I struggle to hear the word ‘proud’ without hearing Heather Small and in the past I’ve also struggled to answer this kind of question. Talking about what makes us proud can feel a bit awkward – us Brits aren’t particularly good at celebrating our successes. Modesty, self-deprecation and underplaying our achievements are often a better fit, and we find it much easier to be proud of others – our kids, our partners, our colleagues, our friends. And whilst I’m the first to encourage the successes of others, I know the different it can make to pause and take a bit of time to sing our own praises.
So at this time of year, when work is winding down (although, let’s face it, Christmas brings with it all manner of other ‘work’), and my son’s questioning has gone up a notch (he has taken over as asker of the coaching questions – who am I to stop him from reading?), this question stopped me in my tracks and encouraged me to reflect on a pretty big year. So here goes…
I am proud of taking a giant leap into the unknown, leaving behind a career that I thought I’d be in forever, without any idea of what I was going to do next. It’s not been without its ups and downs, moments of elation and a few tears along the way – but I feel braver and happier for all of it.
I am proud of my learning – from postgraduate studies and podcast discoveries, to figuring out website design and building social media pages, starting a business, learning to say no, trying to ensure self-care comes much higher up my list of things to do, learning about myself and how I can continue to support the development of others. I’ve loved it, and can’t wait to do more next year.
And finally, the big, non-British one, I am proud of myself. I am a mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a coach, a trainer, a consultant, and a former Assistant Headteacher. I am the sum of all of these parts, with a good dose of books, cheesy music, dancing, laughter, baking, and an extensive selection of Sharpies thrown in for good measure.
So now it’s your turn. As we come to the end of 2018, what are 3 things that make you feel proud?