Most of us are familiar with gratitudes and have picked up a gratitude practice at one point or another. We remind ourselves to be grateful for things, people, situations etc. in order to appreciate all the things we have and to get in the habit on focusing on the positive rather than the negative. And it has a direct effect on increasing our happiness.
But how about an acknowledgment practice? Do you regularly acknowledge yourself for all the things you do and appreciate yourself for who you are?
Many of us motivate ourselves by being pushing ourselves and being critical of ourselves when we don’t reach a goal or if we don’t get as much done as we had planned. We basically let our Inner Critic run the show. However, as a result our self-esteem suffers. Our self-inflicted criticism doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves and we may feel like we always fall short.
What if we motivated ourselves by giving credit to ourselves for everything we DID do and for how we were being instead? It feels much more inspiring to give ourselves a pat on the back in order to keep on going. I first came across the practice when reading “Fearless Living” by Rhonda Britten. I tried it out and realized it was a powerful way to change the voice of my Inner Critic. Now it has become a critical part of my coaching practice and my workshops. (For more about transforming your Inner Critic, read: Don’t Listen To Your Inner Critic – Listen To Your Inner Champion.)
How can we practice acknowledging ourselves? It is very simple. At the end of each day, write down 5 things you acknowledge yourself for. Begin with “Today, I acknowledge myself for…” and complete the sentence with 5 different things, big or small. You can acknowledge yourself for finishing a project, being friendly to a new person you met, listening to a friend, taking a walk when you became frustrated, taking the time to smell the roses, staying calm in a difficult situation, etc. No action is too small. On a day when it’s hard to even get out of bed, you can acknowledge yourself for getting up.
Try it out and see how you like it! After a while, you will notice that acknowledgments become more automatic and you will be able to acknowledge yourself in the moment, rather than at the end of the day. See how much more positive about yourself you feel and how motivated you become!