#38 Do you have a Pride Dichotomy?

When does your pride for something you’ve done kick in?

As someone who’s been programmed in black and white and overrides everything by adding grey areas, I realise I only become proud of things when and if:

  • They are fully finished (post-micro-last-minute-tweaking)

  • They are done well

And not a single minute before.


Which is all well and good, until I realised I treat my artwork very very differently. From the minute I buy my canvas, I love it, it’s mine, I’m proud of it. It’s not even out of the plastic wrapping yet.

At every stage of my paintings, I’m proud of them, of the sketching, of trying out colours, of the initial detail, just everything about them I adore.

I’ve had half-finished paintings lying on easels in corners of my room for years. And yet I’ve had the same burning pride I have in them when they’re finished, glossed, and in frames.


Why don’t I feel the same way about everything I do?

I feel as though if I left medicine now - that would be a disaster, a failure, a waste - there would be no pride in what I’ve done so far.

When I am half-way through a presentation slide deck for work - I’m not proud if it. If anything I’m frustrated with it until it’s all finished, and I can allow myself to step back, appreciate and hopefully love it.


This pride dichotomy in 99% of what I do is so ridiculous. Unfinished, imperfect = disaster and shame; finished, well-done = pride. That’s insane.

I once read that humans are the only creatures that judge ourselves. We wouldn’t call a seedling or sapling stupid and not good enough because it’s not a pine tree yet. We appreciate them every step of the way, for what they are.

And yet, so often, we don’t do this for ourselves. Although pride has been one of the emotions I’ve found the most problematic (and I stick to that still), I think sparingly, or in the form of love and adoration, I can apply it more to what I do, and most importantly: myself. Along every step of the way, every minute of the journey.




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