On Making Yourself Proud
Updated: Jul 11, 2018
I never thought much about the feeling of pride in my life. No one talked about it or directed me to look for it or grow it. I thought of pride more as something others could experience because of something I'd done- my parents being proud of me, for example. As I continued to grow, I shared my successes with others, hoping to hear that glimmer of pride in their voices, confirming that I had done well in their eyes. I waited for it from others, but never asked it of myself.
All of that changed when I learned the value of self-praise. I'm not talking about praising myself in front of other people so that they'd think I'm stronger/smarter/more worthy/better than they are. I'm not talking about using others to bounce my reflection off of so that I could feel more confident in myself than I actually do. In fact, I'm not talking about anyone else in the equation except me, myself and I.
When I do something that is hard work, I give a little "good job Dréa" cheer, or I clench my fists and pump my arms in the air, or I do a little happy dance. I do this action-praise to celebrate my success and give myself a reward so that I'll be more inclined to work harder for myself again in the future. This praise is so important. I celebrate each small win for myself because HARD WORK IS NOT EASY! No one else knows when I've done something that took a lot of focus and determination. I can explain some of it to them, but the truth is that no one really gets it- only me. Only I know how hard I worked, or how much I had to focus on my commitment, or how thoughts of fear and doubt were pulling at me the whole time but I did it anyway. Only I can truly appreciate my successes and wins. So I do my personal high-five and tell myself I did well, and with that I get to experience an emotion that I didn't overtly know before- pride. I'm proud of myself, I know what I did, and I know what it took. And it's an amazing feeling, to create that for myself.
Pride is my new favourite feeling, and I think it should be yours too.
What makes you proud? What small things do you do that make you stand back and say "yes, I did this. It was hard work and I did it." And how do you honour yourself for that? Or do you even notice what you did? Do you take your hard work for granted and instead think about all the things you're not doing, or all the ways you're failing? Stop doing that. Start showing yourself all the areas that you're doing amazing and hard work, areas where you're not giving up, areas where you're trying and failing but still going at it, and celebrate yourself for it.
As much as we want others to approve of us, what we truly crave is being proud of ourselves. You may reject that idea initially, but I encourage you to start as soon as you can and get a taste for it. Notice what you did that you think is awesome. It could be putting a dinner on the table for your family, or solving a problem at work, or getting off the couch and doing some stretches, or making a food choice that serves you. Whatever it is, notice it and overtly praise yourself. Do that enough times, and you'll begin training your brain to do more that makes you proud. You'll stop looking for the bad, and you'll start noticing the good. Plus, it's super fun to do a happy dance all alone in your house for no other reason than self-pride. And the best thing about being proud of yourself is that the opinion of others stops mattering so much. We stop looking for what others think about us to determine what we think or ourselves. Our own opinion becomes a higher priority, so we start doing it all for us. When you get on your own side and seek to make yourself proud, then you'll be more inspired and confident to create what you want, for YOU. Not for society, or your parents, or your friends, or partner, but for you.
So do me a favour- do one thing today worthy of a personal high five, whatever that may be for you. Then email me and tell me about it. I'd be so excited to read about what made you proud. :)