Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

26 Reasons to Be Proud of Yourself

11. Taking the next step even though you’re scared.

Key points

  • We often find it easier to recognize other people's positive qualities and accomplishments than our own.
  • It's good to practice seeing our own strengths, even simple ones like finishing a tough assignment or cooking a good meal.
  • If we need inspiration, we can also ask the people we're closest to us what they appreciate about us.

"If only
You could close your eyes
And see what I see
When I look at you
And your beaming light."

Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash
Source: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

It seems easy to feel pride when we watch our loved ones succeed. Our partner getting a well-earned promotion. Our child doing their first play on stage. Our dog learning a new trick. Our friend releasing their first book. Sometimes, watching our loved ones succeed, we are so proud it feels like we will split open with pride.

Yet, we almost feel a little embarrassed to be proud of our own achievements. We’re shy to toot our own horn, and we’re not that keen on getting extra attention for our successes. We worry it’s a little egotistical and possibly even narcissistic to talk about our achievements, even though we have every right to. More importantly, we have the right to be proud of them.

You have every right to be proud of your achievements, your successes, your steps forwards, and your learnings. To be proud of having chosen to read this page and said, “Yes, I matter, and I am worthy of love.”

The thing is, it’s up to you what you feel proud of. There are no rules about what qualifies as a success or achievement, and maybe it’s not even those things that make you feel the most pride. Sometimes, especially if you’ve been feeling a bit blah, the thing you’re proud of could simply be getting out of bed and carrying on with your life. Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that can make us feel proud. Cooking a new yummy dish. Finishing a book you’ve been reading for a while. Learning a few phrases in a new language.

If you’re career-driven, maybe you’re proud of a good meeting with your manager or of winning a new client for your new, small business. If you’re a new mom, maybe you’re proud of getting your baby to sleep through the night or of making them smile for the first time. If you’re an athlete, it could be a big step forward in progress in your training.

Anything goes. Anything that you feel proud of goes. So, let’s get to practice.

1. What are you most proud of in the last month?

Then, dive deeper. Dive into who you are and what you’re proud of in yourself.

2. What qualities are you most proud of in yourself?

Your smile that lights up every room, your tight abs that are there due to lots of fitness training, or your natural ability to make small talk? The way you're able to see the positive in any situation, how you're able to see how you could improve any scenario, or the way you show gratitude for everyone and everything? See what comes up and believe in what comes up. Be proud of it all.

What’s on your list of things to be proud of?

  • Who you are
  • Your best traits
  • Your smile and the way it lights up the world
  • The way you carry yourself with confidence
  • How much you care about your loved ones and the world
  • The challenges you’ve overcome
  • The lessons you’ve learned
  • Being able to forgive yourself
  • Being able to forgive others
  • Doing things even when you’re nervous
  • Taking the next step even though you’re scared
  • Trying something new
  • Quitting a job you hate
  • Sticking to a job to pay the bills
  • Going after your dream job
  • Braving a blind date
  • Traveling somewhere new and foreign
  • Learning another language
  • Developing a new skill
  • Admitting when you’re wrong
  • Not boasting when you’re right
  • Saying no to things you don’t agree with
  • Saying yes to things that excite you
  • Reading this page
  • Making self-love a daily part of your journey
  • Everything and anything

If you feel stuck on getting that pride going or can’t seem to identify the traits or qualities you’re most proud of in yourself, go back in time. Think of things people have often praised you for. What have your best friends, loving parents, siblings, professors, managers, or co-workers appreciated in you? What are some of the common themes that flow through the praise? What are the trends or repeating qualities or behaviors that come up more than once?

Finally, you can also ask your most trusted cheerleaders about this. This is something you should do only after you've reflected yourself and have already come up with at least one of your favorite qualities. That way, you feel empowered because you can find the good in yourself, yet you're happy to get some good insights from others too.

So, if you want that extra external input, do this: Ask your biggest supporters what your top three qualities are. Get at least a few responses from a few people and see where the common themes are. That's where you'll see your sweet spots and awaken yourself to those beautiful qualities that others see in you so clearly. Respect what they say, and trust them too. They're telling you those are your best qualities because they've seen, and fallen in love with, the real you.

This is an excerpt from Notes on Self-Love.

Facebook image: andreonegin/Shutterstock