Making Ourselves Proud

Feeling proud is one of the best emotions! There are other great emotions of course, but proud is right up there in the top 5 best emotions that we can feel. Research shows that we will feel happier and more satisfied with our lives if we allow ourselves to focus on feeling proud.

I am not talking about the kind of proud when we are arrogant, or when we believe we are better than anyone else. I am talking about the inner pride that comes from doing something we perceive as worthwhile, or from achieving something we have set as a personal goal. This sort of proud has nothing to do with anyone else, or anything external.  It is when we can look in the mirror, at ourselves, and sincerely understand that we are doing, or have done, the best possible job.

The things that make us feel proud don’t have to be big. They may be small things like playing with our kids, going for a walk, or saying a kind word to someone. They may be past events, or they may be things that we are doing now. For example, we may feel proud that we are supporting our family, or that we have not had a drink for 30 days.

What I am suggesting is that we regularly, and very consciously, focus on things that make us feel proud. Run the events that make us feel proud, through our mind, and allow ourselves to feel that feeling….. On purpose.

For pride to work, it must be paired with Humility according to David DeSteno, in his book Emotional Success. We must be humble enough to realize that we cannot be great at everything and we often need to rely on others.

One strategy to use pride in our lives is to keep a journal of the things we are proud of, our successes, and the things we want to achieve. This will give us the opportunity to easily reflect on events that made us feel proud in the past. It will also allow us to feel pride at each step towards our future goals, rather than just feeling pride when we reach a goal.

Why would we bother doing any of this? Because research shows being proud of ourselves makes us feel happier and more satisfied with our lives. And there is no downside! Not only is it free, but it also makes us feel happier without resulting in a hangover, weight gain, or any other negative side-affect.

Written by Lynda Timperley Btch, Dip psych, Cert Life Coaching.

Member of ANXCAL (Australia an New Zealand Coaching Alliance).

Acknowledgement: David DeSteno. Emotional Success: the Power of Gratitude, Compassion and Pride

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