I was listening to a podcast today from The Life Coach School. I haven’t listened to Brooke for a long time. There was a time when I listened to her everyday for six months or so.
She still makes a lot of sense.
This morning Brooke was talking about how important it is to be proud of ourselves. I got a little icky shudder when I heard her say that. Many of us are programmed from childhood not to develop a “big head”.
After all, pride goeth before a fall, another mantra many of us sing to ourselves whenever we are feeling even a little bit dangerously happy with our performance.
And isn’t that sad?
The last few days I have been going back over the year, from start to finish. Photos, journal entries, achievements, failures. A reflection of exactly what 2021 has taught me. There was a reason I heard this podcast at this time. For once I was quietly chuffed with my internal report card.
I’ve been on the spiritual/philosophical/self improvement bender for a long time. I think I picked up my first illuminating tome some 20 years ago. Since then I would have read nearly every book in the genre/s. The thing is, you can read a thousand great ideas, but if you don’t implement the knowledge into your daily life, then you may have well read none of it.
Over the years I’ve chipped away, revealing a better person inside, some years there have been setbacks, and others have been truly rewarding in terms of growth, even if often, those years have been the ones that have also been the hardest in terms of life experiences delivered.
Here’s the thing about being proud of yourself. It doesn’t mean smug or arrogant or holier than thou. It doesn’t mean that you believe yourself to have arrived at some great pedestal where now there is no more work left to do. It doesn’t mean that all your faults magically disappear.
To be proud of yourself means taking a moment to acknowledge how far you have come, how well you have done. You can take this exercise to your desk and write a list that includes all your achievements back to grade school or instead, like me, you can reflect a little, read back over the year that’s been and acknowledge those moments that you behaved better, thought better, reacted better, achieved, helped, grown.
And then, if you’re like me, you will write a list of all the things you want to do next. But don’t be hasty, don’t overlook this moment of quiet glow inside. Feel it in your heart, hold it there and smile. Because when you love yourself, you overflow onto others.
When you love yourself, you go easier on those around you. Think of the meanest person you know, now think about how they would be if they truly loved themselves, were proud of themselves – most meanness comes from a lack of self esteem and feelings of unworthiness. Why else would they want to pull us happy people down there with them?
If you are grateful and proud of yourself then you are automatically kind and gracious to those around you. Lack breeds envy, judgement, criticism and small spiteful behaviour.
The word pride often has negative connotations, but when it leads to increased self esteem and self respect, I really don’t think it is.
I hope this post encourages you to find a couple of ways that you have achieved something that you are proud of this year. If not, there is always 2022 and it’s just around the corner.
We are all works in progress, but if we continue to always look at what needs fixing, instead of acknowledging achievements we are proud of, then our experience is constantly racing and grasping. Our mindset becomes dissatisfaction and want. Instead, stop, be content, sit in the sun on this mountain you are climbing and enjoy the view for a moment. It will give you fresh energy and enthusiasm to keep going.