“Acrobat : The only person who can do what everyone else would like to do, pat themselves on the back”
Most of us know how helpful it is to congratulate someone on a job well done. Whether it is a huge job or a much smaller endeavor, the act of taking a moment to acknowledge their achievement and to let them know their efforts were not un-noticed is a very powerful one; it can make the recipient feel the little bit more appreciated, more empowered, it can make everything seem worthwhile in that moment.
And most of us also know how good to feels when someone does the same to us, patting us on the back when we complete something. It feels good, doesn’t it, to know that your hard work was not in vain. And it can even help to strengthen the relationship between the two people, knowing that they appreciate you and vice versa.
But there is someone who pretty much all of us will never take the time to stop and congratulate no matter how stirling a job they do.
And there is also someone who, no matter how much effort we put in, will never seem to be pleased enough with us because they will never ever thank us let alone congratulate us.
Which is a big shame and, when you think about it, a problem, because it’s those little moments of interaction, of bonding, of appreciation which can make a huge different to our day and, in the long run, to our lives; that acknowledgement and recognition feels so uplifting, doesn’t it?
I used to go through life, as most of us to, with a huge overflowing (and regularly filling) In-tray of things I had to so, tasks which I needed to complete, problems which all needed my attention. I’d do my best on each one, getting them done to the best of my ability, but I’d often end up getting more and more stressed because as soon as I finished one thing, I’d see that metaphorical in-tray of life with so many other things which all needed doing, the pile never seeming to get any smaller, and I’d start beating myself up over not getting things done fast enough as I plunged into the next thing I had to do. Many of you are reading this and nodding in self-recognition right now, I al willing to bet! And it’s a stressful place to be, isn’t it?
Fortunately for me, one day a good friend shared with me a small secret, which made a big difference, helping to reduce the feelings of stress and overwhelm, giving me something to help to deal with the never-ending stream of things I had to do. It’s not the biggest secret in the word. Indeed, it’s pretty obvious when you think about it. But it’s something I’d never thought about before, and if you were nodding a moment ago I’m pretty sure you had never thought of it either.
When was the last time you completed a task, any task, and then took a moment to pause and congratulate yourself on completing it? Go on, have a think for a moment. The chances are it’s a very long time ago, if indeed ever, right?
But just imagine, for a moment, if you had taken just that moment to pause and pat yourself on the back and even celebrate a job well done. You know how good it feels when someone else congratulates you, imagine how even more empowering it feels when the person who knows you best does it? Ad it even strengthens your own relationship with yourself.
It’s a simple step, isn’t it! So simple that it almost doesn’t need spelling out. Yet, like many of the obvious things in life, it is only obvious when it’s pointed out, but when it is, it can have a profound effect on you.
Why not think of a way in which you could celebrate with yourself when you’ve completed something? And you don’t have to wait until it’s a huge task, even smaller tasks deserve that moment to pause, celebrate, and pat yourself on the back.
So how might you celebrate? A small inward word of gratitude, perhaps? Punching the air? Singing a few bars of a celebratory song? It doesn’t matter what it is, the important thing is that it works for you, and that you do it every time.
So, take a moment here to think about how you are going to celebrate your successes from now one, and resolve right here to become the person who is grateful for all you do, the person who recognises what a great job you do, the person who is always there to help you celebrate checking off that To Do list entry.
Decide to do this, from now on; even if it’s just for the next week to give it a try and see how you feel. But make sure you commit to doing this every time you complete something.
And once you’ve chosen your celebratory ritual and made the commitment to unleash your inner acrobat by doing it every time, pat yourself on the back and celebrate having completed the task of making that decision right now.
Feels good, doesn’t it?