Reflection Journal: Appreciation
You are amazing!
Are you smiling? I bet you are…
We all love to hear nice things about ourselves. To feel the power of appreciation.
You know very well that I don’t know you personally and I have no evidence to support that statement. And still… It resonates, doesn’t it?
Of course it does. Because you KNOW you are amazing.
You don’t need me to tell you that. My words just touch the beauty that is already inside of you. You got reminded of it.
Isn’t that wonderful? My words have the power to connect you with a part of yourself. To remind you of something empowering. To give you an opportunity to be consciously aware of an aspect of yourself.
Now, don’t be a bad sport. Don’t tell me that you are not amazing. That there are tons of things that you don’t do right, didn’t yet achieve, failed at.
Don’t tell me that there were moments you missed the mark and did hurt a friend. Don’t remember the fact you failed that exam, dropped the cake on your grandmother’s 80th birthday or couldn’t control your child in the supermarket.
They may also be aspects of you. – Sorry that I reminded you of them.. :-) – But for now, let’s stick to the good stuff.
Right now it is all about the fact that we all are amazing.
Evidence of your awesomeness all over the place
Really. Think about it!
- Our bodies are capable of sustaining our life. How about that for a starters?
- Our minds are capable of thinking, dreaming, creativity, creating plans. And we can remember it all and use it to create a better day today than the day we had yesterday.
- Our emotional expressions and words can build bridges with other people.
- Our actions can make a difference in the world. For those around us and for the world at large. We can brighten up someone’s day or we can invent something innovative and spectaculair – both actions are valuable.
- Together we are capable of awesome awesomeness. Look at all the social efforts or at technology.
We don’t always use our power for the best. But we can if we want to. And often the catalyst for growth lies in someone supporting someone else. In appreciation.
Not always. Often. Most of the time?
Showing appreciation is a selfish act
A smile opens up a whole world of warm feelings. A compliment lifts the energy of both the giver and the receiver.
When we give others a sincere compliment, we first have to focus on something positive. And that shifts the energy, sometimes dramatically.
Just take the test. Look around you. Now first focus on something you don’t like.
While I am writing this, the sun shines through my window and I can clearly see the dust on the table. Oh boy, I should have cleaned my office this morning instead of reading the newspaper.
There. My energy drops. Dramatically. I can feel it in my body.
How is it with you? Did you find something “negative” to focus upon? How does it feel?
Back to the test.
Now find something positive to bring your attention to. For me it is the fact that reading the newspaper brought me a nice conversation with a friend who lives abroad. I just read about the political situation in her country.
She felt great that I was informed and we could have an in depth conversation. I felt great because my attention was a great gift to give her. It is a form of appreciation to stay informed about a topic that is dear to a friend’s heart.
Same situation. Totally different response. In my mind, in my body. I will clean with joy after I have finished writing this. My energy shifted just by focusing on something to appreciate.
I don’t deny the task still ahead. But I found a focus that is a win-win. A win for me, a win for my friend. And maybe also a win for my office. I will handle it with more care and appreciation when I am in a good mood…
Can you do that? Does that benefit you?
How appreciation turns things around
That reminds me of the time I was a teacher in primary school. I loved those years for so many reasons.
More than the appreciation I received, I loved the appreciation I was able to give. The effect was immense. Both for me and my students.
In fact, I think the right kind of appreciation creates the right kind of atmosphere to create the right kind of actions that lead to the kind of results we want.
Here is what I mean.
Imagine a 6 year old failing his first official test ever. Tears rolling down his face. So understandable, after all he did his best and enjoyed the learning process. He felt confident and loved exploring maths.
And now he could show how amazing he was – and failed.
Even though I never present a test as something other than a feedback of our progress, most of the world thinks otherwise. It is one of the biggest mistakes of our educational system. But that is another discussion.
Anyway, he did his best and achieved results that were disappointing to him. It wasn’t too bad, but he felt it that way.
The shift from disappointment to appreciation and joy for growth
I loved moments like that. Because they gave me an opportunity to teach the power of perspective and appreciating the “right thing”. Which is soooo important.
So I asked why he was sad. Of course he said it was about not doing as well as he thought.
I explained the meaniing of tests with an example. He had a younger brother who was just learning how to walk. So I used that. I told him that the test was like learning how to walk. Sometimes you do it right, sometimes you fall over.
I asked whether his brother cried when he fell over. The answer was, of course: “Sometimes.”
And then I asked them what he would do, when his brother cried. He said, he would comfort him and encourage him to go and do it again. And take him by the hand and show him how to do it.
I asked whether he would be disappointed or angry or sad for his brother. “Of course not!” he answered.
“So, you are learning how to do maths. And sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t. And I am your teacher. Hmm… maybe the test was showing you that you are on the right track, but that you still need a bit of practice and someone showing you how to do it?”
“Yes! And you will be like my big sister!”
And off we were to taking a look at what already went right while making a plan for the next steps in learning.
Off course we celebrated and appreciated the progress. And especially the ability to learn and grow, the fact that we have the capacity to do what others did before, even if it may take a bit longer than we originally think.
And last but not least, the fact that there is always support available. Sometimes it comes spontaneously, sometimes we have to ask.
Appreciation is a decision
As the examples above show, appreciation can be a choice to approach situations – and life in general – from a specific perspective.
Of course it is easier to appreciate things that simply fall in our laps.
But the energy that comes with the appreciation for the fact that we have a mind that can support our personal growth, creates 10X results.
The Reflection Journal
After reading the words above, you have enough food for thought. Journaling free style, just as a stream of consciousness can be a very powerful way of journaling.
If you like to have more directions for your writing, check out this page about being amazing. The exercises can be a catalyst to deepen the appreciation you have for yourself.
For some extra power: Look for the possibility to express your appreciation for others as often as you can. It’s a great boost for your own energy as well as for theirs.
And two or more people feeling appreciative and focused on the next step on the path to even better radiate an exponential sense of possibility. Which is a solid base for an evolving life, don’t you think?
I wish more people would feel that power. Let’s make that happen. Let’s live by example and spread the word.