Is there a difference between being proud of something and being prideful?
Is proud, as in the satisfaction of achievement, the same as pride, the excessively high opinion of oneself?
Is it okay to be proud of finishing college and proud when your football team wins or is that just another form of boasting?
It’s worth noting, that the Bible, one of the oldest and most popular books in the world, has no reference where the word pride is used in a positive light. That in fact, any sort of reference to pride always leads to destruction.
That’s not to say the feeling of accomplishment or fulfillment is wrong when we see a child take their first step.
The question is, What are we doing with it?
One shift we can make is to adopt a new posture of meekness. As we do so, a whole bunch of things begins to open up.
That the non-profit you started doesn’t have to be measured in widespread social impact to have made a difference. The teacher in a classroom full of students doesn’t need to look at the grades at the end of the year to see impact…
Because you didn’t change them.
They changed you.
As a result, you don’t need to judge your work by the number of hits/likes/lives impacted. You merely write a song, paint a picture, write a blog, serve someone in the community…for the opportunity to transform your status-quo (not to raise your status).
Next time, someone gives you a compliment for a job well done, try turning around and saying “No, thank you. You changed me.” or “I’m glad that you are well pleased.”
Try it. It’s a subtle art form. Being thankful without inhaling can change how we view everything we produce. It frees us from seeking credit and reassurance. It frees us from attachment.
[It’s also worth pointing out that the antonym of pride is shame. Brene Brown has described shame as this broken record in our head stuck on the two phrases “You’re not good enough” and “Who do you think you are?” It’s fitting. On the one hand, pride builds us up while shame tears us down. It’s everywhere once you begin to see it.]