Hubris or Modesty


Its meaning is arrogance, excessive pride or self-confidence, feeling of superiority, cockiness and self-importance.

One writer said, ‘hubris is boring!’

Another said, ‘hubris is just one step ahead of loss of integrity.’

The opposite comes through in words like humility or modesty.

I love this word modesty – we don’t use it much nowadays, but modesty is such an attractive quality in a person.

A person who is modest I see as one who holds a freedom; they don’t have to be boastful about who they are and what they are doing.

Modest people are just decent people who moderate their behaviours of self-importance.

Don’t get me wrong, they have confidence in their gifts and strengths, but they are not overly confident. They have a healthy self-esteem and contribute fully, but they are not full of themselves.

Modesty can be captured in the words I remember hearing from one of my youth leaders as he spoke to a barn-full of young people at a camp in New Zealand – I was a bright-eyed eager young girl – ‘Don’t see yourself more highly than you ought’.

What important words and I remember them still clearly today.

Definitely, see yourself with the right perspective;

  • you are fabulous, unique, have gifts and strengths to give – YOU OUGHT to see yourself like this and have a humble self-confidence.


  • if we think we are better than other people  – we are thinking more highly of ourselves THAN WE OUGHT. It’s hubris, its unhealthy and it has the potential to wreck us.

Let’s not be hubris but a modest giver of who we are.

No Regrets,


About Penny

Penny was born in England, raised in New Zealand, lived in America and settled in Perth, Australia. Together with her husband Mark, she is raising a teenage daughter and has twin twenty-something sons. "Coming home at the end of a solid working day to family and friends is my delight" says Penny, Co-author of the book – She’s Not Your Competition. She is a heart-felt communicator who believes in the power of a person’s story. Penny has over 25 years experience as a high level leader and spokesperson in both the private and non-profit sectors with significant public relations experience. She is currently the CEO of South Coastal Women's Health Services, and prior on the Leadership Teams of Rise Network and Riverview supporting people in areas of mental health, domestic and family violence, and children overseas at risk of exploitation. She holds an MBA and MBL, and is a Board Director for the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. For the past 15 years she has provided pro-bono support as a mentor for leaders and consultant to not for profits. Penny’s personal life endeavour is a determination to "make life better not bitter".