Humility versus modesty
Oliver Herford said: “Modesty is the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it.” I have always believed that modesty is pretentious. Acting modest is like pretending to be less than what you really are. However, I do believe in humility, which should not be confused with modesty. Modesty consists of belittling one’s own talents and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from others.
Modesty often poses as humility. But such humility is false as it is usually social in context and hence external. True humility, on the other hand, is an acknowledgement to the self of our limitations and hence it is an internal concept.
I am aware of my gifts, talents, abilities and I see no reason why I shouldn’t declare them as such. At the same time, I am also aware of my weaknesses and do not mind acknowledging it to self and others. Being humble is being authentic to self. Being modest is being inauthentic to others. C.S Lewis once said, “Perfect humility dispenses with modesty.” So aim for perfect humility.