We are taught when young not to be proud, not to say how great we are, not to agree with people when they compliment us. It has taken me a long time as an adult not to shrug of compliments with a negative comment, but simply to accept them kindly. We become confused between pride and positive self-image, the lines have become blurred and we fall into negative self-image.
But it is okay to praise oneself, it is good to feel proud of your achievements. Often other people won’t see them as achievements, they won’t even notice, so sometimes the only person who can praise us, is our-self. You managed to get on your horse at the mounting block without your heart racing with nerves. No-one else can see that, they just see you getting on. You manage to have a light-hearted conversation with the girl at the till, when you have spent 20 years suffering with acute social anxiety. No-one else can see that.
Often the only person that really understands how well you have done, is you. So congratulate yourself, praise yourself. Look back and see how very far you have come. It is not important what is the eyes of others, it is important that you understand your own achievements, and acknowledge them to yourself.
This is not false pride, nor arrogance, it is self-care, self-love, it is understanding that your path through life may not be the easiest, but it is yours and you are doing the very best that you can. And remember that other people may feel just like you. That lady with the big smile who has just trotted a circle, that may be the first time she has trotted without wanting to get off. We have no idea what other people are going through, be kind, always…