Being proud of what you do can save you a lot of energy and stress over a lifetime. I feel as though no one should spend time doing anything they cannot do so proudly. In order to do that though, it takes more practice and determination than what it sounds like at first. When you decide that you are going to do something and set a goal and a plan to get it accomplished, there will be more distractions that have never presented themselves to you.
Proud: Feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or credible to oneself
Now it would seem that being proud of what you do or what you stand for would be fairly simple; But that’s not always the case. The first thing that you have to find out is who you are. Find out what your passion is and what it is that you do! If you have to write out a list and number them in order of importance, then do that. Let your number one God. Christ should be your center and will hold the rest of the priorities in place. That is where the necessary balance will take place, because there is a very thin line between being proud and being arrogant. Humility is a must. One thing that I have always been taught, is that you can humble yourself by giving glory and honor where it is due, instead of wanting all the credit for oneself. Or instead, you can enjoy a pedestal seat until your own ego and reputation outgrows your character. When that happens, humiliation is around the corner, and it will be especially difficult to accept correction and change. Humility can be learned anytime, but the sooner the better. Learning a lesson can be an inconvenience if you’re a slow learner.
Learn to deal with being different. If you have a knack for cars, working with your hands and enjoy fixing things, you may make a great mechanic. That may sound silly, and because of that silliness, someone will deny themselves a life that they would really enjoy. Why? Because “No one wants to be known as a lackluster mechanic.” That’s an opinion that someone who is not in your shoes may have… And if someone is not in your shoes, do not let them dictate where or how you walk. Everyone is different. If your different is a bit more different than your peers, that only means you have a larger area to grow, less congestion, job security or whatever you want to call it. This could possibly be the hardest part of learning to be proud of yourself though; being different. Everyone will have an opinion on what you should do, how you should do it, where, and why you should do whatever it is you decide to do. At the end of the day, your vision will have done a complete 180 degree turn from what you had in mind when you started. If fixing cars does not work for you, let it be because you found out that it wasn’t what you thought it was. Try it. Experience it. Never let it be because you were convinced that it was not a good idea before you even attempt it. If you are convinced that it wasn’t the best choice before you try it, at least let it be because to talked to another mechanic. A dentist can’t a provide you with the proper information you need for the life you are trying to live as a mechanic— which leads me to my next point:
Surround yourself with likeminded people, doing what you are doing, and going where you are going. It’s easy to lose focus of your goals when you are surrounded by people with different goals. If becoming a mechanic is your goal, but you go to class with aspiring dentists everyday, at the end of the semester, you will be more dentist than mechanic. The bad part about that is, because you did not fully commit to neither, you will in turn be neither dentist nor mechanic. I’m using dentists and mechanics as examples, but you can apply whatever it is that you want to be to the same principles, whether it be a Christian, relationships, careers or whatever.
I’ll give you an example: I was talking to a very cool guy a while ago; older guy, but cool. While discussing family and marriage and all, he told me that the best thing he ever did for his marriage was to get a side-girl. I knew then that, I could not take any marital advice from him. I mean, really?! I think we’ll stick to the sports conversations.
Once you make up your mind what you are going to do and start on that path with likeminded people, you can stand tall against whatever fears you might have faced before. Fear and confidence do not get along together. Without confidence, you can’t be proud of what you do or who you are. You have to get past your fears and self image. If you have a failed attempt, let that failed attempt, be a lesson learned, not a reminder that you failed. Let the failure stay in the past, and bring the lesson learned forward to further your progress. Never let the past scare you into an attempt not to try again. Practice and redo and then practice and redo again.
Once you follow these steps (in whatever order you may), and put in the time, you will be able to stand and be proud of your work. If someone has something in your field better than yours, you won’t feel inadequate, but instead will set a new goal since you are already learning and growing. The feeling of inadequacy only comes when you have not done what you know you can to excel. I am convinced that if find your gift and purpose in life and wholeheartedly put in the necessary, you will accomplish what you set out to do.
- Keep God first
- Find yourself
- Find people like yourself
- Deny fear and failure
- Be proud! Announce yourself as what you do, not what you are. Speak it as though it is; until it is. BE PROUD!