When you've been doing the same thing for a long time, you think you know a lot. Sometimes you think you know it all. Until that moment you decide to do something different. And you discover there is an awful lot you have yet to learn. That is the moment you become humbled.
Witness what happens on my guilty pleasure, Dancing With The Stars. Accomplished athletes are my favorite example. They excel in their particular sport. Now asked to move their body in a new manner and it doesn't look like they are as accomplished as they were. Or take the models. Stunningly beautiful when standing still, but asked to stretch their arms and legs while moving in rhythm to music and their image alters. They are beginners again, faced with a new challenge, and if they are like me, humbled at all they didn't know.
I spent years selling and marketing other people's stuff. I can make that look easy. I always knew I could write, I just avoided it. But when I set my mind to really creating story, it came naturally. Yes, I was challenging myself but it was not borne of humility but of the fear of letting my voice be heard to more than my circle of friends.
But now, as I have learned the mechanics and pitfalls of digital files, upload my novel to the various outlets where The Secrets They Kept will be sold, try and figure out when it will be available in all places at the same time, as I start to tackle these new frontiers of letting people know it is there, I am humbled.
There is no other word. Humbled. Like a first grader who knows they are ready for more, but can't help but reflect back how easy Kindergarten was. I am in virgin territory. And from that new humility I am challenged in a way that is at once terrifying and as alive as one can feel.
Do you think you know it all?
Or are you taking on new challenges that humble you, yet push you forward?