woman-holding-a-toy-heartWhen I became a coach, I learned to practice self-acknowledgment and self-appreciation.  This simple practice has changed my life.  Before I was a coach, I learned the opposite. I was told that it was not humble to acknowledge oneself; that I would get a big head.  Or that it was arrogant to appreciate myself.

Now I know the importance of self-acknowledgment.  It is a huge part of my self-care.  I acknowledge myself for my values, my purpose, and my gifts and talents.  I acknowledge my learning, my clarity or my courage in taking risks.

When I am appreciating and acknowledging myself, I am able to love others better.  I am able to listen to others and be of service to them.  Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are like oxygen.  And I bet you have heard that if there is a change in cabin pressure on a plane, put your own oxygen mask on first.

When I acknowledge myself first, then it is so easy to acknowledge others.  When I am acknowledging myself, it is easier to stay out of judgment – both of myself and others.  Daily self-acknowledgment is to the creative mind what daily bicep curls are to the arm.  It strengthens and supports me and everyone around me.

Here are some simple ways to acknowledge yourself:

  1. Each evening, make a list of all the ways in which you have lived out your values and life purpose that day.
  2. Look for ways that you have given your unique gifts to the world, and celebrate that.
  3. When learning a new skill, acknowledge each step of the journey.
  4. When someone else acknowledges you, let it really sink in.
  5. Look for ways you are being courageous, and reward yourself for taking a chance, whether it works out the way you planned it or not.

As a coach, self-acknowledgment is one of the most powerful tools in my toolbox.  It also helps me in my own self-development.  I love this quote from a Course in Miracles:

“What you perceive in others, you are strengthening in yourself.”

And I would add, what you strengthen in yourself is what you will perceive in others.  So, go ahead and acknowledge yourself.  It may feel awkward at first.  And even though coaches cannot give guarantees, I guarantee that self-acknowledgment will support you well in your coaching practice!