What Are We Proud of?

Why are we not proud?

It is almost ingrained in human nature to be self-deprecating. We practice looking into the mirror and pointing at the features we hate and the features we wish we had. Everyday, we find something to be ashamed of.

As a female, it’s almost shameful to be prideful. To pay compliments to ourselves while walking around with our head held up high in a society full of male pride and female deprecation is a crime. As females, we are taught to have humility and modesty. Never once did Uncle Sam tell us to be proud of everything we did.

The same goes for males. In a society like ours where body image is analyzed limb by limb, and actions are categorized as bad or good, pride falls into the bad action pile. Even if we are proud of our body, someone will go out of their way to tell us our flaws.

We’re afraid of being seen as boastful and hubristic. As a result, we withdraw completely. We’re proud of everything else except us.

The difference between hubristic pride and natural pride

We strive not to be hubristic. And along our journey of being modest, we lose all sense of natural pride.

Hubristic pride is showboating. Or according to my Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: 1995 Edition, “a feeling that you are better than other people because you are cleverer, more important etc” (1118).

That is the type of pride we strive to avoid and rightfully so. Holding yourself above others is a “jerk” move, and completely eliminates the motivation to better yourself.

Natural pride is feeling satisfied in what you have done. After, for instance, getting a good grade on a test, we feel that pleasant shiver of happiness. This type of pride motivates you to better yourself, and makes you chase after your dreams. You hold yourself to a higher standard than others; you don’t hold yourself above others.

Pride comes with a negative connotation. In reality, as denotation tells us, pride is good for us, in some amount.

How to be Proud

You can start off simply.

  1. Think of yourself how you want others to think of you.

    Our society is filled with us comparing ourselves to others. Gosh! That girl has such great style. Or I wish I had that girl’s shape. Or He’s so confident.

    In reality, we don’t want others to think of us as fat or stupid. We want others to think of us as beautiful and smart. We are the only ones who can say we are fat or stupid.

    So think of yourself from how you want an outsider’s perspective to think of you. You are beautiful, smart, and kind.
  2. Set small goals for yourself. And then congratulate yourself.

    Completing small goals – getting 5000 steps per day, for instance – is just as gratifying as completing the bigger goals (maybe a bit less).

    It may not seem important, but you are composed of these small goals and more. And congratulating yourself after each one will help boost your self-esteem.

    Literally, tell yourself you are proud of you. Like, after I finish this post, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m proud of me.
  3. View yourself as a whole, not a composition of individual parts.

    There are little things about yourself that you don’t like. For instance, my nose is crooked. My hair is way too straight.

    However, you, as a whole, are beautiful. Let me say that again. You are beautiful. You are your own person, composed of different personality traits, and little quirks that make you you.

    And, if you don’t want to be yourself, think again. Think of how many people look at you and admire you for, if not your looks, maybe your determination. Your drive. Your kindness.

    Because, even if you do feel alone, there are people out there who admire you, whether it be your kids, a random stranger on the street, or your coworker.

Why should you be proud of yourself?

Mental health.

Continue that self-deprecation and you find yourself spiraling down and down into a deep pit of lack of self-worth. You feel you are not enough.

And, second.

Being proud of yourself is not just for yourself. People on the outside can see it. And will admire you more, even follow you to the end of the world, if you show pride and are confident.

Pride and confidence are interlinked.

You need pride to be confident. And only then can you move forward.

Me!

Ah. I think this is the end of the post.

I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing it.

Lots of love, and work on being proud for the little things,

Jess

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