Relationships

What Are You Proud Of?

What Are You Proud Of

After my boyfriend moved in, I noticed something…

He was really proud of himself.

Now, lest you picture him as some sort of cartoon lion striding triumphantly across the plain of our living room, let me paint a clearer picture. He is an exceptionally humble, understated person. Outside of his work, he can be shy. And he is not the type to celebrate — or even talk about — himself, for fear that it might seem boastful.

This only made it all the more jarring when I noticed how he exhibited a visible sense of accomplishment for doing various everyday tasks. The act of making dinner or fixing the faucet would result in improved posture and self-congratulatory words.

At first, I didn’t really know what to make of this. Sure, I’d think, it’s great that you worked out or remembered to turn the light off when you left a room. But I did, too, and nobody cares. Is that not just being a person?

Then one weekend afternoon, he decided to re-caulk the bathtub. The results looked, shall we say, not quite professional. “I’ve never caulked anything before, so I’m proud of it,” he said. “Even though it doesn’t look good, I succeeded at sealing the tub.”

Now I was fascinated. Had I done the same thing, I would have greeted the results with self-criticism and many pledges of how the next time would be better. But he understood that trying a new thing or learning a new skill is something to feel proud of, regardless of the results.

After sitting with my feelings for a while, I saw that my discomfort stemmed not from his pride, but rather from the part where I had been conditioned to gloss over my own accomplishments. Unless something is life-changingly large (a la “I got a new job!”) I do not speak of it, and if it does come up, I am likely to downplay it.

Thinking back, I remember feeling proud of myself as a kid — for getting a good grade or performing in the school play. But somewhere along the way, I deleted “pride” from my emotional repertoire. If a woman is proud, said the messaging, she becomes unlikable. And being likable is the most important thing.

In her latest book, Untamed, (which, if you haven’t read it yet, oh my goodness what are you waiting for) Glennon Doyle discusses this phenomenon as it plays out at her daughter’s soccer game:

There was a girl on the other team who was just rubbing me the wrong way… she walked with her head held high and with a bit of a swagger. She was good, and she knew it. She went in for the ball often and hard, like a girl who knows her own strength and talent. She smiled the whole time, like all of this was easy for her, like she was having the time of her life. All of this just annoyed the hell out of me.

She was twelve.

In a number of cultures, there is something known as “tall poppy syndrome,” where people who think highly of themselves are criticized or discredited, “cutting down the tall poppy.” In America, we have no such issue, particularly when it comes to men and certain celebrities. (If a poppy acts tall enough, we’re liable to follow them or idolize them or give them their own TV show.) Even so, women are generally not encouraged to sing their praises.

But as Glennon explains, humility is actually infused with its own sort of pride.

“The word humility derives from the Latin word humilitas, which means ‘of the earth.’ To be humble is to be grounded in knowing who you are — to grow, to reach, to fully bloom as high and strong and grand as you were created to. It is not honorable for a tree to wilt and shrink and disappear. It’s not honorable for a woman to, either.”

We’ve all done things that are worthy of pride. Changing a habit, teaching a child, making a tough decision, facing a fear. These days, the list may also include things like taking a shower, taking a walk, taking a deep breath. All of these count.

I am proud of myself for writing this post, even though I still find this topic to be uncomfortable. I am proud of my career thus far, especially the parts that require me to put myself out there. I am proud of myself for greeting this day in the best way I know how.

And now, I’d like to ask you this very important question: What’s something you’re proud of? It can be absolutely anything, big or small. Please share below.

P.S. Five words that changed everything and a small kindness I’ll never forget.

(Photo by Kirstin Mckee/Stocksy.)

  1. Jamaica says...

    It is true enough that some of us are conditioned to think that an accomplishment that’s not as grand as how it should be for other people to really label it as an “achievement” hinders us from celebrating our own little victories.

    Well, who cares about other people? I am proud of getting up every morning, no matter how difficult it gets everyday.

    Cheers to small victories!

  2. Anna says...

    I have lost 13 kilos since January. To achieve this I’ve thought more about what I eat, learned to portion control, and exercise most days. In fact I have exercised every day since we were sent home from work, nearly three months ago! I am so PROUD of myself; all this would have seemed impossible even in December. Go, me!

    Can I say though – it’s been nice to do this at home, where I don’t have to deal with other people’s reactions to the weight loss. I don’t really want to hear, “You look so much better!” because I don’t think I looked like shit when I weighed more.

  3. My husband, brother-in-law, and I went on a ski camping trip last weekend to a place my hubs and I first visited 10 years ago (Mt. Adams in Washington State). At one point during the weekend I realized how much better at camping and being outside I am now than I was back then. It’s a huge part of my life, that I’ve always loved, but I’m much better at it now and I’m really proud of myself!

  4. Lucia says...

    The other day, while in an online class, my computer’s camera turned on inexplicably in the middle of a VERY embarrassing and private situation. I had to leave the online class because I was hyperventilating and trembling so hard. During the first few minutes I was in shock and felt like I couldn’t control myself, but then I went to my bedroom, sat on my bed, hugged a pillow and started trying to control my breath. After a few moments, I managed it. That moment is something I’m very proud of, because I’d never thought I could be able to do that. My old self would’ve kept hyperventilating until she ran out of air. I needed to get that out of my chest, and I’m doing it here because I don’t want to seem like a show-off somewhere else.

    • Eleonore says...

      You did an amazing thing for yourself and you are right to be proud. Well done. I am proud of you too.

  5. Delfina says...

    I think as individual women, we tend to forget and appreciate how far we have become individually and as a whole. Whether these accomplishments are as small going for a walk or as a big as acquiring a job in our field, everything should be celebrated. Men as this blog mentioned (and celebrities) are more prone to receive. congratulatory messages of anything, I believe this stems from the past from how women were oppressed and not celebrated or being able to do things such as voting, whereas now society is more free. Regardless we should be proud of ourselves and build on each others and our own accomplishments!
    I am proud of being able to be more active and social(online) during quarantine and being proud of this small, but great achievement!

  6. Nikki says...

    I’m proud of the quarantine haircut I gave my husband. It definitely doesn’t look professional–okay, there’s definitely one tiny spot that is almost-but-not-quite bald–but for the first haircut I’ve ever given anyone in my life, it’s not bad. Thanks, YouTube!

  7. Mia says...

    I am proud of myself for

    – spending almost all my time and energy on my children
    – having learned how to cook a repertoire of tasty dinners during the last four years
    – believing in love and keeping my heart open until I found my husband
    – being single, sometimes lonely, often happy, always independent until I turned 30
    – for creating a cozy home for my family
    – knowing myself well
    – the fact that I’ve worked and earned my own money since I was 18
    – finishing my master’s degree
    – making pie and baking bread during my baby’s nap today
    – living well with the fact that my mum died almost two years ago

  8. Ela says...

    One more quick thing . . . I took for granted little things but now feel proud of small accomplishments, even if not perfect–like coloring my hair on my own and not doing it perfectly (missed some spots :-). Learning to give myself grace.

  9. Ela says...

    A great question! And I love your boyfriend’s perspective. I’m going to adopt that perspective now!

    I’m proud of my little indoor garden I’m creating! I am growing microgreens from a kit, I’m growing romaine lettuce and celery in cups, I planted flower seeds, and I potted a few indoor plants, which I put in my bedroom.

    I also potted a new plant I got from a local florist. They sent me a birchbox planter, soil, rocks for drainage, some moss, the plant, and a water bottle. Now, this may seem like nothing to other people. But I’m not a green thumb. (Although for some reason, I can grow an outdoor herb garden.) I have never been able to keep a plant–any plant, even air plants and succulents, alive in my home. So I kind of gave up. But I’ve been craving nature and greenery so decided to make it happen.

    Now every time I look at my little garden and plants, I feel so happy and proud!

  10. I relate to this so much! I remember being absolutely BAFFLED when my husband explained to me that, while he appreciated me saying I was proud of him, he didn’t really need it — because by that point he had likely already told himself MULTIPLE TIMES that he was proud of himself, or that he’d had a great idea, or whatever. ? Like, it had never occured to me to do that, or that other people might do that!

    Today, I’m proud of buying myself an inflatable kayak and successfully putting it together. (And hopefully soon I’ll be proud of myself for taking it out on an adventure!)

  11. Lisa says...

    I will always read anything you write. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. I’m proud to be mom to a 10 year old son who can verbalize his feelings – whether that’s disappointment in a moment with a friend or express how good his veggie soup tastes the next day.

  12. Joy Prince says...

    I’m so stinking proud of having fixed my garbage disposer. After a few YouTube videos and trial and error, I had unclogged my kitchen sink and felt like a rock star! My preteen daughters got to witness it and brag to their dad about my big win.

