Positive feedback, sincere acknowledgements and heartfelt appreciation are powerful, inspiring and motivating. Unfortunately, most people tend to brush off appreciative messages. That’s why I am excited to share a power tool with you that will help you grow your muscle of receiving sincere acknowledgements.

Acknowledgement Journaling

You have probably heard about, maybe even personally experienced, the power of gratitude journaling. It is such a powerful, transformational practice because it trains you to focus on the things you are grateful for. 

An important element of my work as a coach is to give sincere acknowledgements. As part of my commitment to ongoing professional development, I wanted to further strengthen my acknowledgement skill. When I thought about how I could go about it, gratitude journaling came to mind. It dawned on me that I could easily adapt this practice to acknowledgements. 

As soon as the idea of ‘acknowledgement journaling’ was born, I was eager to give it a whirl. Full of excitement, I committed to a month-long challenge. Every day I wrote about positive qualities I appreciate in myself, my husband and a third person (such as a friend, client, relative or neighbour). 

Here’s what I learned from acknowledgement journaling:

  • Each time I engaged in acknowledgement journaling I felt a boost of energy.
  • I noticed more and more positive qualities within myself and others.
  • It became a lot easier to acknowledge others verbally right when I witnessed their positive qualities in action.
  • I felt more confident in my and other people’s positive qualities and drew on them more often and easily.

My personal reason for engaging in the acknowledgement journaling challenge was of course to further hone my skill of giving sincere acknowledgements. However, as I acknowledged myself so generously each day, it became even sweeter and richer for me to receive sincere acknowledgements from others. This practice opened me up to give and receive more freely. Acknowledgement journaling reinforced my inner hunch that giving and receiving are beautifully entwined and that we need both to live rich and fulfilled lives.

Most of all, I realized that we can all benefit from acknowledgement journaling. No matter where you are on the spectrum of ease with acknowledgements, noticing and articulating the goodness in yourself and others, makes goodness grow in your life.

Start Your Acknowledgement Journal NOW

You don’t need much to begin your own acknowledgement journaling challenge. Any booklet, notepad, or paper will do. If you live paper-free, you can even journal electronically and use your phone or any other device. 

However, you do need a commitment to this practice. Give yourself to daily acknowledgement journaling for a specific period. If it’s easier for you to commit to a short time span, such as a week, start there. If you miss a day, don’t fret it, simply re-commit yourself.

For many people it is easier to see the gold in others. If that rings true for you, begin each day’s journal entry with acknowledging someone in your circle, such as your spouse, child, colleague, or neighbour. Then you can sincerely acknowledge yourself for seeing the good in another, or for committing to this practice.

Focussing on your wonderful qualities may be extremely hard for you. The habit of obsessing over shortcomings may be so strong that each acknowledgement just invites your inner critic to slash it. Similar to gratitude journaling where you may feel a sense of lack for what you don’t have. If this is true for you, you may even want to include acknowledgements directly addressed to your inner critic, such as: “I appreciate your commitment to keep me safe, inner critic.”

It may also be easier to acknowledge what you did, such as “I went to the gym today!” If that’s true for you, start there. Then pause and consider which positive qualities helped you take action. In the gym example, you might recognize your discipline, strength, or self-care.

Once you’ve written a sincere acknowledgement, let yourself feel the goodness. Notice how it feels in your body and let yourself savour the goodness. 

Now that you are well on your way to reaping the power of sincere acknowledgements, take another powerful step and request your free career clarity consultation. I look forward to acknowledging and celebrating YOU on your journey to career clarity.