June 26, 2020 | Maria Cruz

People Share Something They Did That They’re Genuinely Proud Of

When we do something awesome, it’s hard not to brag about it to someone. However, those little accomplishments are often forgotten about by the end of the week. There are some things, though, that are so great we can’t help but feel proud of ourselves.

#1 Run, Charlie

I disagreed with my university about their decision not to recognize my wife's degree from abroad as a Bachelor's degree (thus preventing her from going to grad school and getting a master's). I went to war with the admissions department, made enough noise that the Head of Admissions agreed to meet me one-on-one and I was able to convince him that he and his entire department were wrong. He then personally signed off on my wife's application to grad school. I literally ran home to tell her the news… I'd never seen her so happy.


#2 Making Turtles Sing

I made a turtle sing! I adopted an injured turtle who had just been left in a tank with little food, no place to bathe, and no mental stimulation. I got her a more spacious tank, better food, a little bathtub, and was really working on her mental health. One day, after I had given her a special treat, she sang ! Chirped like a little bird, over and over! I'm so glad I made her happy.


#3 Never Gets Old

I make a living writing fiction, which is what I wanted to do ever since I was a little girl. I was super proud of myself when I paid my rent for the first time with money that I earned from telling stories. It was such an amazing feeling. That happened six years ago, and reminiscing on that feeling never gets old.


#4 Raising the Kids

For me, it was going “no communications” with my narcissistic and toxic parents, all the while raising my siblings. We've been financially independent for almost five years now. And my siblings are growing up to be good people despite our terrible circumstances. That last part is easily what I'm proud of the most.


#5 Broadening Horizons

I learned a second language, got a job in another country, and moved myself across the world with no friends or family to help me. For those wondering, it was German. I started with Duolingo, then after three years of that I did a two and a half month internship in a German-speaking office. After the internship, I took some German classes at my American university to keep my German skills fresh, but honestly, I learned very little from formal German classes. I was better at learning on my own.


#6 Learning Games

Back in my school days, the students were required to go to an English class. I learned more from the game Diablo 2 in one year than teachers were able to teach me in approximately five years. My English is almost fluent now. Whenever someone says, "You can't learn stuff from video games" I just laugh at the notion.


#7 Turning it In

I remember one time when I actually discovered what was almost $1000 in an envelope. This all happened when I worked in retail. I turned the money in. I found out later that it was all the money that person had to her name. I could have used that money being that I worked in retail, but I couldn’t keep it like that.


#8 Feels Good, Man

I set up a spreadsheet. It sounds straightforward, but this is for a company which, before I joined, did not track any data whatsoever. Two weeks after I started, they have a database that has 500,000 cells worth of data and an up-to-date reporting system that keeps the directors updated every few hours on what's going on with certain things. I was told the other day that I'm an integral part of the company. It feels good.


#9 Here I Am

I finished my first bachelor's degree while I cared for my mom when I was 20-21 years old. I then endured an accelerated BSN program for my second bachelor's degree shortly after losing her, finishing at 23. Now at 24, I work in a high-risk institution helping women become moms because I miss mine so much. Honestly, I don't know how I made it this far. The PTSD and depression have made such simple things impossible, yet here I am.


#10 A Friend in Me

I made the conscious decision to befriend that super awkward nerd at university. I accepted him the way he was, but slowly started bringing up better hygiene, better fitting clothes, going for a run once in a while, etc. Turns out, he had a hard start to life and was never exposed to some basic rules of life. He is now much better and can hold interesting conversations on his own as well as look presentable enough to find a good job with his degree.


#11 Turning Things Around

I left my fiancé, stopped self-harming, beat depression, started eating again, got my first non-entry level job and am about to move into my own place for the first time. The depression followed me for 10 years and took a huge amount of therapy and medication. I know to still be cautious around it, but even just a year ago, feeling this way was such a far off concept. I never thought it would happen. I’m 23 and this happened in the past six months.


#12 Saving Money

I became an ADA Coordinator for my State Dept. of Transportation. 11 years later and the culture here has totally changed. We build sidewalks and keep them in mind while doing roadway projects. The biggest thing is working up the process to determine ownership of the right-of-way along state routes that go through cities. You’d think we would know this, but no. The result will be saving the state taxpayers millions upon millions of dollars. Yet, no one but my co-workers and whoever happens to read this will ever know.


#13 Good Lessons

I've taught my son and watch him practice his manners constantly. I get to witness him be mindful and respectful of others around him. He does things like holding the door open and saying please and thank you when he can. I'm more proof of that than any job or title he can ever hold. With any company as well.