  13. Ling says...

    I’m raising my twins bilingually and read Chinese books to them while hubby reads them English books. Tonight my one 2yo twin said “ehn eeengish” over and over as daddy was about to read a story and it hit us both that she was saying “in English”, making me feel very proud that she’s starting to distinguish between the two languages after working hard to point out the difference to them.

  14. Erin Mary says...

    I’m proud that I’m alive. I tried not to be, but here I still am. I haven’t found the right combination of treatment, but I won’t stop until I do, because I deserve to live a happy life. For myself, not just to keep my loved ones from worrying.

    I’m also proud that I’ve become much more open about my stutter. I was even on an episode of the TTFA podcast where I stuttered HARD for a full hour into a mic, and my nerves were all over the place. But I did it, and the response has been amazing.

    • Shauna says...

      Erin Mary, I am happy that you are here!

    • mdeck says...

      I love TTFA and can’t wait to listen to you on it.

      I’m glad you’re still here, Erin May. It takes a lot of strength sometimes – you’re doing a great job!

  15. As someone who proudly studied latin years ago eheh I believe that there the meaning of the word humilitas is not the given above. It literally means small, close to the ground (humus being the ground). A similar word is humiliate that means to beat to the ground in latin. There isn’t that poetic sense of being grounded in your qualities. Latin authors would use the word to say simple things like “the bird flew humble” meaning the bird flew close to the ground. It was ONLY with Christian authors that to be humble became a good quality and not just a neutral affirmation. If it’s good or not to be humble, to make yourself small, it’s up to you to decide but definetly it’s one of those cases where religion made popular a concept. Anyway, I loved the article! I’m proud I take my seventeen years old dog for daily at the speed of snails walks :)

  16. Irene says...

    back when i had just started a new job and i was going through that seemingly inavoidable i-am-not-good-enough phase, at the phone with my best friend she told me: uhm, ok, you just need a sixth day. what? i replied. a sixth day, she said again – the day when god “saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good”.

    even though i don’t refer to myself as a christian, this idea of just taking a moment to notice that we *create* beauty and life has always resonated with me. from that conversation on, “have you had your sixth day lately?” has become one of our rituals – and i’m so, so grateful it has.
    here’s to our sixth days! :)

  17. Martha Patterson says...

    So true! Why am I proud of myself lately? As a veteran educator, I’ve had to become way more adept to technology, real fast…because of school closures do to the pandemic,,,,,,and I have! I had reached a point in my career where I wouldn’t say I was in a rut, but with 30+ years in the profession, much of the professional development that came my way was nothing new. With the help of some of my younger cilleagues, and having the time to do so, I’ve mastered Google Classroom, Zooming, screen sharing etc….and it feels good!

  18. Katherine says...

    I’m proud of myself for working out consistently for the past three weeks! I never thought I was the kind of person who could do it! Thanks for this post and thank you to all who are commenting!

  19. Jennifer says...

    Such a great post! I’m proud of digging up the roots from trees and bushes (that were cut down a long time ago without removing the stumps) from my garden beds. Some of them weighed 50 lbs!

  20. Jessica says...

    Thank you, Caroline, for prompting us to consider this important question. It’s nice to step back and give yourself an adoring hug, sometimes.
    I am proud of myself for having my heart broken twice, but still believing and trusting in love.
    I am proud of myself for moving across the country only for the sake of adventure.
    I am proud of myself for shedding expectations daily–expectations of what I should look like; what my life should like like; how experiences should feel. I am proud that I’ve realized expectations can stunt and presence opens us.
    I am proud I was able to trust my body to heal itself through a two year journey with PCOS and fertility. It did, and I am pregnant with a baby girl in perfect divine timing. Here’s hoping she will proud of herself too. xo

    • I want to hear more about your move across the country for the sake of adventure. I have it in my heart to make a similar move and have been soaking up stories from other women who have chosen this path!

  21. Karin says...

    My 5-year-old has just mastered riding a bicycle. She is a confident, determined person, but with this accomplishment her self-pride is a tangible, buoyant, glowing expansion. It is amazing to witness – as though through this act of moving forward on two wheels, she realizes she is magic. (which, of course, she is!)

  22. Katherine Konrad Moore says...

    Wow!! Congratulations – this is incredible, Bethany!

  23. Jodi says...

    I am proud of being German and Irish and getting things accomplished timely. I proud of my beautiful yard!

  24. Bethany says...

    I’m proud that today is the day I finally got my master’s degree at age 44 and graduate from nurse practitioner school! I did it!

    • Samantha says...

      Congratulations!! That is awesome.

    • Laurence says...

      You are an inspiration Bethany! Congrats! Wishing you a lot of happiness in this new chapter!!

    • Amy says...

      Congratulations!!

    • Tish says...

      Well done you!

  25. Lee says...

    I am proud of being the kind of person who gets stuff done. Big stuff, small stuff, no matter. If I set mind to something, watch out. I am a woman on a mission.

    • Karinny says...

      I LOVE THAT!

  26. Madeleine says...

    I am proud of having gotten really good at being a remote high school teacher while being pregnant and taking care of a 2.5 year old!

    • Laura says...

      Wow!!! You should be proud of that! Congratulations :)

  27. I grew up in a home where my value as a child was determined by my actions and what I do, the amount of awards I can take home, that in order to be loved, I had to prove I am worthy of it, shown in my obedience, where developing my own identity was suppressed and emotional put downs and guilt trips are served for breakfast. In short, I am a survivor of narcissistic and histrionic abuse. I worked very hard growing up to be able to leave and I was fortunate to have found a job that required me to work abroad, away on my own. This independent living experience helped me spread my wings and be my own self. After going through therapy, I am proud to have found the courage to find my voice, stand up for myself, walk away and cut ties. I now have a husband and a daughter who I love and who both love me unconditionally. I have never been happier since. Yet, the scars of the past do visit from time to time. I just need to remind myself that that experience shaped me as the person that I am and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for that.

    • Mo says...

      I can relate to all of this, especially the line “where developing my own identity was suppressed and emotional put downs and guilt trips are served for breakfast.” Thanks for sharing your story. You should be very proud of the life you have now.

  28. Rebecca says...

    Last night when I climbed into bed I said to my husband “I’m proud of myself for remembering to floss tonight!” (I was half kidding). His response: “That was really sexy! I love when you’re proud of yourself.” And he meant it. You know what? I love it too.

  29. Jb says...

    Hands down, sleep training my son. It was hard, and my partner was pretty resistant but I needed to do it so that I could take care of my mental health before I supremely lost it. Now I feel like it’s my mission to let other new moms know how amazing sleep training is.

    • Laura says...

      I am in the same exact boat. Just took it upon myself to sleep train my 4.5 month son and feel so proud that I had the courage to confidently let him cry it out for his benefit and my own long term sanity. He slept through the night on the second night. Yay to both of us!

  30. Kate says...

    These comments are so wonderful and I am so proud for everyone.

    I’m proud of having started my adult life over so many times– in 5 separate cities, 2 of them in foreign countries– and each time being able to set myself up, get a job or jobs, and create a loving circle of friends. It’s a comfort to know I have this skill.

    I’m proud of having gotten my dream job last year, after getting hurtfully dumped by my previous org, and doing quite well there.

    I’m proud that I am truly doing my best during this pandemic. Sometimes my best is not that great, but I’m really trying and I give myself a gold star for this.

  31. Allison says...

    I’m proud of my career that I have worked really hard to achieve: I was appointed to my dream job as an executive of a healthcare company a few months ago. And I’m doing a good job learning to fill the role – even in a crazy pandemic that I never saw coming. I can do this job and be a good mom, and a loving wife, and a kind friend, and I’m proud of that. There – I said it! :)

  32. Maïa says...

    I’m proud to keep on trying facing my traumas even if I’m trying agaiiiin a new therapist, after so many who were not specialized enough with my kind of troubles, and did so many times more wrong than good. (My life has been more about finding a good therapist than a prince charming!)
    I’m proud to be a fierce feminist and so happy to find this kind of writing here and a good occasion for a “collective self-reflection”.
    I’m proud to keep on trying. Like, really. Keep on trying being a good and functional person, keep on failing and trying again. Again. And again. I feel a bit stupid, as I think about it, making the same resolutions, and taking so often the same path and swearing to never do it again. But can kind of say I’m proud of this perseverance/tenacity/letsgetpunchedbylifeonceagainandseewhatIcandowithitthistime

    • Renata says...

      I am proud I planted my garden. I wanted to have some more excercise and told my husband I will dig out the eart and prepare it for planting. As I digged I rememberd my grandma and her huge garden and thought to myself she looks at me from heaven and thinks I am doing this all wrong:) The next day my mom came to my house and looked at my garden and said she dreamed about grandma how she done some work at my garden to help me. I wad so happy.

  33. Sandra Kaye-Kjarum Seidel says...

    I just made 16 more face masks for those I love : ) And I finished knitting a sweater that I started 104 days ago that’s beautiful.
    Thank you so much for writing thia.

