I’ve always been the ‘people person’ in my jobs. I’m pretty sure that was one of the first things I put on my Microsoft Publisher created resume back at school.
(I was so proud of that thing, it was a three-fold flyer with a big photo of me and lots of colourful borders to cover up the fact probably I didn’t have too much to say at that stage!).
When you’re writing out your CV for the first time though, you get taught to list your ‘skills’. I think I naturally listed off the ‘people stuff’. I’d always say something about how great I was at communicating to a range of different audiences. (Having sat on interview panels since then, I’m surprised no one fell asleep reading my lines actually!).
I think what I was trying to get at is, I can talk to anyone. Whether we both like peanut butter or not (it’s growing on me). Whether we’re at the same ‘level’ in the job or not. Whether you speak English or not. I’ve never really thought of it as much different.
So, when my friend texted me last week basically thanking me for being there for her, for listening and for supporting her – naturally, I brushed it aside.
We humans are terrible at accepting compliments. Even when it is so genuine, loving and real. Even when we actually know it’s true. Our knee-jerk reaction is to brush it aside.
And yet, that very acknowledgement also gives us a sense of significance. Pride. Reinforces that we matter. That we’re loved. Maybe part of the brushing aside is because a part of us feels like how do they really know? They’re not inside my head.
But, you are. Inside your head that is. Which is why you compliments matter even more. To you.
I call it ‘acknowledging’. Acknowledging yourself for the progress you made, the tough decision you made, the way you were able to laugh and smile on a long day, the way you held yourself in conversation with your boss. There’s so many moments, some of them micro, that go unnoticed. Yet all of them matter. All of them are testament to you showing up for you. For you strengthening that muscle of believing in yourself. And as a result, the more you strengthen that belief the more you get to actually be yourself too.
Acknowledgements are a habit. Like most things in life. They may even feel a little corny when you first get started. That’s kinda the point, it’s unfamiliar because you haven’t practiced it before. The more you do it though, the more you get to focus on your results rather than your setbacks. Your progress rather than all the barriers.
I have no doubt you can think of the last time you made huge progress on something – at work or at home – and how great it felt. And how that energy and buoyancy of the ‘win’ propelled you even further ahead. That’s what acknowledgements can do too. It doesn’t really matter how you do them, where or when. Just start. And ask yourself the simple question: What can I acknowledge myself for today?
Spread the love and share this post with a friend today. Could be just what they need to hear to start acknowledging themselves today.