3 Reasons to Acknowledge and
"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." William James, pioneer in psychology
Most of us tend to be hard on ourselves. We're highly self-critical, paying more attention to what we haven't done than what we have. Although we think this helps push us to be better, to achieve our goals, it actually does the opposite. Criticizing yourself is demoralizing and discouraging, and it undermines your motivation and productivity. It makes you feel unworthy and like you're never good enough. Being self-critical can paralyze you rather than boost you to get more done.
We're also taught not to blow our own horn or shamelessly shout our own praise to the world. That's considered to be prideful and self-centered. So we tend to hide our accomplishments and brush aside compliments. At the same time, we secretly crave acknowledgement and appreciation. These are normal and appropriate desires. It's only when we abandon ourselves to seek approval from others that these natural impulses can become toxic.
What It Means to Acknowledge Yourself
But how can you find the appreciation you crave, when seeking it from others is disempowering? And how can you drive yourself without making yourself feel insignificant for not doing enough? The way you find this satisfaction is by acknowledging yourself and your accomplishments. When you do, you're not being conceited or vain, but being honest about your efforts. Acknowledging yourself has nothing to do with building up your ego to feel better than someone else. It has nothing to do with anyone but you and what's right about you.
By acknowledging yourself, you are simply recognizing your authenticity and accomplishments. You give yourself credit for what you do and who you are. As you support yourself with this kindness and honesty, you validate yourself and accept that you have value.
The Reasons to Acknowledge Yourself
One of the things I do with clients is to have them acknowledge themselves and celebrate their accomplishments. Most of the time, they don't realize how much they've done or how things have changed until we do this exercise. The following are tangible benefits of acknowledging yourself.
1. Raises your self-esteem. Your self-esteem derives from your sense of how much you respect yourself. When you begin to notice what's good about you and what you have attained, your self-worth rises and you self-image improves. You believe more in yourself and your abilities, which mean you are willing to expand out of your comfort zone.
2. Increases your motivation. Don't you want to do more when you feel like you're making progress? For instance, you start to go through a pile of papers, filing things, and once you see how much you've whittled it down, you want to do more. The same is true when you pay attention to even the small wins in a day. It energizes and inspires you. You feel encouraged and to reach for more.
3. Improves your mood. Don't you feel good when you check off tasks that you've completed? It activates the reward circuit in the brain and triggers the release of pleasure chemicals. The same is true when you celebrate your efforts. You feel better about yourself and life, and have more resources to deal with challenges.
Give yourself permission to celebrate who you are and your accomplishments. Consider your good qualities, your efforts, and your progress. By making this a daily practice, your life will be richer and happier. You'll be meeting one of your deepest needs and empower yourself to fulfill more of your potential. What can you do today to acknowledge yourself?
Copyright © 2009-2022 Linda Ann Stewart
As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
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