  34. Erin K says...

    I’m proud of myself for advocating for my own job growth in a company that doesn’t really emphasize training and growth. I’m proud of myself for painting my kitchen without help. I’m proud of myself for learning that my needs matter and that I need to advocate for them – being an easy going person does not mean I have to always go with other people’s needs.

  35. Tess says...

    I loved this post and all of these amazing, proud comments. I teach high school English, and I’m proud of my positivity and commitment to my students during this time. Hoping my positivity rubs off on them during our Zoom classes. Stay well, everyone!

  36. Rachel says...

    I’m proud of my vulnerability in asking for help despite fear, and of the grueling work I’ve put in at therapy for the past few years. It’s easy to minimize, but I’ve effectively saved myself through this effort and I’m so proud. (I got a tattoo of a sprig of thyme last summer for this exact reason—it symbolizes strength and courage and is my talisman of everything I’ve had and still have in me to put in the work and take care of myself.)

  37. Lu says...

    I love this piece and it made me flip my thinking a bit. I have the same issue In my marriage. My husband wants to be thanked or congratulated or whatever for every “little” thing he does around the house while meanwhile I feel like I’m toiling away doing twice the work with no recognition. It’s the only fight we ever have, but it has been a constant throughline in our marriage that periodically rears its head. One time, I was so mad at him for wanting praise for some small thing that I yelled: “Do you want a f@&*ing medal for that?!” But reading your post made me realize it might be a better world if we could all give ourselves – and each other- “medals” more often. I mean, how good would it feel upon finishing the dishes to yell “I did the dishes!” and then run around the house pumping your arms in victory?! Cue the music; the crowd goes wild!

    • Lacey says...

      I just loved this comment. Thanks for writing it. Here’s your medal :)

    • Catherine says...

      Feel exactly the same way!! I too say that to my husband regularly, but on a very ironic tone, no yelling. This post really hit me in the face, first for the “husband/boyfriend thing”, and then for me: when she said that showing your pride makes you unlikable, I just went on a journey, one of bad memories where I felt proud of my work and my students’ work and displayed it throughout the school (it’s not a thing in France middle/high schools) and was met with scorn and people turning away from me. Now I get it! So sad though…But that was an awakening!

  38. Kristin says...

    I’m proud of myself for deciding not to drink anymore, because even as a moderate drinker I realized it was not serving me. I’m proud of my 3 year old daughter, who daily says wonderful things like “I’m good at getting dressed. I’m good at lots of things!”

  39. Heidi Gedlaman says...

    I am proud of having learned how to take total responsibility for my own peace of mind. It took a long time, and I now know how to come home to myself. The Work of Byron Katie was instrumental in figuring out how. I studied it and practiced it and became a facilitator, and my life is a blissful place to be. It’s my job to make me happy, no one else’s.

  40. Mag says...

    Love this post so much! My parents were proud of everything I did growing up (and I mean every little thing) and that instilled so much confidence in me—one of the many gifts they gave me as a child! I’m proud of how I’ve coped with the loss of my dad to cancer in the past three years. It’s been heartbreaking and devastating and horrific on every level (it’s like a nightmare I can’t get out of), but I’m proud that I wake up everyday and still think the world is a big beautiful place. My dad never failed to be positive and grateful even in the face of insurmountable obstacles and I‘m proud to carry that with me!

  41. “Nothing is impossible Momma.” ~From my 3 year old.

    • This post brings up very important topic. I see it all around me how some people are not encouraged to allowed them self to be proud. I think we, girls, were raised that way too, stay humble and don’t show how proud you are. And when I think about it I really have so many things to be proud of! Great son, who I dedicated myself to raising, he is also my close friend. The job where I put a lot f effort but also am able to get outside of comfort zone and this makes me proud! In these times I connect with people more to show them they’re not alone. And I make face masks and donate them, so those can be used by people who need them the most.
      This post is perfect for me today. It’s my birthday today.40th. And it is a moment I feel a need to reflect on my life a bit. Thank you! ♥️

  42. Maia says...

    I am proud of having made the decision to walk out on my marriage that was draining me. I gave it 4 years before I gave up – there were endless nights of tears and sadness and heartache. I am proud of all the time and effort I put into it, of never wanting to end it, but of also knowing when it was far too broken to fix, and walking out with my head held high.
    It has been the hardest decision to make but I did it. I don’t know what the future holds but I am proud of the fact that I wanted more for myself. For believing I deserved better.

    • brittneyb says...

      I’m proud of you too, Maia. <3

    • Alana says...

      I am going through this right now. It is so nice to read positive words from someone who is on the other side. “For believing I deserved better.”

  43. I am proud of my perseverance through unpredictable, uncertain circumstances (living overseas, looking for a job, navigating a new city, etc.). It’s tough and hard, unsatisfying work that you don’t get recognition for, but I know and am proud of my own successes, even if they aren’t visible to others. :)

  44. Ms Mary Anna says...

    I see this sense of pride and celebration in my 4 year old when he completes small projects on his own. And I love joining in his celebration. There’s lots of “Yay! You used the potty all by yourself” exclamations full of jubilee and dancing delight in our house. I’m going to take your advice and try to do a little more myself. “Yay. I showered. Worked. And kept my children fed, safe, and healthy today.” That’s a pretty damn big accomplishment. And I’m proud.

  45. Caro says...

    I am currently engaging with DBT with my therapist and I am learning about mastering some skills that make me feel competent. It has involved simplifying most things in my life. For me, these skills include making the bed and finish washing ALL the dishes in the sink (not leaving a few dishes behind as I am wont to do) every day. That’s it. Those are my big goals I’m “mastering” right now. I live with my partner and he is very clean and organized. Sometimes he will SO kindly ask me to put away my shoes or clear the table and most days I feel like I am literally incapable of doing so. I’m learning. All this to say–I am counting the “small” things as big accomplishments right now, and I am really proud of myself.

    • MS says...

      Caro, I just wanted to say that I see you (and relate on every level). You’re “mastering” this crazy beautiful thing called living. Stay gentle with yourself.

  46. Ludmila says...

    When I was younger, I worried endlessly about meeting certain marks of success: having a boyfriend, having the career, getting married. And then I realized life had other plans – my career was unsatisfying, the boyfriend was gone, my country of birth left behind after enormous turmoil, that I had to start anew and reinvent myself from scratch.

    I am proud of my adaptability and my capacity of seeing the glass half full. I made a home and a community in a land far different than my own, I found out that my career gave me the tools to build a small business that gives to my community, and I was able to marry the love of my life, with whom we have survived and thrived despite everything life has thrown at us: from infertility, to jobs loss, to a huge medical crisis that left him a multiple amputee at 43. We have managed to carve a happy and fulfilling life regardless of the challenges, but the first step was letting go of the expectations for both of us!

  47. K says...

    This is such a wonderful article, thank you Caroline. I read this a couple of days ago and really enjoyed the comments. Though to be honest, I truly couldn’t think of anything to be proud of myself for initially. But then I made myself think of something while I was out for my daily exercise. Then something else. By the end of my walk, I had thought of a whole list of achievements and realised actually, I’m bloody great!

  48. Sarah says...

    I’m proud of you for writing this, too!!! I just love everything you do, Caroline. You are a treasure and we’re all lucky to feel like your friends.

  49. J says...

    I’m loving reading these comments.

    I’m proud of the considerate way my ex and I separated and continue to co-parent together. We remained good friends and our kids know we’re still one family that just happen to have two separate homes.

    • Molly says...

      That’s wonderful!! xoxo

  50. Hilde says...

    I’m proud that I moved from a city to my small hometown a year ago. I have dreamed of a house with a garden for so long, but dreaded to move alone. Then I realised that I couldn’t hold off that dream just because I’m single. And I am SO glad I did it. It’s great (and really helpful mentally) spending almost every free hour preparing my kitchen garden and planting a perennial border, and I have been thinking about what it would be like if I had to spend all my time in my former apartment in the city right now.

  51. Libby says...

    I read this and saw my own husband’s constant need for validation. In his case it’s not about being confident in his accomplishments. It’s about him needing acknowledgement from me to help with his sense of self-worth. It’s an ongoing struggle for both of us.

    I am proud of saying this here even though it might not be a popular opinion.

  52. Ser says...

    I am a midwife and mum of 4 girls . I have had 3 homebirths , one without another professional present , by choice . I’m proud of that, and modelling the awesome power of women’s bodies to my daughters who witnessed the birth.

  53. Eleanor says...

    Ohhhh, I needed to read this so much. Thank you!

  54. Linh says...

    Thank you for this article. I struggle with this often because I do sense that people, mostly women, find me unlikable and intimidating because I’m a proud person. I came from a homeless family, my parents didn’t finish highschool. I made it to America and supported myself through college while working full-time washing dishes and waiting table. In college, I overheard girls called me bitch and told the guys that I wasn’t good looking. These are girls who never talked to me once. I guess because I was focused and didn’t make effort for small talks. I was often tired, starving and had no energy to put on a smile. I graduated in computer science with honors after 6 years. I’ll be a doctor this year. I try to downplay my achievements these days but I’m actually very proud of myself. I also try to downplay my happy marriage as well or at least not talking about it.

