Spring is in the air and I could not be more excited. This winter has been a tough one, in large part due to the lockdown here in the UK and the limitations it puts on our lives. With the sunshine comes hope, strengthened resilience and a smile to our faces. The birds are chirping, the days are longer, and the end is in sight.
For all this talk of hope and strength, I could easily have spoken about one of these topics for the Monthly Musings for March, but I wanted, instead, to delve a little deeper into PRIDE.
Pride can be a double-edged sword: we’re told to not be too proud, and we’re told to feel pride in our work and ourselves.
So, how do we find the balance between arrogance and humility?
“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.”Michel de Montaigne
If you spend a few moments searching quotes about “pride”, you’ll notice that a lot of them are negative. They speak of pride coming before a fall, of pride blinding our best decisions and of pride breeding sorrow. But, in my opinion, this sort of pride is the excessive pride, whereas I promote a little self-pride in that we should be proud of our actions and achievements for ourselves. We should not seek self-pride in the hopes of impressing others (here is where our problems may lie) but in the desire to better ourselves. To be able to look back at our achievements and think “I did well” is to be able to glow with self-pride. Congratulate yourself, give yourself a pat on the back. In turn, those who love you most will also be proud of you.
“Stand tall, stand proud. Know that you are unique and magnificent. You do not need the approval of others.”Jonathan Lockwood Huie
With a heart full of self-pride, you won’t need to look elsewhere for the approval that you’ve done well. The key to feeling pride is that it comes from within. But that is not always easy, especially as mentioned above we’re told that pride is akin to arrogance and not to be sought after.
I would argue that a large majority of our feelings of self-worth and intrinsically linked with feelings of self-pride (they needn’t be about achievements, but life itself and our position in it). Self-worth is perhaps then something to reach for and takes in certain level of humility for we recognise where we’ve come from. Journaling, gratitude lists and mindfulness practices focus heavenly on the promotion of self-worth, self-care and, by default, self-pride.
Next time you’re thinking of daily gratitudes, why not focus on some things that you are proud of yourself for doing or being?
“I am proud of myself for…” is a great place to start and while it can be difficult, it is also rewarding. This may also spark more feelings of self-worth and have a butterfly effect on how you are feeling about yourself and your achievements.
“And where she stood, she stood tall.”The Lumineers
Head up, shoulders back and stand tall. Be not afraid of your achievements and your pride or feel humility towards the perceived lack of achievements. While you cannot control what happens around you, how you react is fully within your control, so be true to yourself. Don’t shy away from your achievements, if you’re proud of something, then stand tall and be proud.
We are all on our own journeys and paths and while some of ours will cross, your path remains your path. Feel proud of where you have come from and where you are going (in all senses of the phrase) and don’t look to others for external validation.
I am going to finish with a few wise words from a tree:
“Stand tall and proud, go out on a limb, remember your roots, drink plenty of water, be content with your natural beauty and enjoy the view.”
Find the recipe for these Triple Chocolate Caramel Bars in my second eBook, Nourish Me 2.