“Proud of all you’ve accomplished already.”
It was a dad’s encouragement to his daughter in response to a “thanks for being a great dad” comment. I understand the spirit of it. But we need to be careful what we encourage and admire.
Accomplishments are worthy of being acknowledged, but what about “becoming”? As in “I’m proud of who you are become.” Not who you are or what you’ve done but the process of growth with hope for the future. I have seen firsthand how elevating people because of accomplishments has impacted people’s sense of worth, as well as their pride and insecurities, which taint widening-circles in their lives.
When we focus on character and the process of becoming, we see warning signs as well as promising signs of what is to come, including possible accomplishments and failures. We invite people to become and grow through ups and downs. We allow room for a process instead of creating benchmarks to be attained and measured. Of course, there are plenty of accomplishments along the way, but they become one aspect of the overall process.
Instead of the framework by which the process is judged, when we invite people into a process of becoming, we value them as people instead of resumes, trophies, or tools. Our care for and encouragement of them is more about compassion and patience than judgment.