Do you feel proud of yourself enough? Do you ever? If you don’t, it’s time to start feeling it more. You can and you should.
In this episode, I’m talking about the importance of feeling proud of yourself, why you might not feel it more than you are, and how you can. Listen in to find out how.
Hi! Today I want to talk with you about feeing proud of yourself.
I think this is one of the most helpful feelings for you to feel as you’re working on stopping binge eating and any goal you want to achieve.
It’s also a feeling that feels so good to feel and who doesn’t want to feel good feeling feelings?
So it’s interesting that so many people don’t choose to feel it when they can.
And I can think of two main reasons why that may be.
One, is that they think they don’t deserve to feel it.
The second is that they’re waiting for someone else to make them feel proud.
So I’m going to talk about both of those reasons but first, why is it helpful to feel proud of yourself?
Well, like I said, it feels good to feel proud of yourself. You feel deep pleasure and satisfaction with yourself.
And when you’re feeling that way about yourself, you’re going to be way less likely to want to escape yourself.
That desire to escape is much more likely to appear when you’re feeling low in self-worth, self-esteem, or confidence, or are feeling some kind of negative emotion.
So when you’re feeling proud of yourself, eating a lot of food is probably not going to be on the top of your mind.
Unless of course you’re a celebratory binge eater and you want to eat to keep the good feelings going but really, it doesn’t makes sense to binge because you’re proud of yourself for not bingeing. And, it’s also important to know that you don’t need food in order to keep feeling good. You can feel all the pride you want without eating one bite of food and I’ll talk more on that in a minute.
And here’s another reason why it can be helpful to feel proud of yourself.
It’s great for positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement means you’re getting a reward for something you did and getting that reward will encourage you to do what you did again so you can get the reward again.
And this has been shown to be more effective than punishing, which I see far too many people use when they’re trying to change their behavior.
They berate themselves, they take things away from themselves, they’re punishing themselves hoping that it will stop them from repeating the behavior.
But it’s not productive. It doesn’t get down to the root of why you did what you did, and why you keep doing it. And it’s also making you feel bad, which isn’t going to drive positive behavior.
But what can drive positive behavior is rewarding yourself for something you think you did well so you’ll have incentive to repeat that behavior again.
Knowing that reward is coming gives you a good reason to do the thing.
You’ve probably done this for yourself before.
But what most people get caught up in is thinking their reward needs to be big.
It has to be new clothes, a massage, a vacation, things like that.
But it doesn’t.
Feeling proud of yourself can be reward enough.
It really can.
Think about why you would want the new clothes, massage, or vacation. Because it would feel good to get them, right?
What you’re really wanting is a feeling.
And you don’t need to buy anything to feel a feeling.
You can just create it for yourself with your thoughts.
That’s why you feel how you feel when you buy those things anyway, because of what you’re thinking when you get them.
Clothes, massages, and vacations make you feel nothing until you have a thought about them. And the thought you think, whether it’s positive or negative, will determine how you feel.
Any thought you think will determine how you feel.
You can save your money and feel proud of yourself all on your own without buying anything if you choose to think proudly.
I did that for myself recently and not only did it feel good, it motivated me to keep going, to put in more effort, and to keep practicing.
I went surfing for the first time ever a few weeks ago.
After all my years living in Southern California, I never learned how to surf yet here I am now, in New Hampshire learning to do it. It’s crazy.
But in my defense, when I lived in LA I was about an hour from the beach and now the closest beach to me is 10 minutes away. The place I went surfing was about 17 minutes from me.
Obviously the waves aren’t as good for surfing here but, they’re better than nothing! And you’d be surprised how many people surf around here. I know I was.
Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect from myself. I’m pretty athletic so I didn’t think I’d be terrible but, this was also brand new.
I started by riding on my stomach, like a boogie board.
Then I progressed to going on my knees, and I made it all the way into the shore without falling off! I was so proud of myself. I felt so good, and I wanted to feel good, feel proud again so I went back out to do it again.
Then once I did it on my knees a bunch of times, I felt comfortable and I wanted to take myself to the next level and stand up.
I went for it, and I did it! And at the end, I fell off, pretty hard on my hip, and it hurt, a lot.
