When was the last time you were really proud of yourself?  It doesn’t have to be for something monumental; it might simply be for not having a second slice of cake, or keeping your patience with a colleague, or saying ‘no’ to something you really dreaded doing, or waking up early enough to enjoy your commute.  Perhaps you often feel prideful in yourself?  Perhaps the last time was recently, and thus the details of it came quickly to you?  Or, perhaps you can not recall the last time you looked on yourself with pride?

It makes logical sense that, in order to be proud of one’s self, we would then also have to be accepting, at least in that moment, of our best efforts.  We would have to be looking upon ourselves, ultimately, as good enough.  Now, I could ask:  Good enough compared to what?  There is a marker within ourselves of when we’ve crossed from acceptable to prideful, and knowing that line may help us to look on ourselves with more love.  It may help us to stretch our acceptance of our self, and focus on ourselves more as a whole.

It’s hard to be proud if you’re the constant perfectionist who always feels they could have done slightly better.  Perfectionism taints pride, really. What is perfection but simply a standard we’ve set for ourselves that requires such precision, such detail, that the winds need to blow in exactly the ‘right’ direction, at exactly the right moment – making it as likely as spotting a unicorn in the grocery store parking lot.  Perfectionism is a moving target, as it is often more about how we see ourselves as enough and acceptable… and no dotting of our ‘I’s’ and crossing of our ‘T’s’ is going to create that feeling within ourselves.

In my coaching experience, I’ve come to see that most of us are quite hard on ourselves.  We often nit-pick the finer moments of past conversations or events, as our hind-sight reveals what would have been the choice responses or actions.  But, life doesn’t work like that, does it?  Life is an ‘in the moment’ kind of thing – always.  So, as we’re fretting or debating over moments past, we are completely oblivious to the current ones slipping by.  And, beating ourselves up over past moments certainly doesn’t help us garner the respect and love we need for ourselves to trust in ourselves; keeping us more grounded in future endeavors.

When we look on ourselves with acceptance, we can appreciate the details of our engagements even more.  We have allowance in ourselves to appreciate what it is that we do, indeed, excel at.  And when we look on ourselves with love, we can also kindly ask more of ourselves in the areas that we feel we are still growing.  If you are always blowing harsh winds on a seedling, it will never grow; it needs tender care and nurturing to thrive.

What if we allowed ourselves to be filled with pride for our courage to try?  Our courage to face what is stirring us up inside, rather than pushing the emotions back down with food?  The courage to send a resume to your dream job, even if you’re confident you don’t meet the minimum requirements?  The courage to take that lesson, or flirt with your heartthrob, or take the trip.  What if pride could come, not from the outcome, but from the commitment to our greater self to take on these types of fears? To me, that seems so much more empowering and productive.

Self-love pride is not the same as egoic pride.  We’re not rushing to post it on our social media pages, but rather, we are cultivating the deeper garden within; watering it, and being inspired by it. We are serving as our own champions, and that is crucial in reaching our goals in life.

Personally, in this moment, I’m proud of myself for one thing, and realizing I still have not fully committed to helping myself with another.  It’s an ebb and flow.  It’s not about being a winner or a loser, or keeping score of your successes and failures, but rather, simply allowing yourself to be a human BEing.  So, be proud of yourself, and let that self-pride be an inspiration to draw you forward in your life.

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