The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Sides of Pride

What makes you proud? Helping somebody? Watching your child or someone you have mentored learn a task? or succeed at something? or make a good choice? or accomplish something important? or be helpful?

Those are all very good reasons to feel pride. Pride causes us to work hard at something, to put a portion of our essence into the creation of something or someone else. When we think of pride, it should bring a smile to our face or warmth to our soul.

But there are times that pride does not do that.

Pride has a bad side…even an ugly side.

Pride can be arrogant, self-centered, and me focused. Instead of teaching and raising up another, it can used as an act of separation or an act of elitist exclusion. Pride focuses on self verses serving others. Pride focuses on my accomplishments verses respecting and being kind and encouraging to others.

Even worse, pride is often a shame shield. Shame shields are walls we throw up to distract others from our more private insecurities. By advertising our accomplishments we draw people’s focus away from the part of us that is most tender and vulnerable. Don’t look at me…look at what I have accomplished! The deeper the insecurity…the bigger the shame shield. 

Unfortunately the more we use shame shields the bigger shame grows, until we have lost who we are, and all that we are is the accomplishments we achieve. Then what happens when we fail? What happens when are accomplishments no longer impress? What is left of us? Pride can steal our sense of self-worth. 

That message misses a very essential truth to being human. You are worthy regardless of your accomplishments. Worth was given to you at birth. Worth is not earned or achieved…it just is. You are worthy!

Action Step: What makes you proud? Is your pride the kind that builds others up or is it focused on you and your accomplishments and separates you from the crowd? If you are struggling with shame- aren’t you tired of carrying that heavy load? Put it down! Remind yourself your are worthy just because you are worthy! How can you build your good pride muscle and invest in others today? It will do wonders for your soul!