Acknowledge Yourself Every Day


“The way in which a person loses their true goodness
is just like the way that trees are destroyed by the ax. 
Cut down day after day, how can the mind, 
any more than the tree, 
retain its beauty or continue to live?”

Mencius, Fourth Century B.C. 

If I asked you, at the end of the day, to come up with a list of things you didn’t get done today, things you wish you had done better, or things that aren’t going well, how many items would you be able to list? 10, 20, 40? 

You’d likely be able to easily list off quite a number of items, right? 

What if I changed the question and asked you to tell me what you had done really well today? Or what you were really proud of? Or what you were thrilled at having accomplished? 

How many items would be on that list? 

It’s so easy to focus on what we haven’t yet done or what isn’t going well. The problem with putting all of our attention on what we haven’t done is that we completely miss out on the joy of celebrating what we HAVE done. 

When you make a phone call you’ve been dreading, or close a sale, or finish a report, do you take a minute and acknowledge yourself for accomplishing it? 

More likely, you’re already looking ahead for the next item on your to-do list. Instead, take a minute and celebrate…it may be as simple as looking at yourself in the mirror and giving yourself a big smile, or telling yourself ‘great job’, or doing a quick dance around your office (this is my personal favorite; I call it the ‘happy dance’). 

Taking the time to acknowledge yourself for your wins is more than just a nice idea. It starts to sink in at a deep subconscious level…you start to notice how much more you’re enjoying your day.

You start feeling a sense accomplishment. You start looking for more things to celebrate; your life feels lighter and more fun. You breeze through your days feeling on top of your game. 

If you aren’t used to acknowledging yourself for the many wonderful things you do every day, you’re in for an adjustment period. You may feel pretty awkward, even phony, as you celebrate all of the events and activities in your life. 

Persist! It’s worth it, and so are you. 

For one week, go overboard on acknowledging yourself for everything you do. I mean everything! 

Pat yourself on the back every time you catch yourself doing anything well. Reward yourself with kudos whenever you try something new, no matter what the results are. Say ‘way to go!’ when you’re doing all the routine actions that make up your day (you didn’t realize you were good at so many things, did you?). 

After one week, repeat for another week. And so on. And so on.