Humility is a Key Part of Life (and Sobriety)

Finding humility can be difficult in sobriety because it feels like a different emotion than to any others you experienced in active addiction. It is fun to get praise and to feel wanted or like you are on top of the world. Humility means letting go of the ego long enough to face the challenges of sobriety head on and find joy and meaning in other ways substances cannot provide for you.

What is Humility

The word humility means different things but basically means modesty and respectfulness. A personality trait many people get acquainted with in addiction is arrogance. This feeling that you are better than others or your needs come first can put you in direct conflict with loved ones. Being humble doesn’t mean you don’t have your own needs first but you are not pushing others out of the way to get what you want. Once people practice humility, they discover it can bring more joy than any other thing in their life. The best part is practice makes perfect and it can quickly become a habit.


A common misconception is that assertiveness is the opposite of humility. People associate humility with meekness or being a doormat. It is possible to assertive and humble at the same time. People can stand up for their own rights while remaining respectful. This also means being aware of personal imperfections.


Humility is a huge step in a spiritual walk. In many religions, humility is a necessary step of submission before a higher power, or God. the 12 steps teach about humility in Step 7 when people are asked to ‘humbly ask a higher power to remove shortcomings.’ The reason this comes at that point is so many things have to happen before a person is ready to move into step 7. Individual humility is a personal journey that takes time after a person has been locked inside the prison of addiction for a long time.

Addiction and Arrogance

People with addiction tend to suffer from low self-esteem. Arrogance is a defense mechanism to hide things inside a person that they cannot face. Arrogance also keeps people trapped inside addiction. A person who is arrogant fears that they are not going to know something and it will make them look stupid. This keeps them stuck in misery. The best way to combat arrogance is the practice of humility.

Benefits in Recovery

Some of the ways humility can benefit people in recovery include some very key components:

  • No fear of asking questions to learn
  • It is easier to learn and grow because the person does not assume they have all the answers
  • Developing humility is a key to spiritual growth and living
  • People with this attitude are less likely to relapse
  • Humble individuals are not short of friends and are modest and respectful of others
  • The person is doing service to others that is documented because they enjoy helping others for the sake of others, not to their own benefit

Humility takes time to build up to after a time stuck in addiction. With support and help of community, it is possible to become a humble person and begin to discover a new way of living.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We teach humility as a key part of recovery for all people who come to rehab. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.