Do you wait to hear the words “I’m Proud of You” from someone else before you can be proud of yourself?
A few months ago, I shared the news with someone that one of my self care posts had been nationally recognized and I had been a featured member on Blogher. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was hoping this person would say “I’m so proud of you.” Sadly, this person’s only response was “That’s nice.” There were no follow up questions. I felt deflated. I wasn’t prepared to not even be asked what the post was about or where it was recognized.
Although I am a successful and confident woman, my nature is not one to brag. I was not raised to talk about myself but to allow my work to speak for itself. I have always been comfortable with whatever my level of success is being kept to myself or my family.
What I have realized over the past year – and with the incident I mention above – is with the death of my Mom and Grandmother – I have now lost my biggest cheerleaders. Although my husband supports me and is certainly proud of me, it is not the same. As he is very much like me, he is not one to openly announce his accomplishments to the world. I no longer have that person in my corner who will openly state, “I’m proud of you.” or “Good job.”
I was fortunate to grow up in a home where I heard “I’m proud of you.” on a regular basis. It wasn’t a constant comment but one I received after accomplishments – of making a team or not making a team, of passing a difficult class or organizing an event. I had people in my life recognizing the effort I was putting forth and acknowledging the process.
As a counselor, I regularly tell my clients,that need to hear it, that I am proud of the work they are doing. I recognize that the work they are doing with their issues is difficult. I recognize the struggle and the process. It has only been recently that I realized many of my clients do not hear this statement from anyone but me. I have even had clients respond “It’s nothing to really be proud of.”
Everyone needs to hear the words “I’m proud of you.” But not everyone hears them.
There are many individuals in this world who rarely, if ever, hear these words. They may come from families where the expectations are so great that nothing is acknowledged if it is not perfection. Or they may live in homes where others do not have the capacity to recognize the effort.
I also realize that because someone hears that someone is proud of them, does not necessarily equate being proud of him/herself.
With the increasing use of social media, there is constant self promotion. Some individuals share everything with us. We see the new room remodel as well as the latest dinner creation. Articles and research are exploring the development of more narcissism and self involvement but also greater levels of depression.
Have we become a society of self promoters in order to make others tell us how proud they are? Or does it make us proud of ourselves and increase our own self esteem? I believe I have always been cautious with talking about myself because I did not want to come across as full of myself. After all, my business is about listening and helping others.
For myself, self promotion with my business and my blog is an area which I am growing. I may continue to struggle with the issue that being proud of who I am, what I have accomplished and what I can do is not bragging but necessary to ensure the life of my business and practice.
The incident I mentioned in the beginning of the post has taught me a lesson. That lesson being there are many in this world who one may try to impress but those individuals will never be impressed, or say they are proud of you. Although this instance hurt me, it did not prevent me from being proud of my accomplishments.
If you are someone who has grown up in a home where those words were never spoken, please know it doesn’t mean you do not have things to be proud of.
Today I encourage you to be proud of yourself. Stop waiting on someone else to validate your journey. Only you know what it has taken to accomplish where you are in life. Be proud of the small as well as the large.
I am grateful I grew up in a home where I knew others were proud of me and as a result this helped me to learn to be proud of myself. No one can take that from me without my permission.
Do you struggle with being proud of yourself? Take a few minutes and let me know in the comments below what you are proud of.