It's Time to Celebrate YOU!
Hey you…. Yea you! Crazy question… Are you proud of yourself?
I hope you know that you are AMAZING!
You might think I'm joking, but I'm absolutely serious. I may not know you, but I do know you're great and that you have a LOT to be proud of. How do I know this? Because you are HERE and you are EXISTING. We need to celebrate those wins!
How to feel proud of yourself and why it matters for your life success
Struggling with self-confidence is common for most everyone at some point in life, and society is great at telling us exactly what we need to buy to "fix" ourselves. The truth though? Your way to self-love usually isn't a quick fix like that. It's a journey to realizing your worth isn't tied to what anyone says about you, what you look like, where you are in life, or what you do or don't do- even if it doesn't always feel like it. There are so many big and small wins, that you can focus on to celebrate how you arrived right here and right now.
Maybe you think you don't have anything to be proud of, or even be holding back because you don't want to be seen as someone who brags or is "too proud." Trust me, you've climbed mountains to get to where you are! Even if you keep it to yourself, it's still important to realize and acknowledge those amazing things you've accomplished. I'm not just talking about things like a promotion or move; I'm also talking about things like doing laundry or surviving the day. Practicing being proud of yourself can help you stay motivated, be grounded and focused, bolster your self-confidence, and avoid burnout.
Here are six ways to help you celebrate your wins and be proud of yourself:
Repeating an affirmation that speaks to you is a great way to journey towards finding that pride! There are lots of different ways to do this, but it essentially involves finding a short message that really speaks to you and then putting it somewhere where you can see it. Repeat it as many times as you need throughout the day. Use an app, a post-it, or something else in a space you frequent, such as your bathroom mirror, or say it during an activity you do daily.
Find or write a couple that feel personal to you, then put them everywhere! Use post-it notes, cards, or wall hangings to get them in front of your face every day. Use an app like Canva to create fun graphics with your affirmations and set them as computer or phone backgrounds. If this feels like a struggle for you, my recommendation is to start small. Instead of jumping right into something like "I'm proud of all my accomplishments," try starting with "I'm working towards being proud of my accomplishments this year."
2. Add Automatic Check-Offs
This is a small one, but can really help you get the ball rolling for your day or week. When you're making a to-do list, add things that you can automatically check off.
My favorite one: 1. Make a to-do list. ✔️✔️✔️
3. Cultivate a Gratitude Practice
There's a lot of different ways to do this- some people use apps, some journal (either freeform or with a specific gratitude journal), and others just take time in their day to think about something they're grateful for. This could be as simple as thinking about something that made you happy or proud that day before you go to sleep. Don't discount the small wins while doing this! Even if you think it's not important, write it down and be proud of it anyways. Acknowledging the small wins lead to big things over time.
This works better if you schedule it! Finding a consistent time for your gratitude practice, such as writing in your journal before bed, is the best way to make it a habit that sticks. For myself and my clients, I like to dedicate every Wednesday to Wednesday Wins- a space to talk about and celebrate what you're proud of yourself for from the previous week.
4. Avoid Social Comparison
This might be the most challenging part of this list. We’ve all compared ourselves to others, whether it’s people we know in person or on social media. A big part of truly being proud of yourself is being proud of what *you’ve* accomplished, no matter what anyone else does or thinks. Everyone’s life is different, and everyone’s wins look different too.
One practical way to work on this: Go to your preferred social media platform and do an audit. As you're scrolling through, are you coming across posts or people that make you feel bad about yourself? Unfollow them. Follow people who post things that make you happy. Remember that some of the people or ads you see are specifically trying to make you feel inadequate so you buy their product. You don't need it- you're already AMAZING!
5. Get Social With It
Let people hype you up! If you feel comfortable, share your wins with others! Engage a supportive circle of friends and family or find a group of likeminded people in person or online.
Social support on your journey can help so much, and you might even find that celebrating the wins of others in your community helps you celebrate yours. You could even be the one to start this with your group by establishing a space to talk about wins on a consistent basis. Then everyone can benefit!
My last and most fun tip: celebrate that shit! Find the joy in being proud of what you've accomplished by celebrating the cool thing you've done!
Choose a small thing (or big if you did a big scary important thing) that brings you joy, like a favorite treat or going to a favorite place. Dress up for no reason other than feeling good about yourself. Schedule time for an activity you enjoy. The possibilities are endless.
A favorite of mine: a weekly TGIF celebration for making it to the end of another week! You can think about a success you've had during the week, or literally just be proud of yourself that you made it through.
Even with following all these suggestions, you probably won't notice a change overnight. Having pride in your accomplishments is something to intentionally practice and encourage in yourself day to day and year to year. I believe in you, and I believe you have done and will do AMAZING things!
Sarah Siertle, a strength and movement coach, specializes in introducing people to strength training and works to make the fitness world a more inclusive place. She has been a movement instructor since 2012 and also teaches swing dance around the US. Find other articles written by Sarah on her coach profile. Let Sarah help you get STRONG so you can take advantage of life's adventures!