I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t often catch myself feeling ‘proud’ of average, everyday things I do, let alone reflect on my life’s achievements and accomplishments and marvel at how far I’ve come.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Our ‘Mean Girl’ or the ‘little negative voice in the back of our heads’ is quickly one to interject in a moment of self-appreciation to drag us back down; saying wretched things like “yeah, well what about that fitness plan you had?” or “at least you’re finally choosing instead of sitting on your ass waiting for it to magically happen”. For example.
I know it’s definitely something I need to work on, ‘mastering my mean girl’ and all that, but what really struck me as weird when this post idea originally came to mind was how easy it is for us, as 21st century young adults, to simply brush aside every cool thing we’ve done because ‘someone else did it bigger or better’.
I first had this post idea sitting on a bus early Monday morning, heading into Melbourne for my first visit. And I thought to myself (something along the lines of): “holy shit, I’m actually here, I’m so proud of myself for making this happen”. And that was it – no negative retort or figurative dismissive eye roll, just a pure moment where a gal was chuffed about something she’d done.
It happened to be 10x more cooler because it was a completely self-motivated decision, fuelled by the desire to finally stop making excuses and go to a place that had been on my wishlist since FOREVER.
And then it got me thinking: we as humans, especially young people, need to be proud of ourselves more often, without attaching a Catch 22 or having to have done something monumental or newsworthy. Cooked a new recipe by yourself? Be proud. Went to your first yoga class and absolutely sucked? Be proud. Got out of bed on a day when you were feeling like hell? Be. Fucking. Proud.
Sometimes when I do selfless nice things for people (like help an old lady off the bus or waking up a stranger in the airport so they don’t miss our flight) and they say thank you I get a little choked up; like up until that point I’d forgotten that I am actually am, for the most part, A NICE, CARING PERSON. And it sucks, that we forget how good of a person we are because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, even though we insist, “it doesn’t matter”. But clearly it does, and clearly it’s taking a toll on how we see ourselves as individuals. So now that I’m aware that I do this, I’m going to try and be a little kinder to myself. Celebrate the small wins. Not feel bad when I treat myself because I do deserve it. Be proud of who I am as a person/girlfriend/sister/daughter/worker.
And you should too.
Because this whole positive self-esteem thing – well, it makes a hellova difference.
Till next time,