with (one's) head held high

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with (one's) head held high

Displaying pride and confidence, often (but not always) after something has gone wrong. Even though I knew I blew the presentation, I walked out of the conference room with my head held high… and then cried in my car. After hearing that he had been named to the all-star team, Paul walked through the halls with his head held high.
See also: head, held, high
References in classic literature ?
Drawn up haughtily, with her head held high, she gazed at the "riff-raff," with scornful curiosity.
WELSH teenager Megan Lockett can leave Fairhaven on the Lancashire coast with her head held high despite being beaten in round three of the British Girls Open Amateur Championship.
Pricey" as Katie calls herself strolled confidently out of the clinic with her head held high clutching what looked like a receipt.
She will go in there with her head held high and all guns blazing and feels as angry as she did at the time a year ago.
Regardless of what happened out there, she can return to Britain with her head held high - because she has proven she's a hero just by getting to the Olympics in the first place.
With her head held high and nose in the air, she waddles into the living room and steals your heart.