But here’s the thing. I chose to be so proud of myself for standing up and riding the wave, on my feet.
I didn’t choose to not be proud because I fell.
And that’s something I see a lot of people do with their eating too often.
And this is what I mentioned earlier about why people don’t choose pride.
They think they don’t deserve it.
Sure they did something well but, they also failed.
Sure they allowed urges to binge and didn’t binge throughout the day but then they binged at night and they think they have nothing to be proud of.
But of course they do! They deserve to be proud of themselves for not giving in to all of those urges. It was a big deal. It was a job very well done. It was something they achieved. They deserve to be proud of that.
Just like I deserved to be proud of standing up on my board even though my dismount was a complete fail.
I was so proud of myself, and I continued to feel proud for awhile.
And what I didn’t do, was wait for the person I was with to be proud of me before I was.
I didn’t wait for that person to come over and say how proud they were of me for getting all the way up.
As soon as I got over to them, I told them how proud I was of myself. And it felt amazing.
I created that amazing feeling all on my own.
Which comes to that second reason I mentioned before for why people don’t choose to feel proud of themselves.
It’s like they think they need permission to feel it or validation that it’s worthy of being proud of.
But no, you don’t need permission or validation from someone else.
Give it to yourself.
And if no one else tells you how proud they are, it doesn’t matter.
And this is so important for the work you’re doing with stopping binge eating because most of the people in your life probably won’t understand how big of a deal it is for you when you do the small things that will compound into you fully stopping binge eating. They won’t even know to be proud.
And some of you don’t even talk to anyone about it at all so you don’t even give other people an opportunity to be proud of you.
So if you are waiting for other people before you choose to feel proud of yourself, you might not get to feel it.
And it’s so simple to feel it.
All I was thinking to myself in that moment after I stood up was, “I’m so proud of myself.” It was such a simple thought that created an amazing feeling for myself.
Of course I was also thinking about what I did and how I just achieved something that I thought was pretty dang cool and other little thoughts but what kept coming back was, “I’m so proud of myself.”
I felt great, and I wanted to keep that feeling going.
So I figured out why I fell off, and it was pretty obvious to me why, and I decided on a strategy for how I wouldn’t this time.
I gave my hip a rest for a bit, because it really did hurt, and once I felt good to go, I got back on, stood up, and didn’t fall! Instead, I jumped off at the perfect time and landed on my feet, injury-free.
I did exactly what I wanted to do and I was so proud of myself again!
And let me tell you, had I done what I see far too many people do with their eating, and just beat myself up for falling so hard and called myself a failure, I might have given up, not gotten back on, and not done even better the next time.
When you do good things and also have fails, you can either beat yourself up for the fails or be proud of the good things.
You decide what you focus on and if you want to feel encouraged to keep going and get better and achieve your ultimate goal, feeling proud of what you’ve done so far is going to be so incredibly useful.
You’ll feel good about yourself and about what you’re capable of and you’ll be willing to try more so you can achieve more.
That’s what you want to be creating in your mind as you go through this process of stopping binge eating.
Don’t wait until the end, feel proud now. Feel proud of the little things and the big things. It will help you move forward.
You don’t have to wait to feel proud of yourself. Being binge-free isn’t the only thing that’s worthy of being proud of.
There’s so much more.
Choose to be proud of what you’ve done. You deserve to be proud of it and you can be proud even if no one else is or if no one else even knows about it.
And just know that if you ever do want to share anything you’re proud of with me, because you know I’ll understand how amazing it is that you did what you did, feel free to, whether it’s via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram, I’m @stopbingeeatingcoach, or Facebook, same handle or you can search my name and you’ll find my page that’s titled Kirstin Sarfde – Binge Eating Coach.
You don’t need to have someone to be proud with you but I do know it feels good to. That’s why I love having a group program that encourages community and celebration and connection with people who binge eat, and part of why I love being there for people who binge eat. I know how isolating it can be.
So feel proud of yourself.
And you can start right now. Find one thing you’re proud of yourself for with your eating. Find something you did today, anything, even if it seems small. Find something you did yesterday. Find a big thing that you did in the last week or month. Find something.
You have something to be proud of.
Be proud of it.