Not for or about other people, for yourself.
Not as easy for most people as you might think. If I let you, chances are you could give me without great effort things other people have done that you may have told them ‘I’m proud of you’ or ‘great job’ etc.
It’s a question I have started asking myself daily. I have been making a list. I have also after much discomfort decided to just be proud of myself regardless of how seemingly insignificant the action seems.
If I compare myself against other, as we all know ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ we minimize the good. If I asked what you didn’t accomplish, what you didn’t do well, unfortunately I fear that much like myself, you would readily spout a detailed list.
Saying or thinking about ‘I’m proud of myself’ or ‘What I did well’ feels like trying to learn a foreign language. Sad but true for many (including myself).
For some people, getting out of bed is something to be proud of. Washing the dishes in the sink, throwing the dirty clothes in the basket. Wearing matching shoes, only eating 1 cupcake or 1 sleeve of cookies. Depending on the day, accomplishing any of those things is amazing.
You don’t have to cure cancer to be proud of yourself. Please don’t disregard yourself. It’s more about the practice than the specific accomplishment. It is learning to give to ourselves what we freely give to others. It feels amazing to have cheerleaders in our lives but what if they leave? You have to learn to be your own cheerleader.
I will share some:
- I was spot on with the amount of water I drank yesterday (I know how much I should be drinking & haven’t been for a while)
- I exercised (see the ‘note to self’ post)
- I spaced out my eating really well (although I know better, I have been really bad with my habits. I have a tendency to go hours & hours without eating which either leads to not eating enough in a day or eating a meal with 2 days worth of calories in 1 sitting)
- I learned something on Sunday that had a huge emotional impact on me. The emotions I had were all over the map. I felt all of them. I cried more than once. I am proud that instead of trying to swallow the feelings, I felt them. Feeling them eventually led to an enormous sense of gratitude, clarity & understanding. It doesn’t erase the sadness & loss I felt but I dug in.
Every time you can find something to be proud of, you take a step. If you keep practicing, you actually start shifting your thinking. Would it be so bad if we actually were nice to ourselves?
I have 1 photograph in my office and it is actually of me. I dislike all pictures of me as a rule. It is the actual photograph that the picture in my About section is taken from. I glance at it from time to time but today right before starting on this blog post, I realized that the picture is literally of happiness & joy. I think I realized the reason I have it up is because during that time, I was all of the good descriptors I think about. I have decided that feeling that way again is my goal.
One of the ways to get there is for me to keep doing the work.