I fixed the remote for my ceiling fan the other day, all by myself. (Well, with a bit of help from YouTube.) I didn’t have to call a handyman, and I didn’t have to impose upon my neighbor. Once the mission was accomplished, I felt very proud of myself. Granted, I didn’t find a cure for pancreatic cancer, but I still had a pat-myself-on-the-back moment.

I don’t do that enough.  Feel proud of myself, not fix my ceiling fan remote.  That’s because I don’t like to brag, and more importantly, I don’t want to jinx anything that’s been going well for me.  And it has me thinking that I’m probably not the only one who’s challenged at finding a way to take pride in all of my big and little accomplishments.

In an effort to be more modest with myself, I typically substitute the word “grateful” for “proud;”  i.e., I’m grateful that I was able to help my divorcing clients move forward with respect, and I’m grateful that I made a tasty vegetarian dinner for my dear friends. Is it enough to be grateful? Can I also be proud?

We seem to be tasked with only two choices:  humility and arrogance.  Where’s the compromise?  For me, the middle ground is to find a healthy dose of self-esteem.  Makes sense, yet way easier said than done.  Right?  

There are many advantages to giving yourself a pat on the back.  Here are some things to think about:   

  1.  You can forget about achieving perfection.  We all know it’s nearly impossible, so why not do the best you can instead?
  2.   You can accept that sometimes people will disagree with you, and that’s okay. 
  3.   You can embrace new challenges, sometimes just for the experience.
  4.   You can express yourself freely because you don’t have to convince others that you’re right and they’re wrong.
  5.   You can admit you’re resilient.  

Forget, accept, embrace, express, and admit.  When I say these words aloud, I believe that they just might be the keys to happiness.  So why are we challenged with our own self-esteem?  Why not take a little pride in ourselves?    

In an effort to practice what I preach, I’m going to put my gratitude list on the back burner for a moment, and take a baby step towards being proud of myself.  So here are a few small things I’ve accomplished this month:  I made lasagna for a friend, I gave a five-star review to a pool repair company, I bought dinner for a colleague who did me a favor, and I did a craft in my backyard.

I feel kind of proud of this list (even though it might seem a little bit silly).  It’s an exercise for me in nurturing my healthy self-esteem.  And now, I’m going to challenge you to do the same.  Feel free to comment and share some things you’ve accomplished this month.  Whether they’re big or little, share and be proud!