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Did You Do Anything Worthwhile Today?

What were the first thoughts that popped into your head as you read that question?

There was a time when my response would have been a jumbled flurry of judgement about how inadequate or insignificant what I did was; or a litany of reasons why whatever I had done wasn’t good enough because the results were less than stellar – in other words, I beat myself up for my imperfections.

If your first thoughts were anything like, “Yes! I do worthwhile things all the time,” and you then proceeded to list all the things you did that brought you closer to the things and/or people that are important to you, that’s excellent!

However, if your reaction was more like mine then read on, I have a tip for you that has profoundly changed lives – mine included.

One of the most powerful tools I have learned from Rhonda Britten* and the Fearless Living Institute** is what Rhonda calls Acknowledgements. Acknowledgements are what we say to ourselves about every little step we take toward being true to ourselves and living in freedom, rather than fear. In other words, acknowledgements are when we give ourselves credit for our effort and cheer ourselves on like we would a small child who is learning something new. Please note I said “give ourselves credit for our effort.” Recognizing our effort is the key.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Let’s say I have decided I eat too much so I am going to eat portions that are no larger than my fist, never take second helpings, and substitute fruit for some of the candy I would normally eat. On Day 1, at my first meal, I eat plain corn flakes instead of the sugar coated kind. After that meal I would write down, “Today I acknowledge myself for eating a very low sugar cereal for breakfast.” Just this small act of giving myself credit feels good so now I feel stronger about being able to eat a good lunch. At lunch, let’s say I eat out and the sandwich I order is huge! And it is just so yummy scrumptious that I want to eat it forever! After I have eaten ½ of the sandwich, I know I’ve had enough. I remind myself that today I am not eating portions larger than my fist so I stop at ½ of the sandwich and take the other ½ home for another meal. Again, I get to write in my Acknowledgements Journal that, “Today I stopped at ½ a sandwich and was satisfied.”

What I am suggesting is that we treat ourselves more like precious little children. When children first learn to walk, we cheer them on first for standing up. Then we cheer for each step they take when holding our hand or hanging onto the edge of the furniture. We don’t want until they are runway perfect in stiletto heels to start cheering. With acknowledgements we do the same for ourselves. We focus on our effort and our choices in the moment, not the final result.

In her book, Fearless Living, Rhonda Britten says, “. . . acknowledging yourself for what you do will help you master your fear and motivate you to keep taking positive actions. Beating yourself up will keep you fearful and either immobilized or prone to doing things that aren’t good for you.” (pg 232)

How would your life be different if you started focusing on and giving yourself credit for your effort? Would you feel differently about yourself? Don’t think it’s possible? Call me and let’s talk.

* Rhonda Britten founded the Fearless Living Institute, has written 4 books, and is an Emmy Award winning star of the reality TV Show “Starting Over.”

** Fearless Living Institute:

#lifecoaching #fear #change #acknowledgements #RhondaBritten #fearlessliving