The Art ( & discipline) of Self-Acknowledgment
If you are a creative person regularly involved with starting new projects — the kind unlikely to get results overnight — here is a simple practice that will keep you in a positive frame of mind and save you from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of depressing yourself by focusing on the cup (or your life) being half empty.
At the end of each work day, acknowledge yourself for all of your accomplishments, small, medium, and large. But not just silently, in your head, verbally — aloud.
Most cultural creatives, no matter how inspired they are at the beginning of a project, eventually end up feeling down in the dumps. They start focusing on everything they haven’t done and everything that hasn’t happened instead of focusing on their progress and the fact that they are actually getting closer to their goal.
What I do at the end of each work day that works like a charm, whether I’m in my car, walking the dog, or just laying around, is SPEAK OUT, to myself, everything I’ve done that moved my project forward that day — whether it was a phone call made, research done, task accomplished, proposal accepted, or whatever.
Almost always, I’m surprised at the ground I’ve covered and I feel my mood changing from dread and impossibility to a buoyant sense of victory and “I’m on my way.”
I’m not suggesting you BS yourself, just acknowledge what you’ve done, no matter how small. And announce it to yourself so you get to HEAR it, not just THINK it.
This simple self-acknowledgment-process establishes a sense of closure for the day, so you can let go of “work mode” and transition to an evening of rest, renewal, and incubation — an actual night off without having to carry that heavy load of incompletes that not only weigh YOU down, but weigh down all those wonderful people around you who can FEEL your low grade virus of “not good enough.”
Drop it. It’s useless. You don’t need it anymore. And the simplest way to get rid of it is to simply announce, in the pleasure of your own company, the progress you’ve made that day — a nice little gift you can give yourself and everyone else who shares your home or life.
Three minutes. That’s all it takes. Try it.
image credit: denisegriffitts.com
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