Pride has been given a bad rap, and it's time to rethink it so we can all feel good about ourselves. It's a normal basic human emotion; that good feeling that we get when we acknowledge how fundamentally good and powerful we are. In our achievement-oriented society, we most often experience it when we've done something we feel good about; but genuine pride reflects a deeper sense of feeling good about who we are at our core. Pride is the opposite feeling to shame.
We've often been taught to stifle our pride, along with many of our other feelings, leading to a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. Some religions teach that pride is a sin, we're bad at our core and need redemption. Sayings like “getting a big head”, “too big for his boots” or “he was a proud man” confuse pride with arrogance. “Pride comes before a fall” makes us wary of acknowledging our pride and instils fear that things will go bad if we feel too good. All these sayings and beliefs are intended to keep you down, stop you feeling good about yourself, and stop you being powerful so that other people don't feel uncomfortable about their insecurity over their own lack of power and pride in themselves.
Don't let other people's insecurities keep you down just so they can avoid feeling bad. You can't have too much pride. Don't confuse pride with arrogance, which reflects an underlying insecurity and a fear of being vulnerable. It's good to feel proud. Children long to hear their parents say “I'm proud of you”, even long into adulthood. Feeling good about ourselves and being affirmed for who we are is a basic human need.
So let's rethink the notion of pride and start feeling good about who we are.