Be Proud

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Reading and reflecting, I began to notice one common theme in the pages that I had filled. Day after day of negative self-talk, telling myself I wasn’t good enough and that I could do much better in many areas of my life. I almost always failed to mention how proud I was of myself, my accomplishments and my actions. On the rare occasion that I came across positive writing, there was always a follow up statement of… “Great job. But, do better.” Over three years of growth, change, accomplishments and failures, I never really gave love to myself or expressed how proud I was. This led to many days of feeling sad, angry and unworthy. How could I ever feel great and happy if I only thought I wasn’t good enough? I couldn’t if the bad and the hate consumed my headspace. In order to be happy, I realized that I needed to be proud of myself. I also realized that I deserved to be proud. We all deserve to feel proud and happy. 

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We are in control of our actions, and our actions dictate our feelings. Therefore, we are in control of our feelings… Or at least we should be. We are so unique and lucky as humans because we possess this ability to feel so many beautiful emotions. If we choose positive action, think fruitfully of ourselves or engage in activity that makes us happy, we feel happy. On the contrary, if we choose to do the opposite, we feel sad. No one deserves to feel sad. We all merit a life full of happiness, positivity and self-love. The only way we attain this is through our thoughts and actions that lead to our feelings. Even during our worst and most humiliating moments we deserve to be proud because those times teach us lessons and help mold us into the amazing, unique individuals that we all are. Take all the moments and be proud of yourself, you deserve it. Look at yourself like a hero because you are one. And, love yourself so you can better love everything else in life. We are all amazing in our own way, so don’t forget to remind yourself just that and to always… Stand tall and be proud. 

What we think of ourselves is what we become. The good, the bad, the great and the hate. The endless self-talk we engage in on a day to day basis eventually comes full circle, making us who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. No matter what others see in ourselves, the self-image we hold truly dictates how we feel and who we are. Positive thoughts lift us up, making us feel proud and inspired about who we are while negative thoughts tear us down and shed light on areas for improvement. If we only focus on one, then we sit unbalanced on one end of the spectrum either being happy with what we are while lacking to become more, or disappointed in ourselves giving us no confidence to grow. Is there a perfect balance between the two? If so, where is the line between loving and critiquing ourselves that allows one to reach the highest and be happy with ourselves? 

I started writing three years ago after returning from a trip to Costa Rica with my family. Reading several books and getting away from the day to day reality that I was living before inspired me to start journaling. I wanted to get out of my head and create a place where I could bring thoughts to paper and reflect on my aspirations in life. This nightly ritual allowed me to gather my feelings each day and help me discover who I was, what I was thinking and what I wanted to become. Over three years I filled hundreds of pages of paper as life flew by way to fast. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to look back at my writing to see where I had gone, what I had thought and how I had changed. 

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Ryan Huels