Self Acknowledgement

What are you celebrating in your life right now? Take a minute to think. Pausing to reflect on and celebrate our achievements before we move onto the next thing is not something we do often, but just for now, have a go.

When we find something to celebrate, ‘I did manage to do a good presentation’, etc., we commonly focus on external things or our actions, and often we put those down to ‘luck’: ‘Oh I was just lucky, I had a friendly crowd.’ It is very rare and actually quite difficult to do a pure self-acknowledgement of who we are as a person and accept that this is what led to the achievement in the first place.

Your good presentation was not down to luck – it was down to your courage, tenacity, integrity (or another key quality of yours). Self-acknowledgement is the act of recognizing and celebrating a positive quality or trait or a personal value you are honouring and literally naming it (preferably out loud), so that you can celebrate that part of yourself at that moment.

It is a great tool to have in your arsenal to counter negative thoughts. Once you start to do this on a daily basis, you will see a difference in how you think and treat yourself. As I have mentioned before, self-pride can be received negatively and it is often confused with being arrogant.

We are taught to be modest and humble, which often leads us not to accept compliments (let alone direct acknowledgements) if we receive them from others. We find it hard to accept any kind of acknowledgement because we haven’t learned how to be truly proud of ourselves or how to honour and celebrate our strengths and achievements.

Because we are so uncomfortable with this ourselves, when anyone else dares to be ‘proud’ of who they are or what they’ve achieved, we often tear them down – either consciously or unconsciously. If you can celebrate your internal strengths and resources, you will be able to step into them. This is why I often begin my coaching sessions by asking, ‘What are you celebrating?’ Because amongst all our difficulties it is very easy to forget who we are.

When you do acknowledge and celebrate yourself, you start to see yourself differently and become much more able to counteract your negative thoughts and the effects those have on your life. The more you say, ‘I am intelligent’ the more you will be able to recognize and live up to that statement.

Once you can do this, you will be more able to stay focused and motivated, be better at resolving problems or overcoming obstacles, and be able to achieve what you want in life and enjoy the ride. Acknowledging your qualities and the personal values you are honouring will also enable you to view events from a more considered and rational viewpoint because you will have a stronger sense of who you are.

Self-acknowledgement can even help you to be less fearful when faced with negative information and events (such as bad news about your physical or mental health) or if you are on the receiving end of prejudice or discrimination, or in any kind of social conflict.


Having a vocabulary of words on hand to celebrate yourself and your achievements is a great way to counteract negative thoughts and create a mindset where you can achieve the life you want.

  1. Take a look at the list of words opposite. Every morning ask yourself the question, ‘What am I celebrating?’ Choose three self-acknowledgements that are true for you (don’t worry if you feel embarrassed or don’t fully believe them for now. Write them down or circle them. Say your self-acknowledgement words to yourself in a mirror, e.g. ‘I am brave’.
  2. At the end of each day think about one thing that has happened, be it good or challenging. Ask yourself, ‘Who was I being in that situation?’, ‘What quality within me enabled that to happen?’ Take one quality from the list , or come up with one yourself and write down or repeat the phrase, ‘In doing that, I was being [your chosen word], therefore I am [your chosen word].
  • Levelheaded
  • Dependable
  • Grounded
  • Approachable
  • Powerful
  • Active
  • Ambitious
  • Well-meaning
  • Determined
  • Able
  • Tender
  • Articulate
  • Careful
  • Helpful
  • Accessible
  • Spontaneous
  • Authentic
  • Beautiful
  • Discerning
  • Brave
  • Unpretentious
  • Bold
  • Resilient
  • Believable
  • Spiritual
  • Innocent
  • Brilliant
  • Charming
  • Tenacious
  • Clever
  • Mindful
  • Open
  • Confident
  • Sincere
  • Creative
  • Committed
  • Peaceful
  • Intelligent
  • Compassionate
  • Outgoing
  • Caring
  • Outspoken
  • Kind
  • Credible
  • Steady
  • Clear
  • Noble
  • Methodical
  • Outgoing
  • Certain
  • Lovable
  • Capable
  • Shy
  • Courageous
  • Daring
  • Reliable
  • Lucid
  • Distinctive
  • Humble
  • Young at heart
  • Dynamic
  • Wise
  • Diligent
  • Humorous
  • Magnanimous
  • Practical
  • Sound
  • Decisive
  • Quick-witted
  • Vibrant
  • Outrageous
  • Welcoming
  • Detailed
  • Trustworthy
  • Dedicated
  • Likeable
  • Joyous
  • Energetic
  • Strategic
  • Engaging
  • Quirky
  • Grateful
  • Vigilant
  • Fun
  • Serious
  • Fast
  • Frank
  • Flexible
  • Natural
  • Fierce
  • Respectful
  • Strong
  • Polite
  • Gregarious
  • Generous
  • Trusting
  • Laid back
  • Happy
  • Honest
  • Private
  • Visionary
  • Witty
  • Inspiring
  • Qualified
  • Insightful
  • Jovial
  • Keen
  • Unaffected
  • Victorious
  • Learned
  • Thoughtful
  • Original
  • Optimistic
  • Thankful
  • Playful
  • Poised
  • Individual
  • Present
  • Harmonious
  • Exciting
  • Independent
  • Whimsical
  • Responsible
  • Intuitive
  • Soulful
  • Friendly
  • Truthful
  • Mischievous
  • Unique
  • Virtuous
  • Lively
  • Graceful
  • Warm
  • Wry
  • Motivated
  • Youthful
  • Knowing
  • Zesty
  • Patient
  • Joyful

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