What is a humbling experience meaning? One can define a humbling experience as an experience that leaves a mark on our emotions and feelings. It usually leaves us in awe and an obvious perception of our true state. In order words, it is experiencing an incident, event, or encounter that causes us to view things from a different perspective.
However, the experience itself could be awe-inspiring, chastening, discomfiting, embarrassing, overwhelming, shaming, or sobering.
In this article I am going to talk about some of these experiences that will not only humble us, but change us forever.
13 humbling experiences that will change you forever
For the sake of clarity, I will classify these experiences under the feelings they evoke.
#1. The moment you perceive the suffering of others.
Undoubtedly, one of the humbling experiences that will change you forever is being in a position where you have to confront the raw pain and suffering another is going through. We feel humbled for two reasons. Firstly, the awareness that it could be us in that position. Suddenly, we understand that we are not above the suffering and pain that abounds all around us. Secondly, a change of perspective allows us to feel grateful for the things we take for granted.
#2. The moment you watch someone make a sacrifice.
This experience leaves a mark especially when you feel deprived or having less than you should and then providentially you come across an individual in far more difficult circumstances, who makes an exceptional sacrifice. It usually leaves you feeling humbled. It brings about a massive change in perception as well as a feeling of unworthiness.
#3. The moment you are corrected by someone younger or less experienced.
This can definitely leave you feeling outdated. While we probably cover it all with a smile and the phrase “Nobody knows it all”, if our feelings were laid bare, the experience stings! Yes, and it humbles us as well. We realize that indeed we do not know as much as we would like to believe and a younger generation is taking over. Consequently, it is indeed a humbling experience.
#4. The moment your secret is exposed
This can be a humbling moment and to a great extent it depends on the secret being kept. For instance, if you were unlucky to be caught when leading a double life. A millionaire on social media and a pauper in Ajegunle in the real world. Or worse still you spoke evil of a friend in secret but really it wasn’t a secret because your friend overheard! The grand revelation will prove to be a humbling experience you are likely to remember always.
#5. The moment you are beaten at a game you are genius in.
For most of us, we can be considered a pro in one or two activities. After gaining a reputation and prowess, we usually allow ourselves the luxury of boasting of our abilities. Consider then that the moment comes when an amateur defeat you at your game! Truly this can be one of those humbling experiences that will change you forever. You get to realize that you can be a professional but not a god.
#6. The moment you fail.
This is probably one of the most humbling experiences. Basically, when one fails at a task especially after expecting to succeed it can show that no one is above failure. Failing a test, interview, or exam can leave one feeling humbled. This may not just be the fact of the failure alone but that the examiner didn’t consider you worthy of a position or a score. Expectedly, it can cause one to feel the emotion of not being the best in that regard. I’m sure a lot of us would have experienced this.
#7. The moment you are proven wrong.
While this happens even to the best of us, being proven wrong, especially after a boastful season of how right you are can really humble an individual. As an illustration, have you ever had those sessions with friends where you claim to have the right information? Where you boastfully explain that everyone is wrong and probably will go as far as placing a bet because you are certain you just have to be right? Well, when a simple Google search or confirmation from an authority proves you wrong, this can get you to eat humble pie.
#8. The moment you see a dead friend.
No doubt, only a few people ever have this experience. However, it is one that they are likely not to ever forget. When one sees an individual, who was previously alive laying lifeless, it leaves a feeling and intense awareness of the brevity and fragility of life. An incident like this can be a humbling experience that will change you forever. Of course, it is not a pleasant experience.
#9. The moment you are ill.
Still on a gloomy note, when one experiences an illness that is prolonged, severe, and sudden or a critical illness, it tends to give one the sense of being mortal and suddenly puts life into perspective. As far as humbling experiences go, this is probably the scariest experience. However, anyone who has trod this path can affirm that it is indeed a humbling experience that will change you forever.
#10. The moment you realize you are aging.
Ever looked into the mirror and suddenly realize you have become a spitting image of your mom or dad? Not a cute version but the one with the fat, wrinkles, and grey hair! Personally, I have realized that one of the most humbling experiences is the moment where you realize that you certainly are no longer a youth. If you have had this moment of realization, you definitely will understand. On the contrary, if you haven’t, I can only say “wait for it”. It will surely come. For all of us different experiences bring us to this point. For instance, it could be having a teenager call you Ma/ Sir, being unable to run the number of miles you used to, having people mistake you for your mom or dad! the ugly phase of menopause and countless other aha! Moments. I believe we are humbled by the consciousness that our days are running out.
#11. The moment you give birth or watch a birth.
This is usually an awe-inspiring moment. It is indeed undeniably a humbling experience that changes us forever. I think it is safe to assume that even the medical personnel who witness this creation of life often are still impressed. However, for the parent or an observer, you will definitely be humbled by the consciousness that indeed we are just a part of a large whole. Without a doubt, witnessing the moment a child enters the world, the moment life begins is indeed a cherished moment.
#12. The moment you need assistance from others.
Ever been in a position where you needed the help of complete strangers? It is indeed a humbling experience not to be able to help yourself especially if you are an independent person by nature. When faced with circumstances where you have to depend on others it is indeed a humbling experience that will change you forever.
#13. The moment you visit a historic or religious site.
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A place like Mecca, Rome, the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, and the Atlantic Ocean when viewed in their majestic grandeur humbles you. The size of these places further highlights how little we are in the grand scheme of things. There probably isn’t any thought more humbling than this.
Definitely, many experiences abound that shakes us to the depth of our emotions and gives us a different perspective on things. Hopefully, when you encounter humbling experiences that will change you forever, they will be awe-inspiring ones!