A is for Acknowledgement, a vital element in connecting to ourselves as well as to others. Acknowledgement is something most people don’t feel comfortable with and therefore miss out on just how vital it is for self-empowerment, as well as empowering others.
What acknowledgement isn’t:
It isn’t praise, compliment, affirmation, recognition, thanking or cheering. These all have their own place and time.
Mattison Grey and Jonathan Manske tell us in their book, The Motivation Myth:
“Acknowledgement effectively conveys attention, appreciation, being valued, and your belief in another person. These are the things that people crave. They get the message that they matter and that you get them.”
Acknowledgement is the recognition of the existence, truth or fact of something. Using acknowledgement as a tool for self-growth and improving relationships, we can take that further- Acknowledgement is saying what did or did not occur without judgment or opinion and is given with the energy of curiosity, appreciation and/or surprise.
What’s the value of using acknowledgment?
When you know the value acknowledgement is for your life, you are more willing to put forth the effort required to use this skill.
How would your relationships change if you knew you were valued, appreciated and allowed to be who you are? How would your relationships be different if you offered value, appreciation and allowance to those in your life?
More specifically, when we acknowledge without judgment ourselves and others, we allow the elements of empowerment to exist:
- to know what is true
- to be in more awareness
- to own and claim what we have or haven’t been or done
- to choose to change what isn’t working
- to stand in confidence of who we are
- to know that we are valued and appreciated
- to fully embrace the joy and ease of living the life that we desire
How to use Acknowledgement
Acknowledgement is done by just stating the fact without any judgment. Other than for self-acknowledgement, the word “I” is not used. Acknowledgement is used to bring attention to what has been done as well has what hasn’t been done. The key is that both are delivered without judgment. Giving a true acknowledgement removes you from the statement. Let’s look at some examples:
To a child-
Don’t say- Good boy, you fed the dog. (adds in judgment of good or bad) Do say- You fed the dog.
Don’t say- I’m so glad you did your homework before dinner. (this is about you being glad, not giving the recognition of the task done)
Do say- You did your homework before dinner.
Don’t say- I’m upset with you because you missed the school bus. (this is about you being upset, not purely recognizing what wasn’t done)
Do say- You missed the school bus.
Don’t say- Why haven’t you put your clothes away? (the word “why” implies a wrongness and does not allow the person to receive the acknowledgement. Instead they will raise their defenses and the purpose of acknowledging is lost)
Do say- You haven’t put your clothes away.
To a partner or spouse: In these relationships couples tend to focus on what is wrong with the other person. If you move over to acknowledging what the person is doing that you appreciate, and put more focus on that, the relationship will change as the values of acknowledgement work their magic. Look for what is being accomplished. Some examples may be:
- You balanced our checkbook.
- You cooked a delicious meal.
- You took the time to read to our child.
- You took the dog for a walk.
- You keep the bathroom clean.
Although I put this last, it is the most important. Allowing ourselves to place value, appreciation and belief in ourselves is vital if we are going to do that for others.
Are you familiar with: Do unto others as you would do unto yourself? The wisdom behind that saying is that we can’t do for others if we haven’t done for ourselves. It is one of the reasons we turn to judgment, resentment, bitterness and anger when we relate to others. We haven’t stopped judging ourselves. Applying self-acknowledgement to your daily skillset will make a difference. Notice as you self-acknowledge how easy it is to want to add in judgment. This is a wonderful awareness to have. We will learn about clearing judgment soon, and in the meantime, do your best to reword your acknowledgements so that they don’t include judgment. Some examples may be:
- I worked out today.
- I followed my budget.
- I missed an appointment.
- I yelled at my child.
- I made time to have lunch with a friend.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Be aware- these tools and concepts may be new to you and as you choose to use them, they may feel a bit awkward at first. As with any new skill, you need to let go of your expectation that you will master it quickly and be patient with your own learning curve. It will get easier, and yes you will make mistakes. Don’t give up. Practice and play with making these elements fit for you. They are tools, please consider not making them the answer but rather a tool to bring more ease, joy, awareness, possibility and choice to your life.
Applying it to yourself will create more ease as you apply it to your relationships. Writing down some of the acknowledgments is beneficial so that you can see the words, play with them, get the energy to be aware if there is any judgment. Here are two simple exercises you can do:
- Daily, write down at least 5 things you acknowledge about you.
- Daily, write down at least 5 things you acknowledge about someone else- co-workers, children, partners, family members. Practice saying them without the judgment words.
- Add your comments or questions below, get the conversation started.
- Work with a buddy
- Join our Empowered Living FB page and get assistance with acknowledgment.
- Email questions and comments to EnhancedLivingNow@gmail.com
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