If you’ve had a sense of accomplishment whereby you felt like you deserved a pat on the back or a reward, you know how invigorating it is. Besides giving purpose to your life, being proud of yourself can give meaning to what you do. For that reason, it’s essential to celebrate yourself each time you accomplish something, regardless of how small or large it is. Nonetheless, pride in yourself is easier said than done.
It can be a struggle, particularly if you have low self-esteem or you’re constantly comparing your progress to others which is the norm in today’s social media era.
However, you shouldn’t forget the small steps that you can take to make your efforts worthwhile. Without further ado, this guide explores the steps to be proud of yourself that you can take. They are not only purposeful but also simple and can help you improve your inner strength.
Why It’s Difficult to Be Proud of Yourself
You might feel like your accomplishments are insignificant, making you not share them. After all, if you don’t regard your wins as major successes, why celebrate them? Typically, that stems from discounting your achievements and feeling like they’re not as major compared to other people’s wins in the grand scheme of things. If you’re struggling to be proud of yourself, then these phrases might ring a bell.
- People don’t care about the happenings in your life
- A multitude of people has accomplished more than you have
- You’re not where you anticipated you’d be by a given age or timeframe, which means there’s nothing to take pride in
- You can do better, so there’s nothing to celebrate
If you recognize this type of negative mindset each time you attempt to accomplish a goal or have done so, it’s a tell-tale sign that you need to adopt a positive outlook on life.
Pride as a Positive Feeling
It’s not surprising that when the word ‘pride’ comes to mind, you associate it with a negative connotation. Although it’s tied to being conceited, arrogant, snobbish, or boastful, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In a particular context, pride can manifest when you feel superior to others and refuse to accept, forgive, reason with, or associate with them.
However, when we refer to pride as a positive feeling, it becomes a source of motivation, confidence, fulfillment, and self-respect. That’s because it’s the emotion that comes after personal accomplishment.
You might feel the burning desire to share the achievement and celebrate it with others, making you more inspired to elevate your future endeavors. If you look at the brighter side, pride is nourishing and rewarding. It’s the type of emotion that every human being should be filled with.
Pride Isn’t Selfish
It’s worth noting that being proud of yourself doesn’t always equate to egotistical and self-centered behavior. It doesn’t imply that you’re belittling others to feel superior.
Being Conceited vs. Being Proud of Yourself
At first, seeking ways to be proud of yourself can seem conceited or cocky to others. However, the difference is profound. Taking pride in your achievements is a surefire way of celebrating your growth every step of the way. It means you can extend the same compassion to yourself as you do to others.
Self-admiration in a non-conceited way is a way of self-validation. Contrarily, some people boast or discuss their accomplishments to seek external validation. They yearn for an ego stroke by fishing for feedback and have an inflated sense of self-importance.
Such people are regarded as selfish because there’s a hidden agenda behind informing every Tom, Dick, and Harry of their accomplishments and skills. The motive behind their actions is an attempt to inflate their self-image for increased recognition. Conceited people are attention-seekers.
Common Reasons That Make It Hard to Be Proud of Yourself
A boatload of external and internal reasons makes it challenging to take pride in your accomplishments. For instance, someone whose opinion you valued, such as your parent or caregiver, downplayed your wins, put you down, or said you were not good enough even though you did your best.
Secondly, self-sabotage can be summed up as negative self-talk. If self-doubt and mistrust were subconsciously programmed in your childhood, you might frequently beat yourself up over small shortcomings or the failure to accomplish your goals within a set timeframe. Being proud of yourself, in that case, might seem insurmountable.
Negative self-talk consumes your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. After all, if you have a low sense of self-worth, you undoubtedly feel like anything you accomplish isn’t worth acknowledging.
11 Steps to Be Proud of Yourself
There’s no rule of thumb on being proud of yourself, so we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of self-appreciation and acknowledging each win, no matter how big or small.
1. Defining Success
Success is relative as it varies from one person to another. Therefore, having your unique definition of success diminishes the likelihood of feeling like a failure. Additionally, it prevents you from losing sight of your accomplishments.
For instance, success can be defined as a thriving career, a committed and healthy relationship, earning a degree, helping the less fortunate, reaching your weight and fitness goals, or financial freedom.
Measuring success is easier when you know what it means to you. Furthermore, you won’t feel like you’re behind in life or a failure if your peers become successful in various aspects of their lives that don’t tally with your definition of success. You can be happy for them without envy while feeling satisfied with the strides you’ve made.
2. Acknowledge Your Progress
No progress is too small to notice. You don’t need to wait to climb Mt. Everest or lose 40lbs to celebrate your wins. Honoring your progress each step of the way should be celebrated even when you’re taking baby steps. Regardless of how insignificant your achievement might seem, always celebrate it.
