Listen for Acknowledgment
I've always struggled with acknowledgment. Let me be clear - it's definitely not because I don't enjoy getting it. I do - I really do.
Sometimes to a fault.
So much of my life and my energy has been spent trying
. Trying to get the highest grades. Trying to be the best writer. Trying to have the perfect body. Trying to master the hardest pose. Not for myself, but for everyone around me. I'm an approval seeker and a reassurance-junkie. Anyone out there with me?
But none of these things - including the acknowledgment that came along with my efforts - ever made me truly happy. So I continued to seek out reassurance. Every time I felt even an inkling of self doubt, I would run to the people closest to me and ask for encouragement.
Am I doing a good job?
Am I on the right track?
Is this really what I should be doing with my life?
I wrote a post about this over a year ago on my own blog
. I realized that so much of my time was spent seeking approval from others but what was missing in all this was approval from myself
. It didn't matter how many times I heard that I was on the right track - if I didn't believe it, how could anyone else change that?
So I went on what some might call a reassurance diet. I decided I wasn't going to run to the people closest to me for approval in times where I felt doubt. I was going to discover my own belief in myself.
And then I went to Tulum to assist Level Two with Baron and a big wave of self doubt washed over me halfway through the program. I spoke with Paige Elenson and she told me to "listen for acknowledgment.
" I quickly explained that given my personality, I have to do the exact opposite. I have to stop trying so hard to get approval from others and find it within myself. Then she told me something very simple, yet very important:
We all need acknowledgment. It's a part of being human.
Suddenly I saw the difference between seeking approval and listening for acknowledgment. Seeking approval comes from a place of needing someone else to tell me that I'm good enough. Listening for acknowledgment comes from being open. It comes from a place of believing in yourself first but still hearing those that believe in you too.
Perhaps my reassurance diet became a little too strict but I learned an important lesson along the way:
Outside reassurance means nothing if we don't believe in ourselves first.
Believe in yourself, but don't forget to keep your eyes and ears open for the people that believe in you too.