When was the last time you felt a strong sense of pride in something you’ve achieved?
Did you feel joy at your accomplishment? Or shame because you had the audacity to feel good about yourself?
You know what… FU*K that noise!
You have every right to be proud of many different aspects of your life.
Being comfortable in your skin is great, as is celebrating your culture, but real pride is best when it comes from overcoming difficulties, achievement despite adversity, and creativity despite sorrow.
Here are some things that just about everyone can be proud of. Hopefully you’ll find something that hits home that you can celebrate!
1. Achieving something via hard work and strength of will.
There are countless different things people strive to achieve over the course of their lives, but these can shift as our lives change.
For instance, a person might want to buy a house by the time they’re 30 but then get in a car accident. Suddenly, their primary goal is re-learning how to walk. Things like that.
It takes a ton of work to achieve big things, and many people give up before they get started simply because it’s just too hard.
But you didn’t.
You set a major life goal for yourself and achieved it with blood, sweat, tears, and dedication. Shout your sense of achievement to the heavens, because you’ve earned every second of it.
2. Handling a situation in a healthier fashion than you have in the past.
People tend to find themselves in the same situations over and over again until they’ve learned certain lessons. When you find yourself dealing with the same types of people or circumstances on repeat, you might also find yourself responding the same way each time.
The key to learning those lessons and moving forward is to break the groove. When you change your perspective – and by extension your reaction – the tune changes.
Maybe you’ve chosen not to repeat unhealthy cycles in your dating relationships. Perhaps you’ve decided to do a workout or meditation instead of reaching for a bottle of gin. Whatever you’ve done, you’ve taken a huge step toward breaking a cycle you may have been repeating for years.
If you’ve managed to transcend your own past programming and face a difficulty with grace, then that’s monumental.
3. Holding to your integrity even when no-one was watching.
Charles W. Marshall is credited for having said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking,” but it’s likely that many other wise people have said the same thing over the centuries.
Many people claim to hold certain ideals and convictions, but are easily swayed when the crowd turns the other direction. It’s a lot easier to go along with the mob to remain accepted, or look away when an injustice is taking place because you “don’t want to get involved.”
Have you proven that you have the courage of your convictions? Maybe you stood up and said or did what was right even though you knew you’d get sh*t for it. Or you went against what “everyone else” was doing because you knew it wasn’t right for you.
Whatever it was, you’ve shown immense courage and strength of character by doing so.
4. Overcoming a fear that has paralyzed you in the past.
Some people are absolutely terrified of spiders. Others wouldn’t jump out of a plane if their lives depended on it.
With the exception of well-trained military specialists and Buddhist monks, just about everyone on the planet is afraid of something. Most people allow these fears to affect their lives to various extents, even if it’s just getting their spouse to deal with spiders when they show up.
Facing a fear you have and forcing yourself to get past it shows remarkable strength of character. Instead of being restrained by irrationality, you get to more forward in your overall development as a person.
Did you manage to pop a glass over that spider and shake it out into the woodpile yourself? Then pour yourself a favorite beverage and pat yourself on the back.
5. Sticking to a commitment you’ve made – to yourself or others.
A lot of people bail on commitments when things get tough. This could mean something as simple as walking away from a volunteer project that they feel is cutting into their gaming time, or as monumental as abandoning a spouse and child because that kind of home life isn’t what they envisioned.
Making a commitment means giving someone your word that you’ll show up. That includes keeping your word to yourself.
Have you promised yourself that you’ll cut back on habits that are damaging your health? Or have you made the commitment to help a friend through a rough patch by offering them a place to live?
Keeping commitments can be difficult, but doing so also means that you can face the person in the mirror without shame.
6. Standing up for yourself or those that you care about.
Many people put up with a lot of bullsh*t because they’re afraid of the repercussions that might ensue if they stand up for themselves.
Alternatively, they might not stand up for friends, family members, even colleagues who are being treated unfairly for fear of negative repercussions.
Maybe you’ve stayed silent in the past when a parent berated one of your siblings unfairly. Or you’ve kept quiet when those around you were putting down a subject you felt strongly about.
If that’s happened, it’s okay – we have to do things to keep the peace sometimes, especially if we run the risk of losing something as fundamental as a place to live if we cause ripples.
Hell, in today’s toxic ‘cancel culture,’ standing up in defense of someone or something can run the risk of having your entire life ruined. As a result, a lot of people choose to stay silent against their own better judgment simply because they’re afraid of being doxxed, losing their social standing, their job, their home, and so on.
