And if the title has already had you singing along a la Heather Small, I’m with you!  Perhaps like me, you saw Heather guest appearing on Spring Watch last night and whilst it was lovely to watch the creatures and birds featured, what really caught my attention was the interview with Heather and specifically where her inspiration for her numerous hits came from.

When talking about her amazingly uplifting song Proud, what Heather said made me want to jump up to the TV screen and kiss her – hurdling the ironing board like one of the athletes at the London Olympics 2012, who used it as their theme tune to the Games!  Because of this association, you would be forgiven for assuming that it’s these massive displays of success and achievement, like winning a gold medal or smashing a current record, that Heather was alluding to in her lyrics.  However, she spoke last night of it being the smaller, more private internal moments of pride that she was singing about and if there was just 1 person listening that her message resonated with, I’d be so happy.


External validation


As a Coach and Hypnotherapist, I have worked with 100s of clients over the years, on everything from overcoming fears and phobias to improving their confidence and setting up a new business, yet I regularly witness a common factor across them; a need for external validation of their success/happiness/loveability.  In a world where we seem to live our lives in the social media eye, it can be very easy to lose touch with why we’re doing what we’re doing and forget what we love and what makes us feel proud.  There can be a sense of competition/comparison against all the fantastic things that everyone else seems to be doing, whether it’s making their first £10k month, jumping off one of the tallest structures in the world or partying every night of the week with dozens of friends….and coming off feeling rather insignificant or dissatisfied with our lot!

When we attach too much importance on external validation, perhaps the acknowledgement from parents or friends of meeting their expectations of us, or the approval from colleagues for ‘doing things the right way’ at the office, it can be an endless process of tying ourselves into a pretzel to fit everybody else’s view of how things should be and cause undue stress on ourselves.


Our values


However, if we take a moment to think about what WE want for ourselves, what OUR values are and try to live by these each day, we can find we actually deserve a great big gold star and that fizzy internal feeling of pride that puts a big smile on our face!  It’s those times where you do something and think “Yes!  That felt so good!” or “Wow, I didn’t realise I had that in me!”.  Perhaps it’s being a good parent and spending half an hour with our children in the evening playing games, or being a supportive friend and lending an ear (and a shoulder to cry on!) when they’re going through a tough time, or facing a fear and standing up to deliver an elevator pitch at your first networking meeting!

When we acknowledge that we’ve done something well, not only does it make us feel good but it actually triggers a release of the hormone dopamine, which is like receiving a ‘reward shot’ into our systems – and makes us want to do it again!

So, why don’t you take just 5 minutes each day to sit quietly, perhaps with a journal so you can record your thoughts and feelings, and ask yourself “What have I done today to make me feel proud?” – and I promise you’ll start recognising that “Hero inside yourself”!


If any of this has resonated with you, why not get in touch for a free chat to see if I can help you to feel more proud?