In an earlier post – The Importance of Show and Tell in Relationships – I discussed how important it is to tell the people closest to us that we are proud of them as well as letting them know they are loved.
We all want to know the people we care about are proud of us but what’s even more important is how we feel about ourselves.
Most likely, no amount of external compliments or enthusiasm can make us feel proud of ourselves – if we don’t feel it and believe it wholeheartedly at our end.
Let me ask you the question – are you proud of yourself?
There are so many reasons for you to be proud of yourself. You could have an amazing career, be a wonderful parent or you could be generous with helping other people, animals or the environment.
Considering how many fantastic options there are available, how often do we pat ourselves on the back and say we are proud of ourselves?
I have a feeling it’s probably not as often as it should be. Most of the time we are too busy rushing from one task to another to stop to give it much thought. But it’s about time we did.
Let’s have a closer look at this one.
Reasons to be proud of yourself
Okay off the top of your head without even thinking too much – what are the top 5 things you are proud of yourself for at the moment?
Did you come up with 5 things quickly or are you struggling to think of things you are proud of?
These 5 things don’t all have to be long-term situations. They don’t have to be big-ticket items. They could be something that’s happening in your life at the moment that may not be ongoing.
If you can’t think of 5 things then you need to be asking yourself – why not?
Think outside the standard life template
As with many things in life sometimes we can get too caught up with what is considered mainstream. Basically we focus too much on what we consider to be the standard life template. I’m talking about the marriage, kids, house, car, career type of deal that many people have mapped out for themselves.
But what if you don’t have (or want) any or all of those things? Does that mean you shouldn’t be proud of your achievements? Hell no – of course not. Maybe you want some of them but you haven’t quite got there yet but that shouldn’t stop you feeling proud of yourself.
We need to understand that people want and care about different things. Consequently we are going to be proud of different things as well, so don’t worry if your life doesn’t fit into any form of standard template – remember there are millions of reasons to feel proud of yourself.
It’s not all about possessions either. It’s not about accumulating things. I would go so far as to say, if the only things you are proud of are your possessions, you need to do some soul-searching. You should be proud of so much more than that.
What if you are not proud of yourself?
What if your first thought when I asked you the original question was no or not really. What if you are not proud of yourself?
Perhaps you are doing something that you know is wrong like having an affair with someone married or stealing from someone.
In cases like this there is only one way to regain pride in yourself. Stop doing what is making you dislike yourself.
I realize that is easier said then done and volumes of books and blog posts have been written on the topic, but what is the use of partaking in behavior that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself?
Yes it might feel good at the time but it comes at a huge cost.
If you are burdened down by guilt or shame you need to look into what you can do to turn that situation around. Focus on the steps you need to take so that you are feeling proud of yourself instead. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
Not feeling proud of yourself could stem from a number of other things. Perhaps you have low self-esteem and therefore can’t think of positive things to say about yourself. I urge you to dig deeper. There are always good things in our lives and in our hearts, sometimes we just have to be open to finding and uncovering them.
You might be going through a rough patch at the moment. It’s perfectly normal to feel discouraged when faced with hardship.Yet in our darkest moments we can display incredible strength and courage which we should be proud of.
As an example, I was proud of myself during my Mum’ recently bouts with cancer. I supported her, stayed as positive as I could and kept it together. Despite the whole situation being scary and awful, I was proud of the way I handled myself.
It’s wonderful that people are proud of you but what really matters is that you are proud of yourself.
Yours is the only opinion that truly matters.
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