, relationships and scenarios where everyone involved can gain something instead of somebody having to lose. 

Humility matters 

Humility is important, because it’s a sign of power and efficacy. 

As I wrote earlier, you can’t be humble if you have nothing to be humble about. 

At heart, being humble is about being more interested in solutions and action than words and praise. 

It’s about being a person of true integrity and grit who craves real results and improvements in life instead of just popularity. 

Giving others the spotlight is a symptom of this:

Many people crave recognition and need that validation. So let them have it. 

Once you find your mission and have a team you love to work with, you don’t have the same craving for external praise and recognition. 

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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