    • Melissa says...

      Loved reading this first comment after the incredible article. You’re amazing and You should be so proud of yourself!

    • Ali says...

      Amazing Linh – those are incredible achievements. All the best to you xx

  55. Steph says...

    Its Nurse’s week and I can say I have never been more proud of my profession. I am proud of my colleagues who volunteer to work on covid units because they want so badly to care for these patients. I work with many nurses who are also parents of little ones (like myself) and have been unable to safely isolate from their families putting them all at risk. I am so proud of my husband for not being afraid for himself and encouraging me to continue with nursing as my passion and identity (even though the nanny makes a similar salary as moi). And a big hug to all our environmental services and respiratory therapists in the trenches – SO PROUD <3

    • Lauren says...

      I second this! I am so proud of nurses who are providing the care that saves lives right now. Things like proper positioning, thorough assessment, vigilant monitoring… I am L&D nurse and so not working directly with the sickest COVID patients, and normally I am quietly proud of myself for doing things to make a difference, but lately I am filled with admiration and gratitude for the COVID nurses most of all.

  56. M says...

    I’m proud of surviving postpartum depression twice; I’m proud of fighting for a PMDD diagnosis in a foreign country where I didn’t speak the language; I’m proud of realising I had developed an alcohol dependency; I’m proud of getting myself sober even though I didn’t have any support system; I’m proud of securing and holding down (and excelling at!) a job while I did it; I’m proud that I can basically stay on top of and manage my mental health symptoms right now; I’m proud of my future self who will figure out an even better way to do that by finding a doctor here in the US who can help me because even though I’m scared to get started I know I have been brave before.

    • RM says...

      Much respect and internet stranger love to you.

  57. Wow–first of all thank you for writing about this and giving us a space to high-five ourselves and others. Feels great!

    I am proud of the children’s book I wrote, and after 2+ years, got published. AND I’m proud that I now have a second children’s book coming out this fall. Go me! (Haha.)

  58. Ana says...

    I’m proud that I negotiated a decrease in health insurance premiums for hundreds of physician trainees at the hospital system where I work. I did this as a first year physician in training. I saw our rates going up and it didn’t make sense. I was initially met with resistance, a guilt trip and false information…so I decided to keep going up to the top (the very top – the hospital president!). It worked. I’ve saved so many of my fellow trainees money, and I know we all work so hard. There is no reason that our institution should have been putting over a $1 million on our backs.

    • Diane says...

      That is just awesome, Ana! I am proud for you!

  59. Anon says...

    I’m proud that I am really, really good at my job, and even if I sometimes feel unrecognized for my contributions, no one can take away the inherent value I know of those contributions.

    I’m proud that I’m learning, through constant, tough mental reflection and self-reminders, to choose to be kind even when inside I feel like snapping. Habits form from repetition, and I’m proud that I am training myself to choose kindness, over and over, as much as possible.

    I’m proud that even when I “mess up”, I am learning to go easy on myself and literally say out loud, “Tomorrow’s the beginning of the rest of my life!” Sounds corny, feels good.

    Thanks, CoJ, I really needed this reminder to think about these today. :)

  60. EM says...

    I’ve been homeschooling my kids while working part time, and every time I supervise the completion of all their assignments, I feel like I deserve a prize. It’s definitely something I feel proud of.

    • meg says...

      you should feel proud! i do too. i also feel proud of myself when i make the decision, “no, we aren’t gonna do those assignments today” because it’s exercising my own authority and judgement about what my kids need over a formula or my own fear that we should be checking off boxes. Proud if I do, proud if I don’t! That’s my baseline right now because my self-criticism was off the charts in the first few weeks and I realised it wasn’t serving any of us.

  61. AE says...

    I am proud of so many things and didn’t think of them until this post: being a doctor (as a triple URM w/ a serious chronic physician condition/ disability this was never in the cards), and I’m proud that I keep showing up for my patients. I’m super proud of my resilience and humor and that I advocate for myself, I’m proud of my ability to set boundaries and my intuition. I’m proud of my ability to surround myself with really good, sensible people and to run from those who are clear red flags. I have really good cooking/ baking instincts. I’m proud of my ability to read and retain information relatively quickly. I’m proud of my almost infinite patience.

  62. Louise says...

    I’m proud of my four kids, my has-dimples-when-he-smiles-and-wears-flip-flops-husband who’s also wise and plays the guitar, my phD and owning and managing a small business all by myself. That business is still up and running even through COVID-19. Today I even hired an assistant! And she starts in August and I’m so relieved… It would have been easier for me to write about the things I’m not so proud about. But now I feel great when I think about my accomplishments.

  63. Nadine says...

    What a great question & post. I’m gonna say being sober for 20 years.

    • Julee says...

      Go girl!

    • Hali says...

      Bravo!!!

    • Alene says...

      Just for today. Congratulations! My daughter is celebrating 10 years clean and sober this month. And I’m grateful for that!

    • Rachel says...

      That’s incredible! ❤️

  64. Victoria says...

    Oh I can so relate to this. Being a child of my parents who have not thought it important to support their children let alone cheer them on, and being told by my mother that women are less worth than men, I – rebelliously – am very proud of everything I have done and achieved so far: my education, my relationships, my high profile job, my son, my Life, my freedom and independence. And I get told that I am too confident, that I talk too much about myself, even on the evening of my wedding day. And of course I doubt myself. Because I am a woman. But I worked and fought so hard for it. Why are women women’s‘ worst enemies always?

    • AG says...

      Why are women women’s‘ worst enemies always? – I am sorry you feel this way. I’ve had enemies from men and women, But, from the words of the 90’s band LIT, I’ve realized- It’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy.

      Take care out there!

  65. Lizzy says...

    I’m proud of 1) quitting a life path that wasn’t working for me, 2) getting into my dream law school and surviving–even thriving–in my 1L year, 3) getting a therapist and being proactive about mental health and self-care, 4) making the consistent, albeit imperfect, effort to be present and loving with the people I care about, and 5) related to the first two points–proving to myself that I’m capable of changing, learning, and growing. I’ve struggled with “fixed mindset” for so long that I’m proud of finally embracing a “growth mindset”: giving myself permission to try scary, hard, exhilarating things rather than confine myself to a box of paralytic perfectionism, judgment, and fear.

  66. Maria says...

    I’m proud of myself for being brave and standing up to my PhD mentor after he abused his power, gaslit me, minimized my work, shamed me, etc. It’s an ongoing conflict, and I’m looking into switching labs, which all feels messy and scary. But, I’m proud for not letting myself be bullied.

  67. TC says...

    I actually had the most successful professional year of my life, and I feel damn proud of myself for it.

  68. Madeleine says...

    Oh, this is so extraordinarily timely! Had job interview, which involved discussing with the recruiter the feedback from a series of psychometric tests I did. They showed that I scored highly on “self-promoting” which meant that I was prepared to discuss my achievements, ask for feedback, etc. I was uncomfortable with the label, and we discussed it, with the recruiter saying it wasn’t a Bad Thing. I didn’t relax until I asked whether there was a difference in the way that men and women react to this measure, at which point she explained that there absolutely is, and this is a label women uniformly find uncomfortable. Thank you for this brilliant article.

    • Madeleine says...

      PS I am proud of asking that question today.

  69. Hilary says...

    Firstly, let me say how much I adore this topic. Women are cut down so often, by other women and ourselves mainly, that getting proud is such a worthy endeavor! Half my work as an executive coach is about helping women get back in touch with pride, ambition, fierce intellect and a sense of competition. It gets drilled out of us and it’s such a loss.

    To that end, I’m proud of myself for building my own company. I worked for a really condescending boss for years before this and her management style caused me to question my own intelligence and tamp down my ambition and great ideas on a daily basis. When I was finally free, I realized that not only am I smart, but my ambition and willingness to try new things is my great strength.

    Coincidentally, my former company just laid most people off while I am thriving and financially secure. Turns out, ambition, pride and new ideas can actually save you instead of hamper you the way we’re led to believe.

    Imagine that.

  70. Sarah says...

    Oh goodness, did I need to read this today! Such a beautifully written post! Thank you for sharing! Today I am proud of the high bun I created this morning. Typically I am not great at those traditional ballerina looking buns but today I totally nailed it! My dad and even my sister’s boyfriend, who is quarantining with my family, mentioned how nice my hair looked today! I’ll take that as a win with 3 day dirty hair :)

    • Kate says...

      Ha ha! This is THE best! Way to go on rocking the dirty hair bun.
      I am a mom of toddlers, so I am also proud to have rocked this look (to be fair, the past few years have given me LOTS of dirty hair to practice with!)

