Proud or Humble?

It takes a lot for me to be proud of myself. I think a lot of this stems from my not wanting to be conceited or think too highly of myself, but I realize that there are times when I deserve to think highly of myself and I either don’t or it takes some time to convince myself that it’s okay. A couple examples:

My Master’s Degree Presentation

Last year, I did a presentation of the research I did for my master’s degree. That in itself is a big deal, when I think about it, but master’s degrees have become so commonplace nowadays that it feels silly to be overly excited about it. I find that pretty sad, but that’s another topic for another day.

I went into the presentation extremely nervous, as I believe is normal. After I presented, my panel of 4 people (my university advisor, my research project mentor, a colleague, and one of my administrators) discussed whether I passed or failed, while I was outside in the hallway. When I reentered the room, my mentor gave me the good news that I had passed. This felt great because I had knocked a pretty big ticket item off my checklist of things to do. Then, while she congratulated me, she told me that my project was one of the best research projects she had ever seen and it was really well done.

My Knee-Jerk Reaction: I immediately decided that she must not have seen very many projects and was easily impressed.

Above and Beyond Award

Yesterday, I received an email that I had been nominated for the “Above and Beyond Award”. As the email stated, “The Above and Beyond Awards recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond his/her position requirements to improve the educational outcomes, including social, vocational and life skills impacting students with disabilities.” While the email said I did not win the award, it made clear to thank me for the work I had done that led to the nomination and it invited me to a ceremony that they are having next week.

My Knee-Jerk Reaction: I automatically decided that a lot of people must get nominated for this award and it wasn’t a big deal. I decided that it must be easy to get a nomination, because I did not feel like I’ve been doing a great job, let alone going above and beyond.

I like who I am and while I know I have room for improvement, I think my accomplishments are pretty good. I know I have a lot to be proud of. But why do I feel like I need permission to feel proud of myself? Is there a way to tell other people about your accomplishments that does not come off as bragging? And if not, is bragging really such a bad thing if it’s deserved? How can you be proud of yourself publicly without coming off as superior?

I am very lucky that I have people in my life who celebrate my accomplishments and are proud of me even when I don’t feel like I have permission to be proud of myself. Hopefully someday I will get there. If you are one of my people, thank you. I appreciate you more than I can express ❤

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