On Pride and Fairness

Tuesday September 18, 2018

Pride is a problem. We get taught that it's wrong to be proud, that you should be modest etc. And yet, pride can be a huge mood booster, it can support your feeling of self-worth.

But I am much better at being critical of myself. Oh boy, I can be so harsh to myself! Even about the simple things. Especially about the simple things.

Usually I work from home. But sometimes I have to go somehwere else, which requires packing. What will I need? Do I have to take my computer? How about extra clothes for rain, cooler evenings etc.? I want to bring everything I need, but I hate carrying stuff that ends up being unnecessary weight. And of course it's quite difficult to tread that line.

Sometimes, I take my computer with me and end up not using it. Silly me! Why did I pack it and make myself carry all that extra weight! I should've known better, says that critical voice in my head. Other times, I decide not to pack it and then I would've needed it. How foolish of me! Of course I might've needed it. I should have planned better.
(For all who know think 'oh, just buy a lighter, smaller computer already' – yep. That would help with that specific problem, but not with all the other decisions about books, clothes, umbrellas, lunches. And anyway, that's just one example of my being super-critical. There are others.)

Some years ago, I noticed this pattern. And I noticed somthing else: I am being terribly unfair to myself! I am noting all the instances when I am doing something 'wrong' (or, rather, not perfectly right – but that is another topic for another blog). But how about all those other days when I actually pack just right? Did I notice them?

Of course I didn't. So I made a project out of that. Whenever I did something right, I noticed it and gave myself a small pat on the back, a little nod. I needed the computer and I had it with me – well done, me. It rained and I had an umbrella? Well done. I remembered the cold air conditioning in the trains and brought a scarf? Smart thinking!
And all that was not being „unduly proud", it was just being fair.

And guess what – the 'well done!'s quickly outnumbered the 'how foolish!'s.

And that made me proud. Proud of all the little things that I do right, every day. It's a pride that builds up, that gets more each day.

How about you? How about all the 'normal' things that you get right?

Care to start a mental list and give yourself a pat on the back for each one of them? You deserve it!

A Moodscope member.

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