A lot of new things have happened to me over the past few months and it feels like I’m having a second chance at ‘growing up’.
The most significant reason for this is that I have put myself into a new social environment – one where I have surrounded myself with people who have empathy and understanding for each other and encourage those around them to succeed and create their dreams.
My photography – and my dream to make it the way I earn my living – is the most exciting thing in my life right now, because I have consciously stepped out into an arena to make things happen …
and they are happening… at a pace that I need to jog along to keep up with.
Alongside this progress is a phenomenon I find quite new to me and my life – that of feeling proud of what I have achieved so far.
So the new questions for me are -:
“How do I deal with this feeling ?”
“How do I express this without sounding like a show-off ?”
‘Feeling proud’ has developed over the ages into being something that is socially unacceptable – with a plethora of negative connotations and sayings to accompany it.
Who wants to be labelled as being proud and self-satisfied ? It suggests smugness and selfishness – and we all know that “Pride comes before a fall”
If you think about the literal meaning of ‘self-satisfied’ – it says that you are satisfied with your self. This should be a good thing, surely ? It has, however, come to mean something abhorrent to Society.
After discussing this issue with my friend and ‘Damsels In Success’ leader, Bronwyn Nash, I decided to look up some synonyms for the word ‘proud’ that I could use instead. These could potentially help me to feel confidence about sharing my successes with others and be able to demonstrate to potential new members how Damsels had benefitted me …
When I looked online, I was disappointed to see many more negative associations and therefore felt rather stumped. Going back to it again later that day, I decided to look at a definition of ‘proud’ itself – and I actually found this :
“feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements or qualities”
Finally, I had hit upon something. It’s a great way to describe how I feel. It really sums up the joy I’ve got from discovering that I can do things that I never before believed that I could.
The definition expanded into others ways of expressing pride – such as being really happy with …delighted about … overjoyed with …
To me, these words make feeling proud come across as an internal reference, rather than a broadcast to others to “look at what I’ve done !”
The list goes on …
“I’m really thrilled with the photos that I took of the snowdrops last week”
” I feel gratified by how I was able to negotiate that deal”
” I really appreciate how I’ve managed to organise my new business”
I think that they all work because they are acknowledging a sense of gratitude for the outcome of my efforts and show that I am relating it to how I personally feel about my successes, rather than sounding if I am expecting plaudits from others.
It’s a really interesting subject to think about – and I am definitely going to try using the above over the next few weeks and see whether it makes me feel more comfortable about acknowledging my achievements 😀.
I would love to know what you all think and whether you think you could feel more comfortable expressing your ‘pride’ for yourself in this way …