It might just be me, but every time I hear the word pride I immediately think of Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyen’s rain-drenched confrontation in Pride and Prejudice. The definition of pride is a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or merit.
In the negative biblical sense pride means being too proud to admit fault or ask for help, thinking you are above others, or being so blinded by your own self-perception you can’t view yourself realistically.
If you are like me then you are definitely blinded, but it’s not in thinking I’m so amazing and better than everyone else, it’s getting bogged down by negative self-talk and a feeling of unworthiness.
This year I’ve been exploring self-respect and finding out what it means to me and it turns out that respect means tackling the negativity gremlins that live in my head and whisper all kinds of mean things. If yours are anything like mine they are constantly saying things like, “Who do you think you are?” and “What makes you think you deserve that?” and “Everyone is going to laugh at you and think you’re crazy.”
I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice on this subject. Recognizing that fear and doubt are just trying to keep you safe, and instead of putting your fingers in your ears and saying “lalala I can’t hear you,” acknowledging the powerful role that fear has played in keeping you safe and alive.
Once I started looking at my fear and negative internal voice with compassion and respect we got along much better. I can now recognize it for what it is and stop letting it affect my feelings of self-worth as much.
Or if that doesn’t work for you I saw an idea on Tumblr to imagine all of your negative self thoughts as being said by a 13-year-old on Xbox live. “You’re so ugly, no one will love you.” “That’s nice Timmy, isn’t it your bedtime?”
This strategy always makes me realize how untrue most negative thoughts are. They are usually a reflection of my temporary emotional state, rather than cold hard facts.
Challenge your personal dogma
Another big result of many years of negative self talk is that I began to feel like there was nothing valuable about me. Nothing I was good at, no skills, no positive attributes at all. Logically I knew that it wasn’t true, but it sure felt like it at the time. I took on the bad things others had said about me, and my nonstop internal fear parade as fact, and they had hardened into dogma.
So I went on a mission to pull out my journal and my resume, as well as my Instagram and Facebook photos. I made it a goal to list 100 positive things about me and my life. Everything I’m proud of from big accomplishments to small joys. I went through photos of fun trips and adventures I’d taken. I listed out my jobs, internships, and skills that I’m proud of. It was a lovely trip down memory lane and by the end I felt pretty darn excited to be me again.
I don’t know the technical term, but I’d imagine it’s something like Negativity Bias. If there are 99 good comments and 1 bad one, we all seem to focus on the negative one. How about focusing on the 99 instead?
Just because you don’t match up to some else’s idea of perfection, or you consider yourself too X (loud, introverted, weird, goofy, sexy, etc.), it doesn’t mean you aren’t perfectly imperfect exactly as you are. So take some pride in yourself, because you totally effing deserve it!
We’ve reached the end of our series and I hope you’ve found a few new ways to make your life enjoyable and inspiring!