The power of showing appreciation
How could showing appreciation to yourself and those in your world help you?
The dictionary definition of appreciation is:
To understand the worth or importance of (something or someone);
To admire and value (something or someone).
To show appreciation is an expression of gratitude and is a form of acknowledgement. Of late, I have found myself showing appreciation for the people in my life, whilst also being appreciated myself by others.
I have been deeply appreciative of a wonderful new community, orientated around a powerful new book (The Ultimate Coach, the biography of the coach’s coach Steve Hardison), where I have made some fantastic new friendships and connections.
I have been appreciated by my friends and loved ones for the support and assistance I have given them of late. And I have shown appreciation to myself for my hard work and dedication to my profession of coaching, the people I work with, and the community I support.
Showing appreciation is a powerful act. It’s a form of social glue and fundamental to our well-being. It reminds us we are part of communities; that we are neither alone and cannot flourish in isolation. Appreciation is also a way of recognising and showing understanding of something about an act, a behaviour or an endeavour by someone outside of ourselves. It’s a form of empathy.
I invite you to consider the virtue of showing greater appreciation:
- to those in your world
- to yourself
To show appreciation is relational, it is an expression of love. It demonstrates a generosity of spirit.
The lens when cast on oneself is rarely as generous compared to when it is cast upon our family, friends. Thus, appreciation can also be a powerful act of self-love, in place of the well-meaning but tireless and joyless work of the inner critic. Yes, directed inwards this can help us gain a truer perspective on ourselves, lifting us out of the perpetual funk of demonising and critiquing ourselves. Appreciation is self-approval.
Someone I only met once did just this - they showed the courage to request some love, asking for our impressions of them, their strengths and their assets as a person. What I shared was that I appreciated this person’s honesty, authenticity, kindness, courage and curiosity (as I perceived them in my experience of their being). In turn, they showed great appreciation and gratitude for what the group had gifted them.
Such demonstration of appreciation can actually reflect our own values and what is either deeply important to us or that which we are missing or looking for ourselves right now.
Yes, when we are at the bottom of the rollercoaster, our innate resilience may well bring us back up soon enough, but appreciation, either shown or received can stop us from falling further down or remaining stuck. One change in thought can give us that vertical jump into a higher level of awareness. Appreciation reminds us of our inner strength, whilst strengthening our bond with others.
So, my invitation to you is: who can you show some unexpected appreciation for or towards in your constellation, either by simply thinking about this person or via a short message or note today?
As you look back at how you’ve started the year, what can you show appreciation for in your own endeavours and ways of being (without inserting qualification or buts)?