I was at the gym today to do my running on the treadmill. I had some errands in the afternoon that took me near the gym, and that made it easy to go inside to run where it is warm. While I was in the locker room getting ready, I noticed a song playing on the sound system. It is the theme song to The Biggest Loser - not too surprising to hear it since 24 Hour Fitness has a tie-in with the show.
The song is called "Proud" and is sung by Heather Small. The recurring phrase in the chorus is "What have you done today to make you feel proud?" While I was doing my 30 minutes of treadmill time, I thought about that line in a couple of ways.
I am my own worst critic. I am pretty hard on myself, sometimes for things I wouldn't fault others for. I expect a lot from myself, and when I fall short I have a hard time letting it go. This self-criticism can spiral into feelings of shame, and as much as I think I am keeping these feelings inside, it is pretty clear that I am not. These feelings can snowball to the point where you feel like you aren't doing much of anything right.
At my core I know that I am a good person with qualities, viewpoints and outlooks that I am proud of. Lately though I have been only seeing where I am failing. I know other people going through something similar and are feeling down about themselves. But each day we all do something important, something to be proud of. It doesn't need to be a lifelong goal, it can be as simple as helping a friend, teaching your child, going to the gym, not letting someone get to you, doing your job well, standing up for yourself, tackling that task you were dreading, facing a fear, etc. It pays to stop and reflect on the positive things you've done each day.
Of course on the show, the participants are making huge, life-altering changes for the better, and the song is a nice inspirational backdrop. While I am rediscovering some pride in who I am right now, I want to continually challenge myself to be better, and maybe make some life-altering changes down the road. In the meantime, I will try to keep things in better perspective. I will continue to set the bar pretty high for myself, but I'll try to stop beating myself up so much when I fall short.
Here is a simple thing I would have been proud to have done: