If asked what you are proud of, how would you respond? Would you be able to reel off a list of achievements, or would you be lost for words?
Pride is a funny old emotion. It says, in no small way, that I have performed well; I have succeeded; I have surpassed expectations. But there is more to pride than this. It can be more discrete, more softly spoken; it doesn’t have to be all brash and loud as it screams, “Look at me!”
You can, and should, be proud of so many things, most of which you’ve probably never thought about before. So forget what they say about pride coming before a fall; be proud of these 12 things, but make your pride an internal expression of self-love rather than an external plea for attention.
1. How Far You’ve Come
We’re all on a journey, each one different, but all equally as important. That journey is called life. It’s easy to overlook just how far that journey can take us, right from our days as a child through to our sunset years as a senior citizen.
However old you are right now, you have come a long way, and guess what, you’re still standing, still fighting. Be proud of your past; not necessarily of everything you’ve done (we all have regrets), but of how you’ve kept going; how you’ve kept working hard.
2. Every Obstacle You’ve Overcome
No journey is without its challenges; no path without its obstacles. Sometimes you don’t even realise you’re doing it, but you will have overcome many such obstacles in your time. You have persevered even when you felt like giving up.
Be proud of all those times when you’ve faced difficulties. Be proud of all the times you’ve struggled. You might flippantly pass them off as nothing more than the rigors of life, but you stepped up and took on the challenge when you could have been defeated.
3. Every Time You’ve Failed
Sometimes, no matter how hard you might try, you will fail. When this happens, you have two choices: try to forget all about it, or use it as motivation to keep going and as an opportunity to learn. The latter is generally the better option.
The fact that you’ve failed means one thing is for certain: you’ve tried. That’s something to be proud of right there. You’ve put yourself on the line and you’ve seen your efforts come up short. Maybe you’re ashamed of that. Don’t be. Be proud that you had the guts to try in the first place.
4. Your Desire To Grow
All those times you’ve tried (even when you’ve failed) say one other thing about you: you want to improve upon yourself. You want to GROW (you must do, or you wouldn’t be reading this article).
You could have sat back and shied away from anything that might prove difficult. You could have let external factors shape your destiny. But you didn’t. You took your fate into your own hands and attempted to create positive change in your life. That’s worthy of pride.
5. Every Choice You’ve Made
This probably sounds like a mistake. It’s certainly controversial. Why would you be proud of every choice you’ve made, especially the bad ones? It’s a reasonable question to ask. The answer lies in the journey we spoke about above.
It’s inevitable that you’ve made some bad choices. You may have even hurt others in the process. Yet, every choice we make is one we can learn from. Every choice we make is another step towards where we are today. Had you made different choices, you would have been a different person. If you are to be proud of who you are today, you have to be proud of all the choices that shaped you into this person.
6. Taking The First Step
Speaking of choices… each one you make means a first step on a new path. The first step on any journey is often the hardest, but the fact that you’ve taken it is something you can be proud of.
Have you given up a bad habit or broken an addiction? The first step was pivotal. Are you chasing your dreams in life? The first step was a leap of faith. Have you mended a relationship that was damaged by one of your poorly judged choices? The first step – and often the first word – contains the most healing power.
7. Every Time You’ve Helped Someone
Our lives consist of periods of sleep or solitude interspersed with interactions with other people. These moments of social connection offer us endless opportunities to show kindness, compassion, and love through the help and care we provide to others.
It doesn’t matter how small the act, every time you help someone, you are sending positive energy out into the world. You are not only telling that person that you care, but showing them, too. Be proud of this. Be proud that you were there for someone in their time of need.
8. Every Time You’ve Taken Care Of Yourself
It’s quite common for us to get so wrapped up in the ebb and flow of daily life that we forget to set aside any time for self-care. It can be easy to put others ahead of yourself, or to put your career ahead of your wellbeing, but every time you’ve stopped to take care of yourself is a moment to be proud of.
What’s more, if you’ve ever asked for help, be proud of that, too. It takes courage to reach out to others and admit that you are struggling and could do with a helping hand. This is not an act of weakness, oh no; it’s the complete opposite.
9. Being Honest With Yourself And Others
Admitting you need help is just one example of another thing you should be proud of: honesty. We are alone in our heads and we can spend so much time worrying about what others are doing or what they might think, that we conceal our true selves.
Whether it is revealing your feelings for someone, accepting your sexuality, admitting that you’re not happy in a situation (e.g. a job or relationship), showing vulnerability, or some other act that requires you to be honest, you should be proud. It shows that you are a human being that has a heart. It shows that you have conquered your fears and expressed your true feelings.
10. Accepting Others As They Are
We are all different. As with snowflakes, no two people are quite the same. This is a good thing because diversity brings variety, and variety is the spice of life. Every day, without even realising it, you are accepting other people for the way they are. You are embracing their uniqueness and celebrating your differences.
Acceptance is like the last warmth of a setting sun: beautiful, comforting, and relaxing. It tells people, “You are just fine how you are.” When you accept others, the boundaries between you fall away, and you join together in the union of being. It’s beautiful, it’s natural, and it is something that should bring you pride.
11. Being A Good Friend
Acceptance is part of being a good friend, but there is so much more to it than that. Every moment you share together; every time you offer a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on; every little act that shows how much you care. Good friends are worth their weight in gold.
Much of the time, a good friend doesn’t even realise how good they are. They are just doing what comes naturally to them. Chances are, you are and have been a good friend to many people. That’s worth being proud of.
12. Every Time You’ve Made Someone Smile
Life is a blend of good times and not-so-good times. Knowing that there are struggles ahead of us, we place a great deal of value on the moments of happiness and joy in our lives. If you have ever been the reason that someone experiences one of these positive moments, you should pat yourself on the back.
Something as simple as bringing a smile to the face of another person is worthy of a little bit of pride. Even these small flashes of elation have the power to make someone’s day, so whether it was a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a complete stranger, be glad that you have touched their hearts.
You should be proud of yourself. Period. Whether it is for one of these 12 reasons, or something else entirely, you have done much in your life to celebrate. So quit being so hard on yourself – you are a wonderful being and the whole world appreciates you for it.
Author – Steve Waller
Owner A Conscious Rethink
Steve Waller is the founder of personal development portal A Conscious Rethink. He and his team take their passion for self-growth and pour it into hundreds of articles aimed at helping YOU to improve your life and find the inner peace you desire. You can follow him on Facebook and Pinterest to get more inspirational quotes and content.