Being proud of yourself: Celebrate yourself!

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Do you remember the last time you really felt proud of yourself? Admittedly, it’s been a while since I felt that way and I often have to force myself to pat my own back. Most of the time, I respond to my achievements by lowering their value: I tell myself that what I accomplished was “just luck” or “wasn’t as great of an achievement anyway”. And in the space of a few such thoughts, I’ve forbidden myself three minutes of ‘fame’ and more importantly the feeling that I really accomplished something. I know I’m not alone in reacting like this. We should be proud of ourselves more often.

I received a fantastic job offer, but it seemed that many of my friends weren’t openly pleased with my achievement. Somehow, everyone seemed irritated by my euphoria and that immediately slowed me down. Instead of joy, feelings of self-doubt and negative thoughts predominated. As everyone knows, self-praise stinks and happiness over an achievement becomes synonymous with arrogance. Who hasn’t experienced that? Even with friends and family, achievements often go underappreciated and modesty is still a virtue in this country. This has happened to me on many occasions and it has taken a long time for me to just feel proud of myself.

What’s so hard about being proud of yourself?

I have a vague idea that I’m not the only one. This behavior has to come from somewhere and its likely origin is society’s strange value system. As children, we are told that self-praise stinks and that one should not rest on his or her laurels. Although the latter makes sense, for too many it means a prohibition to never treat or indulge oneself after a successful achievement. I don’t think it should be this way.

Celebrate successes as they come

I don’t feel proud of much, and especially not of things in connection with my nationality or the color of my skin. But I’d like to feel proud of my life’s achievements without having to experience feelings of shame. That’s easier said than done, of course, and for a long time I didn’t know how to get there. The joyful events of life are often the ones that are not fully appreciated, and we quickly revert back to our daily business. At some point, I realized that it was important for me to just stop and take a closer look at the accomplishments of my life so far. For example, I finished school – and achieved a relatively good grade. Back then nobody believed I would go to university, but I turned things around and even got a distinction for my Bachelor thesis. After university, I began working freelance. I now have my own little business. I am my own boss and live the way I always wanted to live.

Even as I’m writing these words, I worry it sounds like I’m bragging. And some reader may certainly think I am. But in truth I’ve simply listed my achievements. These are the things I’ve worked long and hard for. There were tears, sweat and hard work. And for what? So that I can’t even feel happy about what I achieved? To collect my successes like trophies and leave them to catch dust in a box under the bed?

The only thing that has changed is my attitude towards the subject. It’s no longer shameful to congratulate or reward myself for something I have worked hard for. Simple, right?

Just congratulate yourself more!

To a certain extent, it’s important and necessary to acknowledge one’s own achievements and to celebrate oneself and share successes with friends. So, from time to time, reflect on your accomplishments or the challenges you’ve overcome. You’re doing an excellent job and you’re allowed to tell yourself that.

Find more inspiration to boost self-love here.


Author: Victoria van Violence

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

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