I read the other day that PRIDE is one of the keys to happiness and started thinking about how so many of us consider it one of the deadly ‘sins’. I want to challenge your thoughts about pride…. What does it mean for someone to have pride but not to be narcissistic or boastful… how does pride contribute to happiness?
One of the issues that people often face is that of having weak or damaged self-esteem. For those individuals – pride is practically absent; Pride in their accomplishments, pride in their appearance, and even pride in their possessions or surroundings.
The phrase so many of us speak… “I’m proud of you” is thought to be encouraging and it is… but it is SO much more important to foster the sense that “I am proud of myself”. One of the ways to cultivate self-esteem in children is to encourage them to be proud of themselves – “great job, you should be so proud of yourself!”
Of course, pride can get out of hand… downright bragging is annoying for most of us and has the tendency to ‘shut down’ the listener. No one wants to be around people who are always talking about how good they are. That’s the element that drives most of us away from developing our own sense of pride.
The kind of pride that induces or contributes to happiness is the silent – confident type; a sense of accomplishment, self-respect, and honor.
Every one of us has unique talents and gifts. What are yours?
Are you a great friend?
Be proud of the way that you emotionally support the people in your circle.
Are you a loving mother?
Be proud of the attention and affection that you offer your children.
Are you a trusted employee?
Be proud that your boss can count on you to get the job done.
Take time to sit back and identify the things that you do well… the ways that you positively contribute to your environment and honor their benefit – even the smallest contribution is something to consider and relish in the ‘feeling’ of. You’ll notice that you stand a little taller… Smile more frequently… and work a little harder.
No one is perfect and clearly not everything we do promotes a sense of pride but for those things… know that you can change them. Do NOT place the focus on what you haven’t done well but on the things that you HAVE done. Self-esteem and hence, pride, come from honoring the favorable qualities that you possess. That is the only way to develop more; to know that you’ve begun and to place energy into the process of building upon the foundation.
You DO have something to be proud of….