  71. Lainey says...

    A little more than a year ago, I left a long-term job I loved and that brought me fulfillment, and took a fairly major career pivot. I am a major creature of comfort, and everyone around me was pretty shocked. No joke, I cried most days for the first six months thinking I’d made a huge mistake. Around the half-year mark, though, the reasons why I made the decision began to come into focus for me and I regained my footing. I am so proud of myself for saying yes to a challenge, sticking with it, and growing more during the past year than I had during the five years prior. I thought I was capable of more, and as it turns out, I was right.

    • Michelle says...

      This could have been me writing this! Right down to the six months of crying. I totally get it —- and bravo to you!!

  72. Katie says...

    I am proud that I shower and get fully “dressed for work” before a Zoom Morning Meeting and lesson with my Kindergarten students each and every day. It has helped create a somewhat normal routine for me, and hopefully it has been a source of comfort to them, to see me — if only on a screen — looking how I’d look at school.

  73. BlueAlma says...

    I’m proud of having a third son after my second son died (stillbirth). It was terrifying, and I’m so glad I did it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i bet that was terrifying. i’m so sorry for your loss. sending kisses to your sweet boys. xo

    • Sarah says...

      So brave. I’m proud of you too.

    • Julee says...

      I’m sorry for your loss. I think you’re awfully brave.

  74. Carly says...

    I am proud to be finishing college with a full-time internship in my major field waiting for me when I graduate. A few years ago, I wrote in my notes app that one of my goals would be to have an internship that would lead to a full-time job by the time I graduate and to have accomplished that feels amazing. I’m a very goal-oriented person but am conscious about making them realistic and not beat myself up if I don’t meet them. My approach is to just try things and stick to them if I like them and move on if I don’t. As a result, I’ve been able to accomplish several things like eating mostly plant-based, trying yoga, swimming laps and reading more, all of which I’m proud of.

  75. Cindy says...

    I learned how to sew my own high-end jeans. I never, ever have to cry in the dressing room again.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, that’s incredible!

    • Katie says...

      I am so impressed! (Do you want to start a business? I’d buy your custom jeans! I’m pretty sure I cry every time.) :-)
      – Katie

  76. Sadie says...

    I bought a fixer-upper and by myself and I’ve replaced flooring, framed out windows, installed a dishwasher, and very poorly caulked a tub. I’m very proud of my little house that honestly, is still quite shitty.

    • macdeck says...

      You’ve framed out windows?! I’d be proud too. Nice work.

    • Sarah says...

      Go girl!!!

    • Janine says...

      “that honestly, is still quite shitty”

      hahah I love it! Congratulations!

    • brittneyb says...

      laughed out loud at this “I’m very proud of my little house that honestly, is still quite shitty.” I find diy home improvement so satisfying. Proud of you for being a homeowner and taking on projects yourself.

  77. Megan says...

    I’m proud of my garden– my flower garden, to be specific. My vegetable garden is straggly, plants too leggy– I’m still learning.

    But my flowers. I have a small rowhouse in Philly with a tiny and steeply sloped front garden and at least once a day I see someone stopping to take photos of them. They’re a jumbled multitude of colors, with something in bloom continually from March to October (planning that was harder than it sounds!). I like to think that, especially during this very difficult spring, my flowers bring my neighbors the same feelings of solace, beauty, and hope that they bring me. When I get complimented on my garden, I say, “Thanks! It’s my pride and joy.” It feels good to say it– though I do get funny looks sometimes.

    • Susan says...

      Haha love your reply to people. I’m also proud of my garden and my son’s elementary school garden I care for. ?

  78. Chrissie says...

    I’ve been a social worker for 17 years and a mom for 13. I’ve never really been anxious before outside of normal “what if I don’t know anyone at the party” type worries. Five years ago or so although that changed and I started having extreme anxiety and panic attacks. It was really getting in the way of my life. Things that were so easy for me before felt debilitating (for example, I started convincing myself that I was going to faint while driving and kill everyone in the car (?!?!) so I wasn’t comfortable driving my clients or my kids! I still did it but It was white knuckling it the whole time.) I was also so distracted by being anxious that I wasn’t as present as I should be at home or at work. It’s been getting better over the years through medication and lifestyle changes. But when the coronavirus struck and people started staying home and I still had to head work (at a residential program for teens in foster care) I started feeling that “I cant do this I cant do this I’m gonna die I’m gonna die” feeling creeping back. I’m proud of myself because I’ve been scared but I’ve been showing up. And not only showing up but doing a good job. I’ve been a comfort to others when they’ve been the anxious ones. I’ve been the one to go to the grocery story when families haven’t had the resources or have been scared. I’ve been brave, which I’ve never really considered myself before, and I’m proud of that.

  79. E says...

    This is really great. I spent a long time reading through the comments this morning.

    I’ve spent the last 7 years making decisions to support my husband chasing his dream. We fought through years of working 80 hour weeks, so much rejection, and my own cancer diagnosis and treatment a few years ago. I would do it again…he landed his dream job last year and he’s so happy (and I am SO happy for him!!), but reaching that milestone threw me for a tailspin. I realized how much I have put off exploring my own passions and desires.

    After years of knowing what I want to do deep down, but being scared to take the next step and unwilling to voice it, I said out loud that I want to go back to school to pursue a career that sets my soul on fire three days ago. Unsurprisingly, my husband was incredibly supportive and jumped into action to help me make plans and figure out how we were going to make it work. I have a long ways to go until I reach my goal, but I am DAMN PROUD of finally being willing to say what I want and prioritizing my happiness. My dreams are worth fighting for, too!

    • Dana says...

      You go, girl! I’m proud of you, too.

  80. hali says...

    I needed to read this, Caroline! What a shift in perspective!! My husband is perma-chuffed with himself. I’ll look at it differently now, in fact I look forward to the next occasion he pats himself quietly on the back.

    I’m proud of my funky personality. I’m a “hard” person. I’m sweet as hell but righteous about every little thing. Growing up, my mom and sisters called me “hard” all the time, like they were on eggshells around me, and I came to resent myself for it. An INFJ, all I could see in myself is how judgmental I was, how scary I must seem to friends and family, how friends might prefer not to be around me because I bristle when people I love slack off about one thing or another.

    I’ve learned in the past decade that my “hard” exterior is actually proof of how much I care. I’m not judgmental in a bad way, I’m hugely empathetic and optimistic, I just care a lot about what I care about. The other day I started berating myself for reacting so emotionally about a thing a family member did. An uncle scheduled the removal of an iconic and beautiful tree in front of my late grandma’s house because it was easier than re-constructing a porch post that the tree had compromised. I asked my husband why I always get so concerned about things that aren’t huge deals. It’s not an old tree, it’s a bougainvillea. Get a grip, calm down, let it go, I told myself. I’m always “that girl” who makes a stink.

    He looked at me and said “but we need you to be this way, we love you for being this way.” And I saw my own value!! Sure, I’m a little passionate. But I always come from a good place, and I’m proud of that. I always want what’s best for others, and I’m proud of that! My friends know I’d move mountains to come to their aid, to make their days, to encourage them, but they sure as hell need to be staying home and behaving responsibly or I’ll give them a piece of my mind. (Especially now, as pandemic caution fatigue sets in.) My entire job relies on my ability to relay messages about what’s important for our company in a passionate, empathetic, productive way. I don’t think I could do it if I didn’t have this funky personality.

    The beautiful boug tree stayed, btw. A new post is getting made instead by the neighbor, a contractor who agree with me about the tree!

    Not proud of how long winded this comment is.

    • Ana D says...

      I loved every word of your post except the last sentence. You fascinated me and shared truths and experience I had never considered or known.

    • Sarah says...

      I LOVED the length of your comment! The long ones are always so meaningful! Never be ashamed of the length of your writing!

    • Oh Hali, I LOVE this! As a fellow INFJ, I must be cut from the same cloth!

      It took me years to realize I get angry and worked up because it comes from a place of love. I am a huge softie (my husband and I call ourselves ‘cheeseballs’), but I’m also incredibly passionate, optimistic and kind – truly all the things. I’m proud that I advocate for what I believe in – that it comes from a place of love. And even though it took me years to embrace all the feels, I wouldn’t trade my soft heart AND my willingness to say the hard stuff for anything.

  81. Ellen says...

    I loved Untamed and this piece. I’m proud of talking about my feelings every day, drawing a decent picture of Granpere (from Daniel Tiger) for my daughter, and eating a salad for lunch. And you can bet I say all of this in front of my daughter!

