I’m proud of you.

“Whoa! Look at those shoulders! I bet you could destroy me in an arm-wrestling match! You’ve been working hard. I’m proud of you.”

It’s my local barista.

Over the past six months, he has watched me make my almost-daily trek to the gym, stopping in for an espresso along the way.

He has watched me transform from a woman who could barely do one push up into… well, whatever I am now. A woman who could dominate a grown man in an arm wrestling match, apparently.

Session by session. Little by little. He’s seen the progress.

And, I can’t help it — his words fill me with renewed pride.

He noticed.

Somebody noticed.

Somebody is proud of me.

I’m proud of me, too.

The truth is that we all want to feel witnessed, appreciated, valued, noticed. Like we exist. Like we matter. Like our efforts count for something. Like we’re not tethered to this planetary rock all alone. We all want that feeling of being seen. We crave high fives, hugs, and simple words that mean so much.

“I see your effort. I’m proud of you.”

Doesn’t take much to deliver that kind of gift.

Just takes a few seconds. A few words. Words that could shift someone’s entire day.

“You’ve been posting such beautiful images on Instagram lately. I love that you’re keeping your commitment to share one self-portrait every day. I’m proud of you.”

“Is that your yoga mat I see tucked in your backpack? Yeah! Third time this week? Go get it. I’m proud of you.”

“You seem so rested and energized. Whatever you’re doing: don’t stop. I’m proud of you.”

If you notice someone working hard, upping the game, honoring a commitment, keeping a vow that might be easy to break, just say so.

Four words.

“I’m proud of you.”

Go ahead.

Fill someone’s cup.

Make someone’s day.