WHEN you learned something new as a child that achievement was often commemorated in some way.
Whether it was at school, in the home or with some sort of group like the scouts, that small step was given significance with a badge or certificate. Charming British film Adult Life Skills, on Netflix, argues that grown-ups should also have those often taken-for-granted milestones memorialised in some way, and it has a fair point. Most of us are often so hard on ourselves that we forget about moments when we should be proud, and there is no badge to remind us of it.
There is, of course, big significant landmarks in life like buying a house, getting a job, and learning life skills like cooking, driving, and paying bills, which should be applauded. But the adult life skills that should also be celebrated are ones that we all forget about or take for granted like getting over a heartbreak or carrying on after the loss of a loved one. These are two of the toughest life obstacles, yet we don’t give ourselves any credit for overcoming them.
Another adult life skill that is more needed than ever is kindness and although the greatest selfless gestures are done in silence, it shouldn’t stop you from feeling great inside for having made that positive difference. Other things that we do in life that take a lot of expertise, but we don’t realise it is working in a job we hate to pay the bills or make sacrifices for loved ones like young children. If you have done any of these, be proud and give yourself that badge of honour.
You also deserve some sort of prize for negotiating the modern dating minefield loaded with booby traps, surviving an entire day in uncomfortable high heels, carrying on with work when it is your time of the month and sitting through family gatherings with judgemental elders.
If you have been able to start again with a career change or after a break-up, if you have been brave enough to walk away or say no, then that too deserves an excellence award. The setbacks, challenges, heartbreaks, and wrong turns, all teach us something new if we let them. Whether it is mental, emotional, or physical, each one arms us with a new expertise that we carry forward in life.
Think back to all the life skills you have learned during this journey and although none gave you an award to put on the mantlepiece, it shouldn’t stop you from feeling proud. (And there is nothing stopping you from buying a trophy as a reminder). I will leave with this quote from author Richelle E. Goodrich, “Be proud of yourself. Be proud that your heart and intentions are good. Be proud of the fact that you are trying.”