Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Pride is an interesting emotion – Aristotle considered it a virtue and yet in most world religions it is considered a sin, too focussed on the self. And it is such a strong emotion - I vividly remember the pride I felt at my son’s first sports day; my daughter’s solo recorder recital, my best friend’s battle with her chemotherapy and at the “standing room only” feel at my mother’s funeral.
The problem is that we can perceive personal pride as vanity and in so doing, not allow ourselves to savour the “unforgettable” nature of it. Without consciously doing so, we dilute the experience and therefore remember it in a very different way.
In the leadership workshops we run at Extensor, we ask participants to consider their “personal best” experience – to think of a time when they took some action or went through a thought process that they knew they performed fantastically well in. They are invited to recall what they did, how they felt, the responses they had, the results that came about. Stories we hear are always inspiring and come from the heart. They come from very different places – from someone running her first 5k race, to another being totally sure of his integrity through a difficult change programme, to a gentleman campaigning to keep his local park open, to a lady who talked of her open behaviour through her divorce. The common theme across all of these stories is the pride exuded by each story-teller. And many are surprised they have been able to articulate it, having not spoken about it in those terms before – as we so often suppress our personal pride for fear of being perceived as arrogant or vain.
So let’s have a proud time this month. List for yourself the times when you were at your absolute best and think about what you did and how you felt. In so doing, you create the opportunity to do it again and recreate that feeling. Most importantly, when you are proud of yourself, you need to “wear it”, to project it and talk about it. You will then be open to new situations when you can again have that feeling of pride.
As Lady Gaga says in the explanation about her song “Born This Way” – it is about being yourself, loving who you are – and being proud.
Posted by Editor at 5:09 pm