I was in the office with my direct line manager. He mentioned a song that really peps him up and inspires him. He whipped out his phone and played the song without saying what it was. I then hear Heather Small’s voice fill the room and the lyrics “what have you done today to make you feel proud?” A slight jiggle from me and I hummed along to the song.
I turned to him and asked, “what have you done today to make yourself feel proud?” I can’t quite remember what his answer was, to be honest, but I will always remember his face. You know that face people make when they look like they are ever so slightly malfunctioning? That was his face.
For the rest of the day he asked everyone else at work, “what have you done today to make yourself feel proud?” Those faces I will also archive in my memory for life. He quickly corrected anyone who mentioned anything work related because it didn’t have to only do with work.
Our days are not just about grinding away at our jobs and sometimes aren’t always about other people. Making ourselves feel proud is just that- about ourselves. If you really had to think about it, are you proud of yourself for something every single day? Do you put your head on your pillow and look through the days events before sliding into REM sleep and say, “oh wow, today I did [fill in blank] and it made me so happy and so proud”?
It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be as simple as creating boundaries, not being critical of yourself, getting your to-do list done, making time to care for yourself or even getting out of bed and brushing your teeth (especially for those who are so depressed they would rather sleep than get out of bed).
We have been led to believe that feeling proud of ourselves must stem from something much larger, and when that happens, we often don’t feel proud of anything we have done for the day, let alone for the week. But what if I said it was much simpler. We have small victories that we could be proud of. Did you help someone find something they lost today? Did you feel confident with your self-image and the way you were dressed? Did you finally voice your opinion at work? Look at those examples, all things to feel proud of, even if no one else would say so.
Another reason we don’t ever feel proud of ourselves is because it seems big headed and silly to be proud of all the little things we do. Somehow self-deprecation is seen as attractive. Humility is attractive and a fantastic quality to have, but constant self-deprecation is not. If you had to count all the little things you did today, you might be surprised by how happy you might make yourself. Don’t let them slide because others don’t understand, and you really don’t have to say anything to anyone.
What I’m saying is, you have probably done something or a couple of things that would make you feel proud today, but don’t acknowledge them because of several different reasons. Just try it; think about how you have made you feel proud today. Guaranteed I think you might be surprised and actually feel proud.