We’ve covered a lot of ground in the last month towards becoming the best version of ourselves. You’ve taken the time to read, open your mind, and put in the work toward healthy and positive change. My hope is that you are as proud of yourselves as I am. Opening one’s self up to the challenges set before you is a big step and I am aware it takes a lot to allow yourself to become vulnerable and willing to try something new to make serious shifts in your life. Because of this, I am a firm believer in the idea of positive reinforcement and acknowledgement.
Therefore, this week is all about recognizing your achievements and acknowledging how far you have come. Acknowledgement is one of the key drivers to successful change. If you can’t acknowledge the steps you have taken how can you truly understand how far you have come. Take this week to reflect on all the hard work you have put in. How you used to show up for life vs. how you show up today. What are the significant changes that you notice? Recognition of the process and your achievements can be just as crucial as implementing it. This reflection will serve multiple purposes. Not only does it provide you with a confidence boost because it quantifies the work you have done and keep your mindset focused in a positive direction, but it also gets you in the practice of authentically giving and receiving recognition, something most of us do not practice enough as adults.
Positive reinforcement is known to be directly related to motivation and increased productivity.
By definition it states … The offering of desirable effects or consequences for a behavior with the intention of increasing the chance of that behavior being repeated in the future.
So, when we think about this in a literal sense it is a driving force for the way we act and insurance to help us create sustainability. Think about when you were younger and the idea of your parents paying you a weekly or monthly allowance in exchange for you doing chores, or maintaining a certain GPA in school. Or when you won your soccer game and the coach took the team out for pizza after the match. We learn here, as children, there are benefits to setting goals and achieving them and also we learn for the first time what it feels like to be celebrated and to celebrate others. When you are 10 or 11 years old sure the message might not be as clear as it is today but the fundamental idea is there, and gets rooted.
But what happens when we grow up? Unfortunately we slowly start to move away from how we were treated as children. Gone are the days of parents and grandparents patting you on the back for every accomplishment no matter how big or small. We’re now, for the most part, on our own and outside of the occasional kudos or high five from a friend you aren’t receiving praise for doing the work you set out to do. Sure your company might reward you with an annual bonus or raise after a significant review but honestly expectations have shifted and the energy that is derived from positive reinforcement is something that too often gets lost in the shuffle. Everyone is on the grind and trapped in their own experience of advancing in life.
So how do we fulfill this void?
My suggestion…. Self-Recognition.
How cool would it be to honor yourself when you reach a milestone or goal. In all honesty you don’t need anyone else’s approval to be great and do great things so I say don’t waste time seeking it. Time wasted wondering why your boss didn’t acknowledge you for the major deal you just closed or the new account you secured. Perhaps no one is acknowledging them or they think those things are the work you are being “paid” to do. Whatever the reason, don’t let the lack of acknowledgement from others get in the way of doing amazing things, realizing success, and honoring yourself.
In the initial phase of setting your own goals ask yourself what an appropriate form of self-recognition would be once the goal is successfully achieved. Maybe it’s something of monetary value such as Starbucks coffee for week or that manicure and 10 minute chair massage from your local spot. Dinner at your favorite restaurant or those limited edition sneakers you’ve had your eye on. Or perhaps it’s not something of monetary value but rather another highly valued element such as time and communication. This could entail giving yourself a verbal positive affirmation, a few extra hours of sleep, allowing yourself to indulge in trash TV, time hanging out with friends socializing, etc... The list could go on and on and the choice is yours, but the idea is to begin reinforcing positive successful behavior and building a strong foundation for sustainable progress simultaneously.
I truly believe once we learn how to consistently honor and reward ourselves it becomes that much easier to spread the wealth and honor others.
So get to it. Figure out your driving force and continue to be great.