If you’ve reached a point where your convictions override your fears and you’ve stood up strongly for something (or someone) you believe in, then that’s absolutely worthy of pride.
7. Forgiving yourself for a past transgression.
All of us have made some mistakes that we feel bad about. Maybe you still feel shame about having broken a friend’s toy when you were a toddler and then lying about it. Or perhaps you cheated on a test in school, or kissed your girlfriend/boyfriend’s best friend.
Whatever it was you did, chances are that if you felt bad about it, you haven’t done it again. This means that you learned a valuable lesson from it. As such, you can acknowledge the fact that the thing happened because you didn’t know any better at the time, but now you do.
Have you done this? Have you recognized that we’re all still on massive learning curves and are going to mess up now and then? Excellent!
8. Learning something that you didn’t think you’d be able to do.
Children are sponges and can learn a wide variety of different subjects and skills with relative ease. This isn’t just because they’re made to soak up all kinds of information, but also because they’re not hung upon the end result.
They’re not worried about their friends making fun of them if they don’t do something perfectly the first time. Hell, they might still be falling on their backsides trying to walk because their little legs aren’t strong enough to support themselves yet.
Have you allowed yourself the space and freedom to fail, and then kept improving? Or taken on the challenge of learning something that seemed daunting (or even impossible) to you at the beginning?
Whether you’ve learned a complicated new language, passed your driving test despite physical disability, or taught yourself how to carve intricate sculptures, you’ve proven just how capable and resilient you are.
9. Creating something amazing.
To bring something new and beautiful into the world during difficult times is an incredible act of magic.
This is especially true if you’ve been hesitant about using your creative abilities out of a fear that you won’t be good at it, or that creative expression is “pointless” compared to productive work for monetary reward.
Have you painted a mural? Written a novel? Baked a phenomenal cake for the first time in your life? Then you’ve been a god in your own right. You’ve used your will to manifest something beautiful in a world that can break our hearts on the regular.
If that isn’t worthy of pride, I don’t know what is.
10. Taking actions that serve the greater good.
Are you familiar with the term ‘selfish altruism’? It refers to a situation in which people do good things not because they’re the right things to do, but because they benefit from them in the long run.
The thing is, when we do things that serve the greater good, everybody benefits – including ourselves. Furthermore, since we’re all part of the All (whether you call it God, the Great Spirit, the Tao, etc.), then feeling joy and pride at the outcome of service to others is absolutely okay.
Have you done some volunteer work lately? Helped to feed the homeless, clean up a national park, did some fundraising? Whatever it is you’ve done, it’s absolutely okay to feel a wave of pride at your accomplishments, without any guilt at the joy you feel about it.
11. Letting go of that which no longer serves you.
What have you been holding onto for way too long? A relationship that went stale a long time ago? Or a job you hate? Maybe even a pastime that you’ve gotten bored with but kept on doing because it was easy?
Letting go of things that don’t fuel your soul can be difficult and scary, but is so important to do. It allows space for new, healthier pursuits and relationships to flourish.
Think of it kind of like how occasional wildfires will clear out the old detritus from forests so new, healthy trees can grow. Sure, wildfires are damaging and terrifying (I should know, I’ve lived through one), but new, healthy growth can’t happen without them.
If you’ve been brave enough to let go of something that no longer serves you or fuels your soul for the better, then you’ve taken a huge step forward.
12. Forgiving someone for having mistreated you.
This is one of the most difficult things to do, and yet is one of the most important things we can do for our own well-being.
All of us have been treated badly by others before. Some of their mistreatment may have left lasting damage, especially if abuse or betrayal was involved.
The thing is, people’s behaviors all stem from somewhere, and the people who mistreated you may have been dealing with some heavy, ugly stuff themselves.
That doesn’t mean that what they did was okay, but if you’ve also treated others badly during your darker moments, you can probably get that there was a driving force behind the damage that wasn’t just malice.
By forgiving someone who caused you pain, you let go of any hold they still have on you. That shows immense growth in terms of your own strength of character.
These are just some of the things out there that everyone can be proud of. They don’t encompass the countless little steps and victories that can mean the absolute world to an individual.
If you’re feeling proud about something you’ve done or achieved, it doesn’t matter how small it might be to someone else. Their opinions are irrelevant. What’s insignificant to them might be massive and life changing to you.
And that’s all that truly matters.
You may also like:
- How To Be Proud Of Yourself: 8 No Bullsh*t Tips!
- 13 Simple Yet Effective Ways To Feel Better About Yourself
- 26 No Bullsh*t Ways To Truly Value Yourself