When was the last time that you told someone that you are proud of them? I tell my friends that I’m proud of them almost daily. I have friends and family tell me that they’re proud of me, too. I don’t take my loved ones’ praise to heart very often, though. I’ll thank them for their kind words, but in my head, I’ll critique myself. I have an ongoing list of things that I know I could be doing better, so I never seem to be proud of myself.
“I’m not at the point in my life that I should be.” “I’m not as good at this as they are.” “I’m not as far along in my life as they are.”
I’ll constantly compare myself to other people. I’ll see where they are in life and see the amazing things that they’re doing. There are times that I’ll even wish that I could live someone else’s life, just for a day or two, to see if I could be proud of myself then.
When is the last time that you looked in the mirror or looked at your own accomplishments and thought, “I’m proud of myself?” It’s probably been awhile. If you’ve ever done that, that’s an accomplishment on its own. If you have told yourself that you’re proud, it’s probably been a little while.
That’s a problem because you should always be proud of yourself. At least once a day, you should reflect on something that you’ve accomplished and say, “I did this, and I’m proud of myself.” I understand that sometimes it is difficult to find something that you’re proud of yourself for doing, but I promise you, your pride is worth your time.
I’ve battled depression on and off for years, so I know how much of a struggle it can be to discover your pride. Some days, you don’t even want to get out of bed. You do nothing, turn on some brainless TV show for background noise, and exist. Even on those hard days, you can say that you’re proud of yourself. You may not have been “productive,” but you existed, and you made it through another day. Staying alive is something to be proud of.
I’ve also been in situations where I wasn’t myself because I wasn’t proud of who I was. I thought that my quirks, my sense of humor, my interests, and my hobbies weren’t good enough. I needed to camouflage into someone that other people could be proud of, so I basically I adopted a different personality, a mask.
Truth be told, I was miserable because I had no pride. My depression would sank me low, and my anxiety went crazy as I tried to make myself seem like someone worth taking pride in. My thoughts dragged my depression even deeper because I wasn’t myself.
It took years, but now I’m finally proud of myself. I feel safe and secure in my own personality. Finding my pride was a difficult road, though. I’m still struggling with this process of trying to love myself as I am. There are days when I still get nervous when talking about the future, especially my hopes and dreams. I feel strange when I talk about what I like to read, what I like to learn about, and what I want to do.
I can’t say that I’m completely confident in myself, yet, but I’m getting there. I’m allowing myself to let my “weirdness” shine through, and I’m finding that I’m not as weird as I thought I was. I’m finding other people who share my interests. I’m also finding out that people who have known me for years love nothing more than the fact that I’m finally proud of myself.
Always, always, always be proud of who you are. Find at least one thing every day that you’re proud of yourself for. It can be something big, or it can be something simple. You don’t have to say that thing aloud (even saying it in your head can be beneficial!)
Let your light shine through, and start by saying, “I’m proud of myself.”