To put things into perspective, think of the new parents who take pride in helping their little ones walk independently. Similarly, you should recognize small accomplishments as ‘baby steps’ that result in major wins. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Additionally, be intentional about not passing off your wins as mundane, for instance, a straightforward task at work. That’s because there might be a colleague struggling to complete the same task.
3. Embrace Your Talents and Skills
Embracing your skills and talents is a surefire step to being proud of yourself because some are unique. For instance, it takes talent to be a best-selling author or break a world record in a marathon. Alternatively, your skill could be that you’re an excellent listener who can show empathy and give sound advice as needed.
If someone mentions that you’re a skilled writer, take the compliment and embrace your unique skill. When you appreciate your talents and skills, you can find a station or passion in life that’s the perfect match. You’ll also want to hone your skills to become the best you can be.
4. Do Things in Alignment With Your Passion
If you’ve heard people complain about their career or job, expressing significant unhappiness and dissatisfaction about it, that’s a tell-tale sign that passion is lacking. When you decide to engage in activities that ignite your soul and make life worth living, you’re unlikely to feel unwavering discontent about your abilities.
According to Oprah, your drive for what you do will generate the required energy for the fulfillment and success you desire. In turn, you’ll have an extraordinary life.
5. Appreciate the Strides You’ve Made
Taking steps to be proud of yourself entails seeing the bigger picture. Each achievement counts, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Documenting the strides you’ve made will allow you to track your progress, appreciate how far you’ve come, and see the bigger picture of your success.
Once you measure your progress over the last one or two years, you’ll appreciate the strides you’ve made in your mindset, routine, habits, lifestyle, relationships, and career. That will spark a smile and inspire you to continue making progress. Your level of self-love will also increase.
6. Believe In Your Abilities
It’s a no-brainer that self-doubt can cripple your level of success because it causes imposter syndrome (second-guessing your abilities). Being proud of yourself pr having the inspiration to get things done is no easy feat if you’re driven by self-doubt.
When you manage to accomplish something, you have doubting-Thomas in your head that’s making you downplay your win by believing it’s not good enough. Here’s where self-assurance comes into play.
It makes you confidently affirm that you did an amazing job regardless of whether others think you could have done better. Keep in mind that being proud of yourself encompasses self-image, so you should trust and believe in your abilities. With this positive mindset, you’ll crush your goals. It’s worth noting that there’s a direct connection between elevated self-confidence and accomplishing your goals. Positive feedback from hitting your target plays a major role in increased gratification. In turn, you live a happier and more fulfilling life.
8. Understand That You Won’t Always Be a Winner
Let’s face it. Nobody emerges victorious in everything they do. After all, human beings are flawed, which means mistakes or shortcomings are inevitable. Although you should always set your goals with the mindset of success, you’ll fall short due to internal and external factors.
Taking your mistakes as lessons will prevent you from immense feelings of disappointment and hopelessness when things don’t go as planned. You’re less likely to feel incapable and powerless while taking pride in the things you were able to achieve.
9. Do Your Best and Be Content
At times, you might have felt stoked about something you accomplished because of the peace of mind in knowing you did your best. The results were not as significant as your efforts because you gave it your all. Therefore, don’t let an unfavorable outcome weaken your confidence.
Accepting your wins and viewing your losses as lessons build character by making you wiser. Be intentional about self-reassurance because your sense of accomplishment will only stem from the journey rather than the destination.
10. Uplift Others as Much as Possible
You can beget positive self-pride when you serve others in the best ways possible, such as charitable donations, words of affirmation, or acts of kindness. When you help others, you subconsciously reinforce your humanity along with a growing sense of purpose. It’s also a sign of selflessness, empathy, and compassion. At times, it takes little to better someone’s day. Resultantly, you reinforce your belief in being a good person that you can be proud of.
11. Congratulate Others
You subconsciously feel proud of yourself when you acknowledge and congratulate others for their accomplishments regardless of how small they might seem. Being happy for others makes you feel good and doesn’t take away from your achievements. It’s one of the simplest and most selfless acts you can do.
Moreover, you gain the respect and trust of others because it means you can put your ego aside and be humble enough to acknowledge their wins. When you’re proud of others, they can, in turn, be proud of themselves, especially for those with low self-confidence and low self-esteem.
The Perks of Being Proud of Yourself
Taking pride in your accomplishments and skills isn’t violating any rules. Moreover, it ushers in the following physical and mental or emotional perks.
Emotional / Mental
Each time you utter the words ‘good job’ and pat yourself on the back, you boost your level of self-respect, self-love, and self-confidence. Once you cultivate the habit of congratulating yourself, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your mood, self-assurance, quality of sleep, and overall wellbeing.
A sense of accomplishment has a positive impact on your body. Besides enhanced immunity and better health, you’ll notice increased energy levels that boost productivity and resilience.
Emotionally and mentally, being proud of yourself is one of the greatest acts of self-love. It’s a positive type of self-pride that allows you to appreciate the progress you’ve made in different areas of your life, allowing you to feel more worthy.