I was listening to Damien Dempsey the other day – a musician I have really grown to like a lot over the past few years. I get drawn in by his positive messages and on this particular day, one particular line struck a chord with me;

Be proud of who you are.

A short, simple, straightforward message to everyone. Or at least it should be. But pride isn’t something that comes naturally, easily or comfortably to Irish people in general. Ask us broad, sweeping questions like “Are you proud to be Irish? Are you proud of x, y or z’s sporting/musical/political achievements?” and we’ll puff up our chests and reply, “Yes!” with a smile.

We are often proud of our children. Only this week I proudly shared photos of my kid’s accomplishments, unashamedly boasting and holding them up for the online world to see. But that’s easy.

How often do we look at ourselves and be proud of what we see?

How often do we hold up a mirror at all? I think it’s ingrained in Irish people to talk themselves down, afraid of appearing cocky. We scoff at Americans on TV with their ‘can-do’ attitudes, so sure they are the best at whatever they’re about to do.

Pride comes before a fall,” we mutter. What crap. Why must something positive be followed by something negative?? There is no cosmic scales that must be balanced out. There are enough people ready to try to cut you down, you don’t need to do it to yourself.

So as Damo says “Be proud of who you are.

It’s just plain fact that we can’t all be world-beating, high achievers and that’s OK. We can excel on smaller levels too – anything from finishing out a project or getting a promotion in work, to just having a good day and making it through unscathed.

Whether you’re a top level business executive, a stay at home parent or anything in between, take a step back and have a good hard look at yourself without the usual self-deprecating goggles.

We all have some things we’d like to change, but if you’re generally happy with what you see, give yourself a pat on the back. Say “This is me and I’m damn proud of that!” and kick down the door of the next day.