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  • Elspeth Robertson

On Feeling Proud of Yourself

Hello blog, it's been a while.


I'm easing into the year trusting the process and setting intentions to rest, chase sunshine and embrace imperfection.

I really connected with writing in 2022. I am still writing 3 stream-of-consciousness pages every morning (Morning Pages). In this process, I have scrawled so many ideas that I want to share with you.


So I am challenging myself by sitting down at my desk, putting on a flow state playlist and committing to the process of writing. I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect.


So often, I have found myself retreating from projects when I don’t know how they will be received. Or spending so much time on something trying to make it perfect that the loveliness has drained out of it. This blog hasn't been active for years because I wasn't sure how to get it right. I have so many ideas and musings that I want to write to you, but showing up is always the first step. Here I am, showing up imperfectly, and that’s ok.


When I thought of what I wanted to write in this first post, I considered how I felt waking up on the first day of 2023.


I felt proud of myself.


I realized everything that I had done for myself as acts of self-love in 2022. I opened a new studio space and reached towards my professional goals.


But this wasn’t the source of my pride. It was walking into my living room and finding it clean. It was eating from a pot of chili I made the day before. It was acknowledging that I went to a big party the night before and didn’t feel out of place once (a truly major accomplishment iykyk).


I was proud of myself for taking care of myself, nourishing my mind, body and soul.


Maybe you can relate to this: when I was in school and doing well academically, I often felt like I was just meeting expectations. Of course I got an A on that test. That’s what I’m supposed to do. I would spend so much time seeking to achieve the top marks and “be the best” that self-care went out the window.


So things like tidying my apartment, cooking for myself, taking time to rest felt really hard.


Then I would get stuck in a shame spiral about these tasks. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t just put the dishes in the dishwasher? I was accomplished, I had my life together! Why was my home a wreck?


It felt so hard to motivate myself to do these tasks. I wasn’t getting the same type of recognition that I would get from high achievement in school.

In Burnout: the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, Emily and Amelia Nagoski describe lack of recognition as a key contributor to burnout.


Growing up within a society that prioritizes achievement and continuous growth, it can be hard to sit down and recognize the small things that you do everyday as worthwhile and meaningful. We have learned that we have to earn our worthiness.


And that’s not true.


You are a worthy being just for being.


When I started conceptualizing caring for myself as an act of self-love, I started releasing myself from the cycle of perfection-seeking and shame-spiraling. I allowed rest and stillness, and slowly I was more and more capable of giving myself recognition for the small things.


Making a pot of chili may seem infinitesimally small. But I was so proud of myself for doing it. For showing up for myself with nourishment and love.


So here's my question for you:


What are the small things that you do on a daily basis that you can give yourself some recognition for?


When you've made your list, come back to this post because I have something for you.

I made a ribbon for you. I’m proud of you!

I drew you a gold star. You did it!

I’m giving you a bouquet of flowers. You deserve good things.


You deserve good things.

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