When people are asked to recall the things that they are proud of, not only do they struggle to remember, but they will often list significant results based achievements – I’ve got married, I’ve bought a house, I’ve had children, I’ve built a business that turns over X.
When you’re asked at your mid-year review in a corporate environment, what have you achieved in the last six months? We often stare at the box and panic. Moving on to the more straightforward question of our self-development areas – that box isn’t big enough for all our weaknesses!
I can relate to this.
When I worked in a corporate environment, I used to have to ask one of my closest colleagues and friends to remind me of what I’d done well that year. She would rattle off all the things I’d done, and I’d be surprised at all the fantastic things I’d accomplished and all the effort I’d put in to get there.
Struggling to recall things we’re proud of is incredibly common of high achievers – always focusing on how they could improve, rather than accepting the things they’re doing well.
So what is Pride Journalling, and how will this help you recognise your achievements?
What is Pride Journalling?
- The act of writing down the things we are proud of ourselves for each day – not waiting until the end of the day but writing them down when they happen. Creating a document in the Notes app on my phone is the easiest way to keep track.
- Aim to record 1-2 things each day.
- Start each item with “I am proud of myself for…. ”
The list’s critical thing is to focus on effort or processed based achievements rather than outcome or results based achievements.
Here is an example of what I mean by this:
I am proud of myself for going to yoga this morning even though I was tired, and when my alarm went off, I didn’t want to go.
I am proud of myself for holding a headstand in yoga for the first time.
You can, of course, note down your outcome-based achievements; doing a headstand in yoga is something to be proud of, but it’s vital to remember HOW you got there. You wouldn’t achieve an inversion like that in yoga if you didn’t practice regularly.
Another example could be
I am proud of myself for overcoming my inbox overwhelm and dedicating an hour to answering all my outstanding emails.
I am proud of myself for clearing my inbox. Woohoo! Inbox Zero!
This crucial mindset shift moves you from only celebrating when you’ve achieved a goal and instead focusing on how you got there. Reminding yourself of the hard work you’ve put in helps you keep your persistence and demonstrates willpower.
Will power is one of the toxic beliefs many of my clients hold – “I don’t have any”, they tell me. And it’s just not true. As soon as you tell yourself you don’t have any – your motivation dies. It’s also what I call a “get out of jail” card to give your mind/ego reason to pull you off your course to better yourself.
I want to lose a stone, but I don’t have any willpower to stick to a diet and exercise plan. So, therefore… you don’t.
I’d love to get up at 6 am every morning and practice an hour of yoga and meditation before work. But I struggle to wake up in the morning, and I know I don’t have the willpower to stick to it. So, therefore, there’s no point in even setting my alarm.
By keeping a Pride Journal – when you have that fleeting thought of something you’d like to do, but your ego is telling you that you don’t have the willpower to see it through – you can review your journal and be armed with evidence and arguments to counter this limiting belief.
How can you tell yourself you don’t have willpower when you have a journal filled with examples of when you have demonstrated will and persistence?
One of the critical benefits of Pride Journalling is that it helps to develop self-confidence and belief in your abilities. By assessing each day the things you’ve done well and that you are proud of, you start to cultivate independent self-esteem through self-validation. By validating your hard work and efforts, rather than seeking outside validation, whether from your coach, colleague, boss, friend, or partner, you increase your self-efficiency—the belief in your ability to handle challenges – the belief that you are an effective person.
So I ask you, what are you proud of yourself for?