  82. Lisa says...

    I’ve had a rubbish time at work for a few months, feeling very unappreciated and taken for granted. For over a year I was working on my own, and the scope of my role was massive. My line manager is in a different country, so I rarely speak to her. I was up for promotion, but didn’t get it. I then asked to reduce my days and was told no.
    For the last six months I’ve been doing a project on my own, and all I’ve had from my line manager on it is criticism – why haven’t you done this, why not that? (There’s a very strong culture at my firm to challenge everything, sometimes without thinking it seems). Last week I sent over one part of the project to a new colleague who’s joined (my LM wants her to issue assure it) and she said “but this is amazing work. What Lisa has done here is really incredible. I don’t have any comments on it” and it struck me – it is. I have done a whole project on my own, under very difficult conditions. It’s the type of work that normally a whole team would do. So yes, I’m very proud of myself.

  83. AS says...

    I just ended my first ever relationship this past weekend (I technically initiated the breakup, but it was because he was always a little hesitant about whether he liked me enough – although we had a really great thing going, when push came to shove he decided that it wasn’t worth fighting for and I eventually got tired of that). And although the first few days have been full of sadness and some regret, it’s honestly made me realize how great *I* am. A lot of the best parts about us were things that, honestly, came from me – in particular, I realized pretty quickly that one thing I absolutely will not compromise on in a relationship is good communication. And although he’s inclined to be a closed book, he actually was receptive to that – we DID have great honesty with and open-mindedness towards one another, and shared our differences and worries and feelings in a way that felt really authentic and always, until the end, brought us closer together. It didn’t work out, but I’ve been surprised at how much I’m taking away about my strengths and my worth. Even though he didn’t like me enough, somehow in spite of that I’ve come out of this relationship feeling more beautiful and intelligent and funny and awesome than ever. That’s helped a lot.

    • Cheryl says...

      Several months ago I was in almost exactly the same situation. I’m proud of you too!

    • B says...

      Proud of you! I did this last year in my first ever long term relationship. It’s not easy, especially if you are a late bloomer in dating like I was. But it’s worth it. Even if my partner wasn’t a bad person, I felt like I lost pieces of myself when the person that I loved was never sure of me.

  84. kaitlin says...

    I overexercised and underate for years, eventually causing me to develop hypothalamic amenorrhea (loss of my menstrual cycle). Last summer, after doing lots of testing, meeting with reproductive specialists, and research, I intentionally stopped exercise and gained 10lbs. It was uncomfortable as hell, both physically and emotionally, but my body responded beautifully and my period returned within one month. I’m now 7 months pregnant with my first baby :) I feel proud of myself that I trusted the process and relinquished control, allowing my body to gain the weight she needed, and I’m proud of myself now for continuing to nourish myself and my baby through pregnancy and beyond. I have such a positive relationship with my body now, and I’ve honestly never felt more beautiful or in tune with my needs.

    • Sadie says...

      So beautiful, I’ve been there. Congratulations on your healthy body and baby.

  85. Katharine says...

    I’m proud of myself for acknowledging that I have a problematic relationship with drinking. Looking back, I see that it is rooted in coping with trauma and I’m even somehow proud of my vulnerable, younger self for attempting to find something that would make me feel more secure. I’m proud of the trust I’ve built with my partner which allows me to sense their concern and accept it as a sign of love rather than a signal of abandonment. I’m proud to be able to talk about this at all.

    • Ella says...

      I resonate with this so much, not necessarily about the alcohol specifically but with trying to find something that will provide security while dealing with trauma. Lord knows I have gone through that myself 10 times over, with varying levels of those coping mechanisms’ ability to do more damage than healing. I am very, very proud of you.

  86. Sara says...

    First, this post made me cry. Not sure in this moment if they are happy tears, relief these words are out in the open tears…it is hard to suss out the reasons for some of my tears these days. Whatever the reason, this post resonated with me because I’m forgetting to be proud at the end of each day lately, all of which are ranging from being really f-ing hard, to kinda hard.

    BUT, I know it is in me to have and show some pride, because when I’m at work (in person style), my boss knows that I like to be acknowledged for completing a task. We have a running joke, that I like pats on the back, even if I have to do the patting myself. So she knows when she hears me talking to myself in my cube “pat, pat” that I’m celebrating myself, and sometimes comes over to help me enjoy my small success of the moment.

  87. Laura says...

    I am proud of getting accepted to and full-funding offers from multiple PhD programs…and I’m proud of putting all that on hold to move back home (made it right before the pandemic) to care for my father, who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. I’ve made so many big, scary, and hard decisions in the past year. I know there are more to come, but being proud of what I’ve done already helps me feel more prepared for what’s coming.

  88. Laura says...

    i’m a criminal prosecutor. i dreamed of having this career as a kid, and my mom is a criminal prosecutor too. sometimes, my job is very, very hard and it can be very, very sad.

    but sometimes, i drive home from work and think ‘you’re doing it!’. and i can hardly believe it’s true. both my parents are lawyers – to follow in their footsteps is the pride of my life.

    • Tovah says...

      Hell, yes. Daughter of a career prosecutor and former DA here. It is such a tough job but you sound amazing.

  89. MJ says...

    Moving abroad by myself for a couple of years. Performing standup comedy. Living in a HCOL city and somehow making it all work.

  90. As a coach, the “what are you proud of” question is so helpful and powerful at helping women build a deeper sense of of self-worth without being boastful or bombastic.

    Learning to love, acknowledge and appreciate yourself is like learning a new language- sometimes awkward but totally awesome and useful

  91. Georgia says...

    After spending the past 30 years in the same job (unbelievably I’m not retirement age), I decided to apply for another job, because I thought it would be a good idea to brush up on interviewing skills since my employer is now 70 and my job depends on his job. I was extremely nervous before that interview as I haven’t interviewed for a job in the past 30 years, but since I was going mostly for the experience, I psyched myself into making it fun for myself and the four people who conducted the interview. To my shock and pure Joy, that’s what happened. We all had a great time (they told me so), and I scored a second interview — being one of only three applicants to do so. Ultimately I didn’t get that job, but I was joyful for days after that. I put myself in a situation that was beyond uncomfortable for me and was rewarded for doing so. It was fun, and I was proud of myself, even though I’ve always been taught that pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

    • Abigail says...

      I love this comment! As someone who’s deeply uncomfortable interviewing for positions, I understand. I’d love to know about any specific ways you tried to make your interview fun. And, well done!

    • Georgia says...

      Hi Abigail:

      I read a slew of “success” quotes, took some advice I heard somewhere along the way and randomly and repeatedly struck the “power stance” days before the interview (think Super Girl), and right before heading out for each interview I watched this Meghan Trainer video over and over. Dance girl dance, or jump in place while listening to any music that inspires you before going to an interview. It’s inspiring and energizing. As that Meghan Trainer song says: ~ show the world you got that fire … show the world what you can do, prove to them you got the moves! ~

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkCyfBibIbI

    • Georgia says...

      Apologies to Meghan Trainor (for misspelling her last name)!

    • Abigail says...

      Like you, I need to come out of interviews knowing I gave it my best shot, regardless of the outcome. You’re the kindest for responding, and I’ll take your wisdom to heart!

  92. Rebecca B says...

    This is a fantastic piece — I love reading your work, Caroline. Thanks for broaching this topic, especially right now, when it is easy to feel down about things not going perfectly.

    I have been on a break from work for almost a year now, after relocating with my family across the country. After 14 years of working long hours as a corporate attorney, this shift has challenged my self esteem. Who am I if not a “serious” lawyer tackling “serious” issues for “serious” clients? It’s been hard finding areas in which to feel proud when so much about my life is new to me.

    But here it goes: I am proud that I am trying as hard as I can to give my little one “deep” attention while also supporting my older child through distance learning. I am proud I’ve been cooking healthy (enough) meals for my family, even if the food comes out overcooked or bland. And I’m proud that I am slowly expanding my definition of “success.”

  93. Lucy says...

    I have realized during this stay at home period that I am proud of my parenting. I am a working mom and never thought I could be home with my six year-old twins because I didn’t think I had the patience. But I’ve enjoyed teaching them and being with them all day. The primary thing I’m proud of is that they express concern about others. They have become pen pals with our elderly neighbor, ask to call my 98 year old grandmother and my parents often, and paint rainbow rocks and art to put in a basket outside our house for neighbors walking by.

    • Lucia Cerchie says...

      How wonderful! You and they are doing such a good job.

  94. Sherri says...

    I’m proud that my little sister just won her third Pulitzer Prize!

    • Holy cow! That’s amazing!!!!!

  95. Clare says...

    Great post. More of this please.

  96. Elly says...

    I’m most proud of having gotten my Master’s degree without accruing any debt. It took 3 years, 3x longer than it would’ve taken if I’d done it full-time and taken out the loans, but being debt-free in an uncertain world is worth its weight in gold. I feel like Tess McGill from Working Girl — “took me 5 years of night school, but I got my degree and I got it with honors!”

