Pride can often be seen as a bad thing – as something to be avoided, to hide, as “going before fall”. However, like most things in life there is another side to the story.
Pride in achievements, such as a job well done or an obstacle overcome, is one of the positive emotions identified in positive psychology. These positive emotions can be much more fleeting and subtle than negative emotions – which is why more effort is needed to notice and embrace them.
While endless self-promotion may grate on those around us, constant putting down of the self and denying achievements can damage self-esteem (and can also grate on others!). You can build self-esteem by recognising your strength and self-worth, by accepting and taking joy in what you have done that is good.
Building self-esteem is something we can only do for ourselves – we cannot rely on other people to build it for us, nor can we build it for others (although we can support others in developing their own self-esteem). Do you hold yourself in high esteem? How important are meeting your own needs and those of others? Do you put yourself down a lot? Humility does not mean making ourselves out to be worse than those around us – it simply means that we have a realistic view that we are not better than others, and have a realistic view of who we are and what we can do.
What have you done today, this week, this month, this year, last year that you are proud of? Think how you define things to be proud of – do you compare yourself to others? Don’t! All you can compare yourself to is yourself – are you better than you were yesterday, a week ago, a month ago? There are no ‘small’ things unless you choose to define them that way. Did you manage to finish a task? Have you learned something new? Did you get through the day, even when you felt you couldn’t? Are you proud of your achievements?