Five Things I Am Allowed To Be Proud Of

Everyone has a different idea of what success looks like. People around me are constantly telling me what I am, and am not, allowed to be proud of. With all the stress and pressure placed on young adults, it can sometimes be hard to step back, take a breath and give yourself a pat on the back. If you are ever tired, stressed or overwhelmed with something, the smallest task can be daunting; so here is a list of five things that I remind myself I can be proud of, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks.

Showering

At my lowest, there were times when I would treat my body so brutally and not even shower because I believed that I did not deserve to. Since this difficult time, I have begun to use showering as not only a way to smell like coconuts, but also a coping mechanism. When everything starts to get to be too much, I force myself into the shower and try to focus on the feeling of the water hitting my body, which can usually calm me down. Even now, when I am no longer feeling totally incapacitated, there are times when I don’t think I am worth feeling confident, let alone clean. So, when times are tough and I can still manage to hop in the shower, I am proud of myself.

Passing a test

The first university test I took is also the first test I failed, and it was devastating. I was confused because I felt like I was really understanding the material. After studying my butt off, when I got my second test back, and stared at the 53 on the page, I was so happy! I texted my mom, dad and roommate to share the good news. Allowing myself to be proud of this victory has helped me gain confidence and peace of mind. By placing less pressure on myself, I have been able to focus and motivate myself more. Now, five months after I received that big fat F, I am still not doing the best in that class, but nonetheless, I am proud of myself as I have not failed another test yet.

Going to class

Getting up and going to class takes immense amounts of effort even on the best day. My high school report card shared with me the fact that I only went to 21 of my 91 classes (yes, 23%). Clearly, this proves how hard it was for me to get up and go to school each day. Now, when I arrive at my classes, even when I am feeling amazing, I give myself a mental pat on the back because I have conquered something which I deeply struggled with in the past.

Smiling

Unless you are recovering from jaw surgery, smiling might be one of the most innate and easiest things to do, right? I struggle deeply with my mental well-being, and when everything is going to sh*t and you cannot hold it together, smiling at that person who held the door for you can sometimes be the hardest thing. I always try my best to smile at the people I make awkward eye-contact with or the person working at the cafe who makes my coffee. Even though it is just for a second, knowing you're contributing to someone else’s day in a positive way is something that I can be proud about.

Doing Laundry

Regardless if you are going through a particularly hard time in your life or not, I swear laundry is the hardest thing to find the motivation to do, but once it’s done you are hit by a wave of relief. As I already shared, there were many times when I did not have the motivation to wash myself, let alone my clothes. After finally doing my laundry after watching it pile up in the corner of my room, I let the fresh scent of my clean clothes wash over me.

Some may argue that these five things shouldn't be thought twice about. For me, these small feats mean a lot because they remind me of how far I have come. I think something important to remember is that everyone is facing their own struggles and something like showering can impact people in totally different ways. So when you are able to get out of bed, finish your essay, shower, do your laundry, eat, study for your exam, pass your quiz, reply to a text or anything else that seemed like it would be impossible to do, remember you are allowed to be proud of yourself because you are doing the best you can.

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