- the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
- regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
- simplicity; moderation.
How very appropriate for the topic of self-improvement. Maybe we should we cover each definition separately? Yeah.
The Quality of being Modest
The quote above could easily be attributed towards a false modesty, but I have mentioned once or twice about being honest with yourself. It's fine to be aware of what you do excel at and to know of your charms, but it's rarely attractive to boast of them. And that is what modesty is about. Not denying your abilities (as many seem to think), but you don't have to go about flaunting it.
I think modesty has a lot more to do with being secure in who you are and that just goes back to learning how to accept and love yourself. When you feel secure about who you are - the good and the bad - there's no need to go about throwing your successes and abilities in the faces of others. You can feel free to just be who you are.
A Regard for Decency
It would be a nice world we all had a little more respect for the people around us. It's just a matter of acting modestly and respectful in public. This is a kind of modesty that seems to have been forgotten in a "me, me, me" kind of society. It seems a lot of people only care about how things make them feel and not the other way around.
It's one of those fine lines to walk, but it never hurts to try to think of others when you're out in public. Sure, they may be strangers, but they have feelings, thoughts and opinions as well. Modesty in the physical aspects of your life can only reflect well on yourself.
Simplicity & Moderation
This was the definition that most surprised me, but they certainly coincide well with my idea of self-improvement. And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Modesty can often been seen as moderation and/or simplicity, but I'd like to take it one step further.
I, for one, lead a sometimes cluttered life. Simplifying my life and surroundings makes it much easier to focus on the things that are important to me. As much as I want many thing or grand things, I don't need them. A simple life of modesty is much more appealling to me and it's something I need to keep in mind.
Moderation is just an extention of simplicity and regard for others. Moderation in my words and actions are always good advice. Moderation in life can help you remain balanced and centred. Extremes can be exhilirating, but balance is better. At least for me.