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Women in this day and age are especially driven. We are motivated and we go get things done.

Women are business owners, major executives, community leaders, doctors and writers. On top of that we are wives, girlfriends, mothers and friends.

I argue that women carry the majority of the world. But sometimes we ignore all that we have done and focus more on what we still need to do or what we still want to accomplish.

So my question for you, when is the last time you were proud of yourself?

Your parents probably told you how proud they were of you, if you were lucky, when you accomplished something when you were young.

“We’re so proud that you graduated kindergarten.”

And continuously throughout your life, others have always told you if they were proud of you.

But when is the last time you were proud of yourself and actually recognized it?

My Story

Let me take you back in time. Two years ago I was in the middle of a divorce. I had hardly any post-high school education, having moved around while my husband was in the military.

Since then, I moved back from Alaska on my own dime, driving the entire way with my Subaru packed to the top.

I moved in with my parents for about a year while I work through some major loss.

What I Loss

I lost trust, love, money, a home, my pets, security, friends, a job I enjoyed and countless physical possessions. There’s nothing like that to make you feel worthless. But every step I took towards getting back on my feet was a major accomplishment.

What I Gained

I started by working minimum wage and part time at a very less than desirable job. Then I took a job that paid more but it was still part time. Now, I have finally gotten back to a full time job that pays similarly to the job I left in Alaska. This last summer I was able to move out of my parent’s house and in with some roommates. All the while, I was going to school full time. I am proud to say that finally, graduation is set for May and I am applying to grad schools.

“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.”

Even though we get knocked down and we have to work our way back up, we need to be proud of ourselves. Getting a part time job back in Michigan may not be much to anybody else but it was huge for me after losing everything. Finally getting back in to my own home is huge but no one else is going to be more proud of me for doing it than I am. At anytime I could have chosen to become overwhelmed with how much further I have to go to get to where I want. At anytime I could have given up but I didn’t. Those baby steps may not have come when I wanted them to or
the way I wanted them to but they happened. But I am proud of my accomplishments and my failures because they mean I have tried. I am proud of myself and you need to be proud of yourself too.

“I hope that you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not. I hope you find the strength to start all over again.”

Whether you are going through a small struggle or a big one, once you finally get something that you’ve been working for, be proud of yourself. You can always say, “yeah but I am not there yet” or “I am still not where I want to be yet” but you need to look at how far you’ve come. Some days you literally have to put one foot in front of the other but when you look back in a few months you can see you’ve walked miles. Be proud of that. It may be simple wins for other people but they don’t know your struggle. Be astonishingly and undeniably proud of yourself. That recognition you give yourself will help motivate you for the next leg of the journey. You’ve done well so far, congratulate yourself.

By Contributor Writer: Layla McKinley