In coaching there is this concept – that of acknowledgement. It means acknowledging that we have done something specific. Or not done something. It is meant to be a neutral term that takes the negative energy out of something we may consider a “failure.” “I acknowledge I did not arrive on time.” It then opens the way to changing things – “I acknowledge I was late and I don’t want to be late. What will I do tomorrow so that I arrive on time?”
But what does it mean to acknowledge “success?” As in, “I set a goal for myself that I would get up 3 days this week and exercise and I did it. I am proud of that, because it was hard for me.”
I am curious. How often do you do this — acknowledge what you are proud of? How often do you hear other people do it? I don’t hear it much. Each week my clients declare a set of actions for the next week. Each week I ask about the actions they promised the week before. If they don’t do them, they are very willing (eager sometimes) to criticize themselves. But when they do complete their promised tasks, they blow it off, like something they just expected of themselves; something that does not really matter.
This creates a hyper focus on what you do that you think is “bad,” “wrong,” “failure,” and a lack of focus on what you do that you are proud of, that was a stretch, that held meaning for you, that you would really like to be acknowledged for.
I had a coach once and at the end of every call, he said to me, “What would you like to be acknowledged for?” It was such a beautiful and profound question for me. I’ve asked some of my clients this question and often they draw a blank. But when we talk about the energy of acknowledgement, most people will tell me that energetically it feels bad and draining to beat themselves up for some “failure.” But energy increases dramatically when they acknowledge success. Why are people often so drained at the end of a day? Energy is what we need to go forward and be truly successful in getting what we want – everywhere in life.
So…what would you like to be acknowledged for today?
Sing it from the rooftop.
The Acknowledgement Journal: Here is an exercise to try. It is a stretch for most people. And it will strengthen that acknowledgement muscle. It will change the mood of your days and it will allow you to start seeing how much there is in your life and in your days that you are proud of. Each night sit down with a piece of paper and write down three things from that day that you are proud of. It could be just getting out of bed. It does not have to be “big.” Do it every day for a month. Do not repeat anything. I promise this will radically change the way that you see yourself.