  97. Mona K Poinsett says...

    I have been an avid lover of food and photography for a long time. For over a decade I had been considering starting a blog or food account on Instagram but I was absolutely petrified of putting myself out there. Even looking in from the outside, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t pull the trigger and just do it. What on earth would I lose? I simply couldn’t articulate a reason other than fear. I finally just did it last month (revolvingtable on IG) and I’m proud of myself for pulling the trigger. I’m proud of myself for continuing to post several times a week and pushing myself to use my camera. I’m horrified that I’ve waited so long to share the food and photography that I’m proud of. I’m currently evaluating other areas of my life where I’ve sold myself short…

  98. CR says...

    I see this pop up in so many different ways. One of the most apparent ways is in blame. When something doesn’t work (a recipe doesn’t turn out, a piece of technology isn’t working, anything really), my gut reaction is to think “what did I do wrong.” My boyfriend’s first reaction is to think that item, piece of technology, recipe, etc. has some sort of inherent issue. There are faults to both of these ways of thinking and both should have their limits, but it was so fascinating for me to see someone not automatically assume they were at fault when everyday things went wrong. It has made me take a step back sometimes and think, “You know what, I did everything right this time” and troubleshoot what else may have happened.

  99. Chalen says...

    I am a 32 year old single woman. For years, I said to myself ‘one day I will meet a partner who owns a home and I will move into it and decorate it to my likings ;)’ Then around January of 2020 I had an epiphany that I didn’t need a man to buy me a house. I could buy one for myself. So I did. I closed and moved into my new home just a week before the pandemic took its roots in Colorado and I am so very happy here! I am the first female in my family’s history to buy herself a house, and for that I am so so proud of myself!

    • Amber says...

      Sending you so many claps! You are rightly proud of yourself and I wish you a wonderful life in your new home :-)

    • siobhan says...

      I just realized that I am the first female in my family’s history to buy herself a home. I’d have never thought of it that way until I read your comment and now I am proud of myself too. Congratulations to you and thank you!

    • Amy says...

      You go girl!!

    • Katie says...

      Congratulations!!! I hope you have enjoyed this season of nesting!!! xo

    • Sarah says...

      Love this Chalen! I just realized I’m the first female in my family to buy a home as well! What a fun “club” that we are all now apart of :) Congratulations and enjoy home ownership, it’s actually pretty great!

  100. kath says...

    thank you for this thoughtful and wise post. i needed it! i am so focused on being humble, on not seeming to take myself so seriously, that i miss out on celebrating my accomplishments. there are so many things that i have done or do that i would applaud in a friend but i deprive myself of that pride. something i want to work on and that i want NOT to pass on to my two young daughters. thank you for this reminder.

  101. jan says...

    This is just the difference between men and women. The ingrained oppression in it’s fully illuminated glory; “the part where I had been conditioned to gloss over my own accomplishments.” So very well depicted here for women AND men to recognize via this gentle essay.

    All women particularly can learn how to take back their own -healthy- sense of pride in a humble way. It is vital that we do this for ourselves and for each other especially because we need to be supported in it and most men are not going to be first in line to support us though truly, more and more men’s eyes are opening to this type of recognition. Bless you for writing this!

  102. EJ says...

    I am very uncomfortable with pride, or feeling like I’m “bragging” or “showing off” by talking about my accomplishments or even things I did well. And I’m a millennial raised by parents who thought I was a precious special snowflake, so I’m not sure what went wrong! Anyway.. I got a new job over the summer, one I worked really hard to get that was definitely way above my level and as soon as I got the official “You’re Hired” email, I jotted down a long, stream-of-consciousness note in my phone to capture exactly how I was feeling at that moment: elated, apprehensive, determined and so so goddamn proud. I don’t go back and reread it often (it kind of makes me cringe! so self-congratulatory!) but just knowing it’s there as a memento to how truly proud I can be of myself is enough.

  103. Beez says...

    Hey, congrats Erin M! That’s a wonderful accomplishment. I totally understand the guilt you are feeling about this, but what’s going on in the world right now doesn’t diminish or erase the hard work you’ve done in the past. You still deserve this!

  104. Karen says...

    I have a dear friend, a fellow artist in nyc and for close to a decade now we have been doing weekly check ins with one another where we write some bullet points that summarize the week that passed and our goals/intentions for the coming week. The first category in reviewing the week past is: “wins”. And honestly, to have to write down my “wins” for the past week each week has made a huge difference for me. I am forced to actively search for my accomplishments and commend myself for them— and it really allows me to see my progress, and to bolster my confidence in continuing forward… which means a lot especially when freelancing in that arts, where external markers of validation come few and far between. So that’s my letter of recommendation for cataloguing your wins— and even better with a friend!!

    • jan says...

      I love this idea! I will add it to my gratitude journal, which has been keeping me centered lately!

  105. Elizabeth says...

    At age 30, I told my husband that I wanted to retire at 40, take a round-the-world trip, then buy a farm. Despite never making more than $40K a year, we did just that, and we did it entirely on our own. Now eighteen months into our small homestead adventure, I am so proud that I managed our finances well enough to allow us to live the life we wanted. I spend my days growing food and raising animals on my own land, and couldn’t be more proud of the financial decisions I’ve made that allowed me to get here.

    • Wow, that’s amazing!!

    • jan says...

      ooo would you consider blogging how you started on that amount of money and how you made it happen and how it goes now? I would love to read that and learn!

    • Kari says...

      Wow sounds like the dream!!

    • Clare says...

      You need a blog! I want to follow this story!

    • Reba says...

      I want to maybe do one of those three things–and even *I*, a stranger on the internet with totally different life goals, am proud of you: setting goals, making things happen. Would love to hear more about your adventures!

    • Amanda W. says...

      So, so awesome! Would love to read your story! I dream about early retirement, and homesteading on a small farm. My husband and I are frugal, but it still seems like such a pipe dream.

    • Kristen Waas says...

      Elizabeth! Please share more, this is such an amazing story and a great accomplishment. I’m proud of you.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Dear friends, thank you for your kind comments; I so adore this community. I’m over at findingquietfarm.com if you’d like to connect. I don’t discuss money there, because it’s not the focus, but I will talk personal finance and early retirement all day long with anyone who’s interested. I like discussing money in an open, non-judgmental, constructive manner and I wish it were more socially acceptable to do so. Wishing all of you calm and health.

    • Wow!! I love that you followed your dream and made it happen :)

  106. Ashley says...

    I am so so happy so many women in the world are reading Glennon’s book. It has been one of those “turning point” books for me — I love it & recommend it to every single woman I know.

    I’m proud that I haven’t killed my sourdough starter yet!

  107. Lynn McKoy says...

    My sister killed herself 26 days ago. She suffered from schizophrenia. We never talked about mental illness in our family, even after I attempted suicide, we STILL never talked about it. I am proud of myself for seeking help and talking about mental health with my now 22 year old daughter. I encourage conversations and getting therapy. It has become as normal as talking about the common cold. I am proud of myself for breaking the cycle of acting as though mental illness does not exist because we can’t see it on an x ray. My sister’s name was Jackie and she was AMAZING!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry for your devastating loss, lynn. you sound like an amazing mother and sister. xo

    • Andrea says...

      My condolences, Lynn. Schizophrenia is a terrible disease and it affects everyone around the person who has it. I am sorry that your sister suffered so much that she took her own life. I am also sorry for the pain those who loved her have had to endure because of it.

    • Keeley says...

      Hi Lynn. Please tell us more about amazing Jackie! (If that sounds like something you’d like to do, of course.) Sending thoughts and love.

    • Abigail says...

      I have no doubt Jackie was an amazing person. And you come across as a force of a woman and mother. Big hugs to you and your family. And, I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Jen says...

      My sister had schizoaffective disorder and killed herself when she was 21. It was 5 years ago. She too had many previous attempts and we knew it was likely she would complete one day.

    • Sadie says...

      Rest easy, Jackie. xx

    • lynn mckoy says...

      Thank you all so much for your encouraging words. Her death consumes my thoughts some days. I say to myself “my sister died”. It is still a hard reality.
      She was my big sister. I was her only little sister. I wear that title like a badge of honor. Jackie lit up a room. She walked me to school, my entire 4th grade year, because of a bully. She gave me my first haircut (it went terribly wrong). She had an infectious laugh and she loved Michael Jackson. Thank you all again for allowing me to release what was on my heart. I am so thankful for this platform and for its subscribers.
      xo – lynn, Jackie’s little sister

  108. Chris says...

    i’m proud of myself for getting up before 9am or later today. since the quarantine, i have been feeling less and less like getting up and facing another day of it.

    • Care says...

      I am proud of you too! Keep going <3

  109. Melissa Rosso says...

    Each day I am proud that I continue to show up at work to heal and provide encouragement to my patients, I’m proud that I put on my mask to brave the grocery store each week and put food on the table for my family (cereal for dinner counts!). I’m proud that when I do lose my $h!t, I recognize it (most of the time) and can step back and utilize my new skill of the 2x breath (thank you #ZIVA meditation).

