As we go through life, we are typically our own harshest critic. We are unjustly hard on ourselves and rarely take time to instead think about reasons that we should be proud of our lives and the accomplishments (however big or small) that we’ve achieved.
When I graduated college (with a Journalism degree I figured I’d never use) I decided not to attend graduation for the fact that I felt like I hadn’t really accomplished anything of value and that there was no reason to be proud.
Fast forward a bit, and I had been working for myself for a few years at that point, yet I continued the automatic and unquestioned behavior of not giving myself much credit at all for my endeavors and achievements.
Instead of taking the time to really think about what I’d been able to pursue and do, I shrugged it off and pushed it to the side and told myself that when I accomplished something of significance, of more value, I’d then be proud of myself.
And there lies the problem.
Deciding to postpone being proud of ourselves for some arbitrary time in the future, only once we determine that we are worthy of it.
Sound like something you do in your life?
The great thing is we can change this ridiculous way of viewing life… right this instant.
It all starts with gratitude.
When you pause from your day to day living and intentionally take the time to reflect on your life and what you’re grateful for, you become exposed to a whole new world, a much better and improved one that is incredibly satisfying to live in and be a part of.
Through the consistent practice of gratitude, you inevitably uncover and shed light on the multitude of situations throughout your journey on earth that you are proud of.
Finding the person of your dreams, the job you thought you’d never get, the discipline and habits you’ve instilled to live a healthy lifestyle, your growth and maturity, the lessons you’ve learned from facing adversity, your impact on those you love and care about, and the list goes on and on and on.
By focusing our attention on what we are proud of, we naturally begin to increase our happiness and joy for our lives, leading to a growing and nurturing sense of self love for ourselves that we’ve never experienced before.
These positive emotions radiate through us, becoming easily recognized by others. They are also massively contagious and impactful to those we hold dear in our hearts.
All of this momentum accelerates our confidence and our ability to keep pushing ourselves to further grow, achieve and find meaning and purpose in life.
Flashing back to my days of delaying being proud of myself for some day in the future, I now look at that period of time as a learning lesson as well as a missed opportunity where I could’ve been proud of myself the entire time. I without a doubt had an infinite amount of reasons to be extremely grateful and proud of my life to that point.
Fortunately, over the last few years I have more than made up for those missed chances.
Through a daily morning practice of gratitude (going on 2 uninterrupted years now), where each and every day I think about 3 new things that I’m grateful for that I haven’t already thought about prior (yes, there are a LOT of things to be grateful for), I’ve been able to attain an unshakeable sense of inner peace and feeling of pride for the abundance in my life.
Instead of pushing the feeling of being proud for some other day, I now dive head first into it multiple times a day.
I have so much to be proud of and I’m certain that you do too.
Being proud of yourself is the greatest proof and act of self love and care for oneself and one’s life.
Don’t postpone it any longer.
“You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grow. Be proud of this.” –Unknown