“Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take.” ~Karen Salmansohn
One of the greatest ironies of being human is that we’re often hardest on ourselves right when we should be most proud.
Let’s say you finally find the courage to start a dream project you’ve fantasized about for as long as you can remember. You push through years of built-up fears, overcome massive internal resistance, and take the leap despite feeling like you’re jumping through a ring of fire, above a pit filled with burning acid.
It’s one of the most terrifying things you’ve ever done. It dredges up all your deepest insecurities, triggers feelings you’d rather stuff down and ignore, and brings you face to face with the most fragile, vulnerable parts of yourself.
The fact that you’re even willing to take this risk is huge. Monumental, really. Just getting on this long, winding path is an accomplishment worth acknowledging and celebrating. Most people avoid it. They do what they’ve always done and remain stuck in discontent, wishing they could know a life less limited.
But you? You’re trying. You’re taking a chance at being who you could be, knowing full well there are no guarantees. You’re a f*cking rockstar. A total badass for giving this a go. But you likely don’t see it that way.
You likely think you’re not doing enough, or doing it fast enough, or doing it well enough for it to count. You might get down on yourself for not learning more quickly, or having a perfectly honed vision and plan from the start.
Instead of giving yourself credit for every inch you move forward, you might beat yourself up for not leaping a mile.
Or maybe you’re not pursuing a dream for the future. Maybe you’re facing a pain from the past.
Let’s say you’re finally leaning into your anxiety or depression instead of numbing your feelings with booze, food, or any other distraction. Perhaps you’re in therapy, even, trying to get to the root of your complex feelings and heal wounds that have festered, untended, for years.
It’s intense, draining work that few can understand because there’s no visible representation of just how deep your pain goes. No way to fully explain how tough it is to face it. No way to show how hard you’re trying, every day, to fight a darkness that seems determined to consume you. So on top of being emotionally exhausted, you quite frequently feel alone.
Just acknowledging the pain…