A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.Jane Austen
When I think about how far I’ve come, I get so proud of myself. It feels weird at first to be so proud of myself that I’m close to tears. But I’ve learned to let myself have these moments. In the past, I’d quickly take away the pride that came from my own growth and accomplishments. I’d tell myself that none of it was me and that I should be humble. I think there’s many reasons I took those moments away from myself but what’s interesting is that I never had to take those moments away from myself to learn that it was ok. We don’t have to suffer to be proud. You can be proud of yourself right now. But if you’re anything like me. then you’ll need a little more explanation.
What did it take for me to learn to be proud of myself?
Validating all of my feelings. You can’t be proud of tasks you’ve overcome if you don’t allow yourself to label them as tasks. If you gaslight yourself in times of struggle, you won’t allow yourself to see how powerful and resilient you really are. That leads to my next lesson, forgiving myself.
Stop shaming myself. When I wasn’t trained to validate my own feelings, I didn’t know how to find pride in my accomplishments. Now that I know the things I went through were hard for me and that it’s ok that they were hard for me, annnd that all my feelings were valid and welcome, I can look back and appreciate myself, rather than shame myself for not knowing better. My focus naturally shifts away from shame and more toward acceptance once I allow myself to validate my feelings in those past experiences.
Forgiving those around me for shaming me. Some people shamed me indirectly or unknowingly. Some directly. Either way, I know now that their shame is directly connected to their own limitations of self acceptance and have nothing to do with who I am or what I bring. I’m worthy regardless if someone sees my worth or not.
And so there you have it. The steps it took for me to have a healthy sense of pride in my accomplishments.