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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28 Challenge: Do Yourself Proud

the chicken who laid this ginormous egg should be very proud
Today's challenge is to provide yourself a little affirmational inspiration, by doing something that makes you proud.

Most people appreciate feeling appreciated.  It feels good to hear reinforcing words about something worthwhile we've done.

Most of us heard more of this when we were younger.  We valued positive notice from authorities:  parents, then teachers, maybe bosses.  But as adults we have less opportunity for others to have that sort of authority.  And of course, sadly, some folks didn't even get much of that positive attention as children.  We need to become our own kind authority, taking notice of where we've made a good effort.

i was proud because i ate some
 food that day (long story)
maybe that's why i am yellow
I've never been a fan of what's commonly known as affirmations, those global positive phrases one comedian referred to years ago as "white people's rap."  You know what I'm talking about?  Maybe you remember that old Al Franken character on Saturday Night Live, Stuart Smiley.  He was a smarmy, goofy fellow who would look in the mirror and repeat phrases like "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and everybody likes me".   The problem with these sorts of affirmations?  They may well be lies.  Even if the first parts were true (and Stuart was no rocket scientist...) is that the last part isn't likely to be.  Not everyone IS going to like you, and you aren't in charge of that.  When we tell ourselves meaningless reassurances like "Everything is wonderful" when it isn't, our BS radar should be lighting up.  If we say: "I have endless streams of money" when we are unemployed, or "I radiate happiness where ever I go" when we are depressed, it may actually make us feel WORSE.

I could go on about this a long time.  I will refrain.  Short answer:  affirmations can be very helpful when they are based in reality.  "This is a hard time and I have gotten through hard times before.  I have strengths and resources that I can use to change things".  That's a reasonable affirmation. 
But this is a tangent, so back to the task at hand:

Do something today that makes you rightfully proud.  

By proud, I mean that you take a reasonable risk in some way to change something for the better.

Maybe you, a shy person, speak up at a meeting, or ask that cute other single person for coffee, or speak up when someone tells a racist or homophobic joke.

bravely eaten food (required military support)
proud to make bad art
Maybe you tackle something that frightens you-- an overdue or complicated project, a relationship challenge.  Maybe you take action on getting your health together-- you get some exercise or cut out sugar or don't eat that dairy/grain/whatever that you love but makes you sick.  Maybe you take the higher OLA ground and refrain from being critical even though you're about to start your period and they really are being a big jerk. Maybe you take on a cause you believe in, in a tiny or a big way:  you wash that nasty plastic tub in the back of the fridge so it can be recycled instead of closing your eyes and tossing it in the trash, or you write your senator about a concern you have, or you donate items or money to some organization that needs it. 

Maybe it's as little as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or turning down the second brownie. Maybe it's as big as telling that person you love that you really do love them, or asking for a raise, or refusing to be abused in a relationship.

proud to participate in davinci mask making
You choose.  In fact, why don't you choose all day to do at least little things you feel proud of.  If you are locked into one location, keep a score sheet.  Make some hash marks every  time you make a decision that is more in line with who you want to be in the world.  Again, these don't need to be monumental.  Soe of them you would have done anyway-- give yourself credit! 
proud to have helped mani

We're coming to the end of the January Challenges.   I will be sad and relieved to see it stop.  If you are interested, join the facebook group and there will be occasional homework posted there throughout the year, but this everyday thing-- huh-uh.  We be through with that very very soon.
If you have a challenge you want to get in, now's the time to let me know.  You can message, email, leave info on my answering machine.  I've really appreacited those of you that have played along and contacted me with your stories.

See you tomorrow.  Go make yourself proud.  I will get a jump start by saying I got this blog done, even though I wanted to go read a book in bed!  And now I will proudly engage in prodental activity WITH FLOSSING, even though I'm tempted to skip.
Sleep well,

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