#14 Proudest Achievement

I graduated high school with a 2.6 GPA. My parents basically made me go to CC and failed everything but one class in my first semester. I had a 1.6 GPA. Well, I got my stuff together and ended up graduating CC with a 3.4 GPA, then had a grant for university and graduated with a 2.8 GPA from a somewhat difficult stem program. C's get degrees! For someone who didn't like school in general, nor understand how beneficial and important it was, graduating from college is one of my proudest achievements.


#15 Made Me Smile

I'm an Eagle Scout. People say congrats every now and then, but nothing really felt as if it was an achievement. When I was leaving for work yesterday, a jogger saw the bumper sticker on the back of my car which said, “I’m proud of my Eagle Scout.” He exclaimed, “Whoa, your son is an Eagle Scout?” I replied, “No, that’s actually me.” He responded with, “Wow. That’s great, man. Good job.” I thanked him and he continued, “No, seriously, man, great job.” It was simple, but the tone and passion in his voice really made me smile and feel appreciated. It definitely made me feel all those years of work paid off.


#16 The Best Feeling

I’m a well-rounded adult who’s responsible and financially stable in one of the most expensive cities in the States. I grew up on food stamps, welfare, and free lunches. We had our gas shut off multiple times and I learned in middle school how to avoid people trying to deliver summons. I helped raise my niece and nursed my disabled mother while I was in high school. The fact I don't have to worry about having enough money to buy groceries or go out to dinner, that I have actual savings and that my only debt is student loans is incredible to me. It's the best feeling.


#17 Best They’ve Heard

Probably the only thing I'm truly "proud" of is the 10 years I've dedicated to learning and playing guitar. A lot of people have told me I'm one of the best they ever heard, but I honestly prefer to remain humble. I don't think I'm any better than any other guitarist with a decade of experience. But, I always do appreciate such a compliment.


#18 Enjoying Life

I got myself out of a slump. I was working in a job that I hated, had no direction in life and was depressed. I got myself into university, graduated with a double degree in law and international politics, got my graduate diploma of legal practice and accepted a job offer from a global insurance company. A few weeks ago also marked the five-year anniversary with my girlfriend who I met at university and I'm madly in love with. For the first time in 28 years, it feels like things are finally starting to go right. I'm actually enjoying life.


#19 Proud Mama

I’d have to say that my greatest achievement is certainly my children. They’re 13 and 14, very sweet, kind, and have good manners. They also have big hearts and amazing taste in music. Additionally, they got that way without any real help from their father. I’m so incredibly proud and grateful to be their mother.


#20 How Far I’ve Come

I come from a family of businessmen. I set out to push myself and take on a career in the medical field to branch away from what the family normally does and achieve my goal of improving healthcare however I can. I have two Bachelor degrees, I was recently published in a major science journal, and I got offered a job in a reference lab with great pay and benefits. They will also significantly contribute to my Ph.D. in the near future. I’m very proud of how far I’ve come; I didn’t think I could do anything like this when I first went to college.


#21 How to Save a Life

I help people. It sounds dumb, but a few of my friends and family members went through rough times and were on the border to depression or even worse. I tried (and succeeded) to bring them back, show them that the world is too beautiful to leave early, and helped them fix their private lives. Not everyone is grateful, but honestly, I don't care. I think that I can proudly say that I saved lives, and that's what matters to me.

Man comforting a sad depressed girlFlickr

#22 Taking Charge

I single-handedly homeschooled both of my younger siblings. I taught them everything they know from first grade until high school graduation for one and ninth grade for the other. One is now college-bound and the other wants to be a computer programmer. I’m pretty convinced that no matter what I do with my life from here on, this will be the thing I’m most proud of.


#23 Hop In, Dude

When I have nothing to do, I'll sometimes stop to help people on the side of the road. One day, there was a man who was visibly freaking out when I pulled up. He looked so happy at first until he saw that I wasn't the one he was waiting for. It turned out that his radiator housing cracked and there was no way he could get to where he was going in time.

He was headed a state away for the airport (their airport is a lot cheaper than ours was) to get to his wedding the next morning. His friend would probably be there too late to get him there. I told him to hop in and just went. I'm honestly surprised I didn't get a ticket on the way. I don't remember his destination, and I never asked his name, but he got to the airport in time to board. It still makes me happy thinking about it.


#24 Getting Through Grief

My girlfriend and I lost our seven-year-old cat less than two weeks ago. After that, we saw a 16-year-old cat at a shelter and decided to adopt her because we want to make the rest of her time as comfortable as we can. She has become one huge love bug and it has certainly helped us get through our grieving process.


