Keeping your accomplishments to yourself

With the stroke of a paintbrush, I transformed 60 years of scuffs, dirt and memories into a fresh, beautiful new wall. It was the last project on my weekend home improvement list but instead of being proud of my painting effort, I quickly realized it was my thoughts that needed improvement.

As I examined the freshly painted wall, the first thought that popped into my head wasn’t congratulatory nor affirming. Instead, I stood there and said out loud, “who’s going to care?”  The hallway I painted leads back to my utility room, not exactly the most used room in the house. Sure I walk through the hallway each time I do laundry, but I barely notice the walls themselves. I realized that I may be the only person to ever notice the improvement.

That comment got me thinking: why was I upset that no one would see my handiwork? Couldn’t I just be pleased with myself for painting a wall that desperately needed some attention? The concept grew further in my mind: why do we do most of the things we do? Do we do them for ourselves? For others? For acknowledgement and praise from our friends and family?

Why is it difficult to do something just for your own pleasure?

In the age of social media, it’s very easy to tout your efforts to the universe. Every day, Facebook is full of people talking about their accomplishments: “I went to the gym for 45 minutes!” “I stopped and helped a stranger change a tire.” “I cooked a fantastic dinner!” The posts are endless as is the need for affirmation. We have become addicted to the praise we receive from others when we do something—out of the ordinary or not.

Acknowledgement from others is a powerful lure. It feels good to be recognized for your good efforts and hard work. It is a great feeling to know that others appreciate you—you feel valued, loved and special. Yet there is something missing from this equation.

We have forgotten the importance of affirming the self. We’ve traded in our own sense of self-value for that of the external world and it’s time we take it back.

Self-affirmation means more than trusting yourself and your journey in life. It also means taking pleasure and joy out of everything you do. When you find fulfillment in your own actions, you automatically broadcast those good vibes out into the universe. This need not mean letting others know about your accomplishments; instead, it’s creating a feeling of pride in yourself, knowing that your own acknowledgement is enough.

As you begin to trust yourself and take stock in your actions, you begin building a solid psychic foundation. That foundation is energetically positive and works with the law of attraction to bring you more of the same. You find additional things to be proud of; you see yourself as the director of your life. And as you beam positive energy, you’ll automatically get praise from others.

Take the challenge

Building self-affirmation is best done on a consistent and small basis. Each day, look for things that you can be proud of, whether it’s a big project at work or pulling weeds for an elderly neighbor. Then, watch your thoughts like a hawk. Are you wanting to tell the world about your actions? Do you automatically reach for your smart phone to post your accomplishment on Twitter? If you catch yourself in these situations, stop and reflect for a moment. Give yourself inward praise first. Smile and bask in your own acknowledgement. Feel the sensation of pride in your body and let it radiate outward.

Let that praise be enough. Give yourself permission to keep your acknowledgement secret from the rest of the world. You can post something else to Facebook later in the day. In that moment, you’re building trust with your inner self. And as you do this more and more, that connection grows stronger each step of the way. Pretty soon you’ll be beaming with self-affirmation and positivity and others will be sure to notice…and comment.

As for me, I’m going to sit quietly in the hallway and admire my painting. Even if no one else ever sees it, I’ll know I’m proud of myself. And, that can be enough for now.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kerri Richardson
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 15:52:48

    Ooh, this one hit home. I do find that I will look outside for acknowledgement, praise, indication that I am worthy/good enough. And yeah, social media plays right into that. This is a great reminder to look for that within myself. Find it there first. Thanks!

    Reply

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