Sunday, 24 January 2016

Make Yourself Proud

As you might have noticed from our Facebook or Twitter, I'm a slight fan of the occasional positive or inspiring quote/picture (mild understatement). One such source of inspiration presented itself on my Instagram feed the other day quite simply saying 'Make Yourself Proud'. As these things often do, those three words have been resonating around my mind since. 

These days, I think it's pretty common to shy away from the idea of being proud of ourselves. The fear of arrogance takes over and it's nearly more natural to seek validation from others even before ourselves. We want to make people proud of us, we want to gain approval and we keep searching for it externally.

Shame seems to come fairly easily though. Quite often when we're not feeling good about ourselves, shame is right there on standby ready to pounce. For me, it'd appear as though this is the complete opposite feeling to taking pride in ourselves. Shame silences us, it criticizes us, it keeps us small and feeling insignificant regardless how worthy we actually are. 

From my own experience I was a bit allergic to the idea of being proud of myself, I was quite certain that it was synonymous with being big-headed. Having become so accustomed to wrapping myself in reasons to be ashamed, it was almost like a foreign concept. 

Now though, I love the idea, I love the feeling and it's something I want to continue to chase and achieve for myself because I realise its importance.

To make yourself proud is to do what you believe in, to do what you want to do and to feel accomplished. It's to be authentic and true to yourself and to be able to look at what you've done and give yourself genuine credit. It means walking tall and knowing that you're doing your best and that's good enough. 

How can you make yourself proud though?

Know Your Worth

First off, it's time to stop undervaluing the incredible person that you are. Putting yourself down and diminishing your self worth hasn't helped thus far and it's never going to. Making yourself proud means recognising the skills, talents, personality traits and all the beautiful imperfect, intriguing qualities that make you who you are, and using them to accomplish what you want. 

Overcome those niggling insecurities and put time into discovering how much you actually contribute, what you actually have to offer and how much more you can get out of life by valuing these things. Take the time to be truly proud of who you are, who you've become and what you want to achieve. When we don't care about someone we tend not to strive to make them proud, so in order to make ourselves proud we need to begin to give a sh*t about what we think, feel and are really made of. Make yourself proud by truly valuing yourself.

Remember Your Dreams

Do you ever think back to that little kid you were and all the hopes and dreams you had? The aspirations and goals that regardless how outlandish, would make you smile just thinking about them? 

Being a grown up doesn't mean giving up on dreams or needing to get really serious. Of course it has its areas where we need to be somewhat pragmatic but that doesn't mean we ditch our dreams. How proud would that little kid be if it saw you reaching for your dreams? How proud would you feel if you actively pursued what you want? I think huge pride comes in chasing our passions; it gives an energy that we can thrive on, that recharges us. If you haven't yet, begin allowing yourself to think about your dreams. Respect the dreamer within you that wants more out of life. Make yourself proud by daring to pursue those desires. 

Value Your Values

When you get to know who you are and what you're all about, your values start to come to the fore. These are the things that are important to you. They shape how you act and how you see the world and your potential impact within it. These are different for each of us and discovering our own allows us to live accordingly. 

For me, authenticity is one of mine, so it's important for me to live authentically, to be myself and to live by this value in all that I do. Denying yourself your values is quite simply suffocating. But when you respect what's important to you and to stand by it, you reap the rewards. For too long, I chased values that the real me would never want and this only ever created a cluster of confusion. It's uncomfortable and just purely doesn't feel right, your gut fights it and frankly that just makes you feel anxious. Make yourself proud by living by your values.

Learn To Nourish

In a world where there is such a value on health, you'd think people must really love their bodies. There's a cleanse, detox and diet for everyone so surely we're genuinely concerned about ensuring perfect health; I mean our bodies are temples, right? Oddly enough, those values just don't seem to be matching up. 

Nourishment is a wonderful nurturing of all our needs. For me nourishment isn't just about food, it's about how I treat and listen to my body, how I engage in my life, what activities I pursue. So whether it's through looking after our bodies, our intellect or our social needs, nourishing provides us with what we're looking for. 

Where there's a mismatch of values towards nourishing ourselves, shame sneaks right in. Nourishing our health from a place of fear or nourishing from a place of love will have vastly different outcomes. We need to take pride in looking after ourselves because we love ourselves. Instead of doing it because a magazine said so or because it's the latest nutrition trend. It's incredibly hard to find pride if we're forcing it. Make yourself proud by looking after your needs out of love.

Take Responsibility

It's easy to shirk away from responsibility, I know because I've done it. There's plenty of people who opt for being the victim, the helpless one, the one 'with the problem'. There's not much pride coming with that way of being though. If we're hiding away from responsibility and avoiding what needs to be done, what is there to be proud of? 

We've got to be honest with ourselves and stop placing blame, stop becoming the label we were given and take action towards what we want. Taking responsibility was something I ran away from for ages. I was 'unwell' and as such avoided plenty of things I could have been taking control of for myself. It never felt good, it didn't help me grow and now I'm so much more proud of myself for doing what I need to do in my life. I'm proud of making important decisions or taking care of things that I need to take care of. Make yourself proud by taking responsibility for yourself and your life, no one else is going to do it for you.

It feels nice to make others proud, yeah of course it does. It's lovely to get a pat on the back and be told you did a good job. But instead of waiting for it to come from others give it to yourself. Validate your actions and decisions and everything that you've accomplished. It's actually amazing how much you have to offer - make yourself proud by radiating that into your life.

Challenge fears, get out of your comfort zone and Make Yourself Proud.



2 comments:

  1. I love positive thoughts and affirmations! Funnily enough at the start of Feb I was going to have a blog post "Make Yourself Proud". I had seen it in an affirmations book I have and it also spoke to me. For it me, it means making a reality of the perfect vision you see of yourself. In my mind I am a total go-getter! But at times anxiety and fear stop me from living that dream. So 'Make Yourself Proud' is a call to action to make that dream a reality every day!

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  2. Sorry for the delay Sinéad, hadn't seen this! Thanks so much though that's such a lovely positive comment. It's gas how certain ones will resonate with us and get us thinking, and yeah I like that meaning of it too! I love the idea of it as a call to action, fabulously pro-active :D Let's do it!

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