#25 Close to Gold

I placed second at a World Championship. It was a great accomplishment at the time, of course, but anyone who’s competitive knows how badly it hurts to get so close but not achieve the ultimate goal. Years later, I’ve accepted I’ll never get that world title and I’m extremely proud of the hard work I put to achieve what I did when I did.


#26 New Languages

I picked up a new language without any help from anyone else. I learned English by starting out with only a Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time video game and a simple dictionary. I actually created a small brand from nothing with all the rules and philosophies that my masters tried to teach me, but I already knew.


#27 Fantasy Novels

I've written the first drafts of two fantasy young adult novels. One totals approximately 140,000 words and the other reaches about 75,000 words. I think that the first is reasonably bad, and needs a complete rewrite while the second will only need a partial rewrite, I think. Either way, I’m pretty proud of what I did.


#28 Nursing Pin

I went back to nursing school. The first time, I was around my early 20s. I was unsure of what I really wanted, depressed, and in a bad relationship. Because of that, I left the program halfway through. I got dumped by the guy I was seeing and felt lost since I had always imagined myself being a nurse. At that point, I had no idea what to do with my life.

I ended up working in social services but always wishing I had become a nurse. So, I took night classes. I lived at home to save up money for school and got into a better nursing program. I just graduated this year, passed the NCLEX, and am applying to hospitals for what I always thought of as my dream job. It was a lot of hard work but it felt so amazing to finally get my nursing pin and see the word “Pass” on my NCLEX results.


#29 Couldn’t Be Prouder

I grew up in a poor household, was bullied a lot in high school and had emotionally toxic friends that told me I would never amount to anything. Also, I grew up overweight due to health problems and was super shy and unconfident. Right now, I've lost a bunch of weight, moved into my own place, graduated with my accounting degree, and landed a job with outstanding security. Now, I’m pursuing my Masters in accounting and getting my CPA. I couldn't be prouder than I am right now.


#30 Coin Collection

When I was working at a pawnshop, a friend of mine came in with his coin collection. He was very distraught in selling these because it was a collection of coins that he collected with his dad and grandfather. He needed money to fix his van so he could get to Florida to see his parents. The look on his face was heartbreaking as he sat with me getting market values for the coins. The total for the lot was just short of $1000. He was crying as he left the shop.

Even though he sold them, I entered them into the system as a pawn. Over the next few months, I made the payments on the coins until they were paid in full. I then returned them to my friend. Having worked in that business for as long as I did, I saw a lot of situations like that. So, to be able to help a friend out meant a lot to me.


#31 Feeling Great

I deal with a bit of depression and addiction that fed into each other from time to time. It used to be significantly worse than it is now. Luckily, I'm going on almost a month of being sober and it feels great! I just try to not think too much about the future and just concentrate on not drinking for the day, then do it every day. It's been working and I'm proud of that even if it's not much.


#32 Bedtime Stories

Between 2013 to 2016, I went from a user dead beat, to prisoner #502496E, to pizza delivery driver, to a daddy. I was able to gain full custody of my son within three months of release from prison. I missed his first couple of years, but I’ve been around for almost just as long now. I never thought I’d be the one reading his bedtime stories. Even though it’s hard sometimes, it’s the only way I’d ask to live my life today.


#33 A Small Gesture

I stayed the majority of my night shift with a recently admitted Alzheimer patient who was scared of being alone in a single room. I listened to her stories, made her hot chocolate and held her hand until she fell asleep. I still finished everything on time and was able to care for my other patients. It was a small gesture that I was proud of.

Nurse during home visit with senior womanFlickr

#34 Being There

I’ve been a great father to my child. That may sound like the bare minimum to some, but I grew up never knowing my own father. It’s definitely my proudest accomplishment just to raise my son, to always be there for him, to love him to no end, and to teach him all the things I had to learn on my own the hard way.


#35 Adventurous Lifestyle

I've jumped out of an airplane a total of six times. I know that for most people, the act of skydiving would simply be exciting or something to smile about. For me, though, it's something far more than that. Doing what I’ve been doing has legitimately kick-started an adventurous lifestyle that has yet to slow down.


#36 Jumping Back In

I started getting back into music after half a year of depression and lack of motivation. I forced myself every day to make a verse and a chorus (any genre, no rules whatsoever) in under two hours. So far, I haven't skipped a day. Right now, I have 23 ideas started, most of them are garbage, but I'm proud of them!


#37 Quitting Cold Turkey

I successfully managed to quit an addiction cold turkey and am almost two years clean! It sucked, but I finally feel healthy again and got back on my feet. I’m in school finishing my final year of undergrad. Most people don't treat quitting as a real accomplishment, so I hardly say it to anyone, but it was the most difficult period of my life. I'm proud I was able to get through it relatively unscathed and with my future intact.


