Arrogance is one of the most negative traits, and it leads to many counterproductive words and actions.
What’s the antidote for arrogance? Awareness of the enormous size of the universe – and our microscopic position in comparison.
In every Jewish blessing, we say the words “King of the Universe,” which is a constant reinforcement to eliminate arrogance.
Sources: For a series of probing questions on this topic, see Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,”pp.127-9
For some people, the most difficult thing in the world is to ask for forgiveness.
If you find it difficult to ask for forgiveness, visualize yourself asking for forgiveness. Mentally see yourself approaching someone and saying, “I am sorry that I caused you pain. Please forgive me.” Rerun this picture in your mind over and over again. Feel a sense of strength and release at being able to do this.
Each time you ask for forgiveness and find it difficult, you are building up your inner resource of courage.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book, “Courage”
The type of humility the Torah advocates comes only after one realizes how elevated he really is. Then there is value to humility. A lack of this awareness is not a virtue, but a major fault.
Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman was asked if his teacher the Chafetz Chaim, who was an extremely humble person, was aware of his own greatness.
“Yes,” Rabbi Elchonon replied. “Although the Chafetz Chaim was imbued with great humility, nevertheless he frequently acknowledged personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of his entire generation.”
Sources: Chovos Halvovos 6:2; Ohr Elchonon, vol.1, p.64; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.124