  110. Sharon says...

    Another article well worth reading…I so enjoy your writing!

    I am very proud of the way my sons have turned out…they are 45 and 42. The older one has 2 children, one with special needs. He is such a terrific father…I take a bit of pride in thinking some of that is due to me. My younger son has no children by choice, but he has been married for 16 years and they have gone through hard times and come out the other side.

    I always thought their father was equally involved in their lives, but after we divorced, I realized that wasn’t exactly the case…so I am even more proud of the part I played!

  111. Erin M says...

    I got a huge raise at work last week and I’m damn proud of it. I worked my butt off for it and it feels good to be recognized. That being said, this is the absolute worst time to mention anything of the sort as so many are losing their jobs/earning no income/dealing with their crippling anxiety about their future. Inwardly, I’m proud but I also feel SO guilty about it.

    • Jessica says...

      Great job, Erin! Please don’t let guilt diminish your accomplishment. You did it and you are awesome.

    • Kerry says...

      Congratulations! And on the contrary, when I was on covid19 furlough from my job, I took such pride in my friends and family all keeping their jobs and doing good work through it all. It made me happy and proud of them. So I am happy for you, too.

      I’m back at work now and I tell myself, “Good job” every single day.

  112. Lucia says...

    I didn’t hear “I’m proud of you,” a whole lot while I was growing up. Two months ago my first child and I worked hard together all night in labor. The first thing I said to her when they laid her on my chest was “I’m so proud of you!” And I keep telling her that, every day. When she handles doctor appointments, when she does tummy time, when she grabs her fluffy toy, I tell her I’m proud of her. And personally, I’m proud of my own commitment to telling her that.

    • Masa says...

      You are such a good mum. As a mom of 4 (mostly teenagers now) can I say: I am also so proud of you!

    • Lucy says...

      Great reminder, Lucia. I could say that more to my girls. Keep up the good work, mama!

    • Kara says...

      This brought me to tears!

  113. Bren says...

    I am currently teaching my son to read using the book “Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons” and every day we sit and spend 20 minutes on a lesson…its the best book ever! It’s fool proof. But its actually working, and I can’t believe it! Yesterday he read the first sentence of the story without flinching, and I cried! I just can’t believe that I’m the one teaching him…and it’s working! I should mention that I’m not a teacher but in this new normal, I have been determined to make this the one thing we try to do. If we stay in pajamas and don’t brush our teeth all day, my son just read the sentence “The little ant sat on a log!” and for that, I am so proud!

    • Kelly says...

      Yes best book ever! I learned to read with my mom using that book and I’m using it to teach my daughter now ❤️

    • jan says...

      Teaching him to read will be one of the greatest gifts you will give him. Be sure to follow through in the next years with regular bedtime stories that are beyond his skill set because it will encourage him to read further on his own. As soon as I learned to read I literally never stopped. I was fortunate to have a subscription to the Golden Books series for very young children, then every series ever in increasing skill levels. And I love a good series to this day!

    • kath says...

      oh i have to do this. thanks for the suggestion!

  114. Lucia says...

    Our garbage disposal hose was clogged, and I fixed it! I am so proud.

  115. Izzy says...

    I’m proud fulfilling my dream of moving to NYC all by myself :)

  116. This is so real. I think it’s also a lesson passed down from our moms, especially as young women. In my particular case, my mom is French and she always told me growing up that no one ever congratulated you for doing things you were expected to do. She actually struggled to see the value of my graduation from an IVY league school. The graduation itself with all its pomp and circumstance confused her. She is of the mind that if you are privileged enough to attend such a school you better graduate and then go on to pursue further education. Such an interesting cultural outlook on pride. I’m caught in between French and American views on pride. I think much of growing into a women is I learning things that were once taught to you on a daily basis and for me, that includes unlearning the act of glossing over my daily victories.

    • Rose says...

      Sorry for the typos in my last sentence:

      “I think much of growing into a woman is in unlearning things that were once taught to you on a daily basis…”

    • Emily L says...

      My family was similar – I feel like so much of what I do it to make my parents proud enough to say it (and I’m 35…still wanting that validation).

  117. Olivia says...

    I’m proud that this week we were able to eat some food I grew from seed! (And I’m forcefully refraining from adding a host of caveats to that.)

  118. Rachel says...

    Thank you for writing this! What a refreshing thought to pivot our minds to right now… what are we proud of? I am proud of myself for gracefully navigating two years of fertility struggles and a failed first round of IVF. Sure, I’ve broken down a few times, but I’m proud of that too because I’ve picked myself right back up. Sending love to the CoJ community!

  119. Christina says...

    I’m proud that I’m staying positive during this time of online school. It was very difficult for the first few weeks. I was anxious and critical. My youngest daughter, who is so sensitive, was picking up on this. Her teacher mentioned “failing” (our grades are pass/fail) several times. I stopped getting upset and just became positive and focused on the learning. If we miss an assignment, I say, “we’ll get to it. It will be ok.” I realize that my mood sets the mood of my house. I am also going to try to be more like Caroline’s boyfriend!

  120. Sarah says...

    I quit smoking in 2006. It was a long time ago but I’m still proud of myself (especially because I didn’t start up again while studying for and taking the bar exam in 2007)!

    • Ella says...

      That is a HUGE accomplishment to quit, and to stay off of them, not to mention taking the bar at all?! Superwoman! I am so proud of you!

  121. Sherry says...

    Thank you for this post. I’ve owned a home with my fiance for nearly 20 years, and I have always been puzzled and tbh alittle annoyed with his crowing about his everyday accomplishments, however small. Until I realized that it’s his way of motivating himself and sometimes soothing himself when he’s frustrated with other areas of his life. And it’s made me more aware of taking the time to reinforce his pride rather than cock an eyebrow at it. And it’s really made me aware of how little I crow…about anything. In Harry Potter’s world, I am more like a Hufflepuff when it comes to acknowledging my accomplishments no matter how large or small. But inside, there is a tiny Gryffindor who knows that my accomplishments however large or small are heroic TO ME. Thank you for reminding to use my inside voice more often.

    • Katie H says...

      I loved your Happy Potter reference. :)

    • EB says...

      I love that you framed it in terms of Hogwart’s houses, and I am exactly the same!

  122. Juda says...

    Yesterday I made red radishes into “coronaradish”. It was manual and creative work. I was proud of it as it used to be when I was a child when I finished drawing. Mission accomplished! #coronaradish
    (please don’t judge me ;-)

  123. Thank you for this, and the book rec.
    I am proud of persisting with all the changes I’ve wanted, needed or had to make over the last 20 years. Some have been harder to stick with than others, but the effort and attention have made all the difference. I’m also proud of my microbiz; my students and families bring me so much joy.

  124. Joyce says...

    I’m proud of breastfeeding for 6 months and counting. I considered putting a ton of disclaimers on this like: “it’s okay if you didn’t!!!” But I wonder if all these disclaimers detract from my own power. Can we LET other people be proud of things, even things that elude us?

    • Lou says...

      Oh Joyce, how wonderful. Breastfeeding was my favourite absolutely! I so understand, it’s like a mixture of pride, love, intimacy and nurture. Plus I always felt a little hypnotised.

    • Caitlin says...

      “But I wonder if all these disclaimers detract from my own power. Can we LET other people be proud of things, even things that elude us?” – thank you!!!

      In my original comment I almost said I’m proud of birthing both my babies without medication. I didn’t, because I know birth is such a personal choice and there are so many reasons someone might end up with a different experience than they preferred. But you know what? My birth experiences were just what I hoped and worked for and I AM proud, dammit!

  125. Mary says...

    In late March, at a routine ultrasound, a mass was found in the lung of our baby boy. I am proud of handling this scary medical situation in the midst of a pandemic by choosing to focus on all there is to be grateful for and hopeful about over and over and over again. I am proud of letting myself cry or be scared when I need to. I am proud of choosing to be good to myself, my body where baby currently resides, my daughter, my dog, and my husband by focusing on eating healthfully, sleeping, hydrating, and getting out in the spring weather for walks… because that’s all I can really do.

    • Louise says...

      Dear Mary, how scary. I hope you find comfort in your walks and knowing that you have two hearts beating inside of you. Much love from this corner of the world.

    • Julee says...

      Mary, I’m proud of you for mothering Both of your children, even when you’re worried and scared.
      My heart goes out to you.
      May you continue to be filled with peace hope, and gratitude.

  126. Sarz says...

    Caroline, thank you for speaking to women’s self-esteem! I didn’t identify as a feminist when I was younger, but now? Damn right I think we need to smash the patriarchy, and that requires us to not diminish our own accomplishments. I’m middle-management at a company that staffs many young women. I’m proud of highlighting their accomplishments to my bosses, even when it feels like all the (entirely male) head-office wants to hear is the bad stuff. As essential workers, I’m also proud of my ongoing efforts to obtain them a little extra compensation for the risk they’re taking.