#38 Serving My Country

My military service. I hate big army, but at least I know that I volunteered for two tours in Afghanistan, conducted myself accordingly, and accomplished most of what I set out to accomplish. I took care of my soldiers and I never quit or turned my back on them. I'm proud to have served my country in that capacity.


#39 A Whole Lot Kinder

I improved my art. I mean, it isn't good by any means, but it's better than what it used to be. I'm still improving, albeit slower now. I guess I also ended up as a good person and my parents are proud of that. I'm no angel, of course, but I certainly am a whole lot kinder than many of the people I know, family included.


#40 Preventing a Disaster

When I was eight, my twin sisters were two and couldn't swim. Neither of them had floaties on their arms on this particular day. My brother (who was four) pushed one of them in the pool and she started kicking, screaming and coughing. I jumped in and pulled her out before anything serious happened. My parents were off yelling at each other somewhere and weren't watching. The only people that remember it are me and one of my other sister (she was six at the time).


#41 Big Confidence Boost

Two years ago, I had to become homeschooled due to several mental health disorders. I had a therapist, but she didn't help at all. My lowest point was when I barely got out of bed and didn't do anything at all for a week. After a while, I told myself that I couldn't live like that forever. I overcame my anxiety and depression. Now, I'm able to go to Disney every week with my cousin and not get a lot of anxiety. I also recently got offered a job by someone who I was volunteering with. I started crying after he offered it to me, that was such a big confidence boost.


#42 Better and Faster

I bought a GoPro because I have always been fascinated by time-lapse photography. I started putting it up when we build theater sets and then I realized I had to learn how to edit. I started posting the videos and our board enjoyed them so much they started paying me to do them. It’s made my job that much more fun and I feel like I keep getting better and faster.


#43 Couldn’t Imagine It

I’m a disabled little person. After living with mentally toxic, insane narcissistic parents for 34 years, extreme depression, and a self-harm attempt, I was able to move out into my own apartment. And while the money is an issue, I pay for my daily peace of mind and complete control. I never imagined myself being in this situation before.


#44 This Little Piggy

I'm just one month in at working at my new job and already got told I have a better, more efficient way of doing my tasks than any other colleague. I was also told that I should be an inspiration to my colleagues. Also, I adopted a neglected and malnourished little guinea pig and let him meet my other two piggies. I'm sure he must have never seen fresh vegetables before. All he’s been doing since is popcorning to show how happy he is.


#45 The Mom I’m Not

Being a good parent. I know that sounds strange, but I spent the first 16 years of my life being harmed and bounced between my biological parents and countless foster homes. I never once thought I'd have the ability to be a mom and was terrified that if I did have kids, I'd fail. I've made it six years into parenting and my three kids are mostly happy. They're healthy and most importantly, they're loved in a way I never thought I was capable of. I'm proud of the mom especially of the mom I'm not.


#46 Treating Others Well

Last year, I was going through a really rough time and was near my breaking point. I've always been very good at not misdirecting my emotions at anyone else, so I was in class barely holding it together. Yet, I noticed another student was really struggling with an excel assignment I had already finished. I helped him out with a chart and he was able to finish the assignment. He thanked me profusely because he was really stressed about it. It isn't really a big deal, but I've always been proud that I can treat others very well when I'm not doing all too well myself.


#47 Single-Use Plastics

I convinced my manager to use only biodegradable straws. It saved money and many people were happy to know about the change. Since then, I’ve talked to a few other restaurant managers about the harm plastic causes. So far, five of them are making the switch. There are a couple more that are considering only serving straws upon request. It makes me so happy to see other businesses doing what they can to eliminate their single-use plastics.


#48 Puppy Parent

I’d have to say that it’s raising a puppy on my own. My girlfriend of two years left me and took our puppy, for what can only be described as selfish reasons. I was in a very dark place and decided I needed a buddy or I might not make it. He's been pretty much the perfect dog thus far. I'm really proud of him.


#49 Empathetic Little Girl

My two-year-old heard I was sick and brought me her favorite stuffed animals. She made me some pretend ice cream and also gave me hugs. After each, she asked, “Mama, feel better now? Mama, need a kiss? Poor mama.” I am raising a kind, empathetic little girl and she learned it from watching me. I’m super proud.


#50 Put Yourself Out There

I’d been working in a job that I hated (like everyone, I needed to pay bills). I started making some videos and putting them on YouTube to use as a portfolio (showing some design ideas and that I could make stuff). It helped me get my dream job as a prop maker… on the final season of Game of Thrones. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, it pays off.



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