Do you remember the last time you acknowledged someone? Do you remember when the last time you acknowledged you? To acknowledge something or someone means to recognize as being valid or true in that moment. A simple example (and years ago) is when my son, Paul, rode his bicycle without falling. I acknowledged him for his great success showing him that he was able to ride his bike for about 50 meters without falling. An acknowledgment allowed him to recognize that he didn’t crash and that he triumphed at what he did. When Paul looking back at the obstacle that he overcame, it gave him the courage to keep going.
The odd fact is, though, many of us seem to implicitly believe that acknowledging is not important especially as we grow older. Otherwise, we would acknowledge others more freely. Not only children. On the other hand, many of us haven’t grown up with a huge amount of validation, and, in the end, validating others or ourselves doesn’t come natural. Another point is that maybe we take it for granted that others already know what they do well in or where their strengths lie. Perhaps we yield to the idea that if we tell someone how great they really are, they will become conceited. Maybe if we don’t say anything about their amazing accomplishments (while I am glued to the television eating pizza and drinking beer lacking any real life goals), we won’t have to change our own behavior. Nonetheless, even if others do know their truths, wouldn’t it feel better to have someone recognize and validate it? Of course it would. A sincere acknowledgement feels amazing, and it goes a long way!
Here are a few examples to show you how acknowledging can support others:
- Having someone endorse you when you are afraid to forge ahead;
- Focusing on your strengths when all you see are your weaknesses;
- Wanting a better way for you when you find it hopeless;
- Holding your vision high when you are down;
- Recognizing your talents and accomplishments when you are blind to see them.
An acknowledgement is one of the most powerful tools you can give someone. You start to trust yourself. You begin to move into action. It is a way to solidify what you know but haven’t really confirmed with yourself. A simple acknowledgement is a way to bring out the best in others and yourself. Acknowledging is a powerful technique to give someone strength and courage through their, sometimes very fearful, endeavors.
To add, toddler hears the word no an astonishing 400 times a day. (Wow, it sounds crazy!) Besides the no word, many children and teens, right up until adulthood and beyond, are scolded, belittled, and even mocked. (So sad). As an Acknowledger, you strengthen someone’s inner-worth. You give them a sense of self-empowerment. Acknowledging is a precious and invaluable gift to acquire and give freely to others.
Don’t wait. Begin acknowledging someone you love today for their strengths, talents, emotions, attributes, skills, and everything else in-between. Be genuine in your acknowledgements and they will go far.
“You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within”