Do you make it a habit to acknowledge yourself each day? Think about it. Before you awake or when you have that first cup of coffee, take time to appreciate yourself. Then, continue the habit. Make it your priority to tell yourself, throughout the day, how proud you are of “you.”
Now, if you have children, your refrigerator is a display of their artwork or awards. Consider that these displays acknowledge that the child’s presence or contributions are at the very least being recognized. Next, ponder how this early practice sets the precedent for the importance of being noticed and acknowledged by others. Then, this precedent is habituated in organizational cultures where “others” subsequently measure, appraise, and rank our performance.
You and I are not going to overhaul systems today. However, what happens when you choose to grow a habit running parallel to all the legacy systemic rituals you deal with?
First, when you acknowledge yourself daily, you recognize small things you do each day which make a difference: to you. Next, you become aware of the variety of small things you do for yourself – and others – every day. Rather than dismissing these accomplishments as “insignificant or unimportant” (because these are not part of someone else’s performance review metrics), consider their impact on the moment. Plus, this self-acknowledgement firmly places you in the moment each day, rather than plugging along in some form of routinized auto-pilot. Then, as you acknowledge yourself daily, you liberate yourself from dependence on waiting for others to notice how amazing you are.
Developing the ritual of acknowledging yourself daily pushes your boundaries beyond someone else’s version (and measurement) of what your “norm” should be.
Instead of defining yourself relative to a measurement or number used by others to control variability, you start acknowledging your human contributions. Numbers are easy to measure and quantify. Yet, you are more than human inventory, aren’t you?
The difference you make, to yourself and to others, resides one millimeter beyond what you choose to accept as status quo. There always is more wiggle room available when you push the boundaries of the status quo out to the edges. That is where professional innovation resides.
So, today and each day moving forward, make it a habit to acknowledge yourself first. Me? I pause throughout the day to tell myself how proud I am of myself for accomplishing simple stuff: brewing a great pot of coffee to share, (finally) completing this week’s blog post, tackling a tough client, resisting having another cookie (or not), making some hard calls I’ve been procrastinating about.
When you acknowledge yourself, you have your own back, first. Consequently, you innovate the professional choices you make moving forward. Take this first millimeter step forward today. Your thoughts?
I catalyze cross-functional, collaborative, profitable, and sustainable solutions across value silos. | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Complex Problem Solving | Speaker, Consultant, Coach |
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs catalyze people who solve problems differently to collaborate more successfully across traditional value silos. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable as you create and implement innovative and robust business outcomes together. Babette is a business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked Problem Solver, Duke Corporate Education licensed Strategic Agility practitioner, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association (NSA). Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.