Feeling neglected and hurt in your relationship? Working your @$$ off at work, but no one seems to notice? Doing your part to change the world and wishing someone would stop to say, “Thank you for everything you do”?
Feeling unappreciated is one of the main reasons (if not thee reason) relationships fail, jobs are left, or dreams are forgotten. I used to have all the feelings I just asked you about (almost daily), but not anymore! Since starting my own business, forming new friendships, and relearning romance, I’ve found a way to feel valued and loved almost constantly. And guess what changed? Not the way others appreciate me – but me, and my perspective. Grab whatever weapons you already have and let me show you how to use them, not to get revenge for feelings of neglect, but to unlock the most satisfying relationships, improve your work life, and achieve the dreams hidden inside your heart in my 3-step process to becoming an Appreciation Ninja.
Here’s the lesson in one sentence: Whether someone cooks you crepes for breakfast, purchases a program from your business, or clicks “like” on your Facebook post, everyone who loves or admires you shows their support in their own way. Love comes in a huge variety of forms and it’s our ability to recognize it that will transform our experience of life into one that is fulfilling and empowering enough to keep us moving forward when things get hard and we find ourselves asking, “Won’t someone ever appreciate me?”
3-Steps to Mastering your Relationships and Work Life, and Ultimately Becoming an Appreciation Ninja:
STEP ONE: Ninja Initiation
Consider this taking inventory of your very own Appreciation Ninja tool belt – you already have one, believe it or not! How do you show support? Understanding the way you offer love and admiration is the first step to really feeling appreciated yourself.
I show love and admiration in pretty much every way under the sun. Come on over for a visit and I’ll cook you a nice meal. Post something I believe in; I’ll share it. Selling apparel? Yep, I’ll buy it! Do you need some encouragement? I’ll tell it straight to your face with a precise compliment or write it down on a handcrafted “Britmark” card (do you still show affection in ways you did when you were five? I do…).
How do you show that you appreciate others? Take a minute right now to jot down the top five tools that are already at your baby-ninja disposal.
STEP TWO: Ninja Apprenticeship
Not everyone’s appreciation toolkit is jam-packed with as many gadgets as mine – and having more isn’t necessarily better (in fact, I think it makes me kind of needy, and this part should explain why!). The next step to feeling appreciated is thinking of the people you interact with on a daily basis, identifying the tools they use to show their support of you, and recognizing they probably aren’t the same ones that you use.
Most people have one or two key ways they show their appreciation, and identifying this is vital to understanding and valuing them. If you’re like me and you shower support on others in many ways, you have a high chance of feeling neglected because you probably want it reciprocated in equally as many ways, but never fear! Even if you are needy, you can still become an Appreciation Ninja!
Lou-anne Stefankiw taught me an activity where I was challenged to write down all of the people in my life, followed by the ways they supported me. At that time I was really craving affirmation. I had just launched my business and was working so hard to develop programs that would transform peoples lives. I wanted so bad for someone to tell me I was doing a great job, and that I should keep going! I would seek approval and celebration by sharing my little wins privately, “Hey, Joan, guess what just happened?!” and I would tell her all about the success of a new program or podcast were getting with enthusiasm rushing out of my heart.
Can you guess what happened? Joan would respond with an unexcited, “Cool! Good for you,” and go about her day, and my enthusiasm would remain in a puddle on the floor ready to be mopped up by Jim the janitor and flushed down the toilet. It was entirely wasted and didn’t empower Joan, or myself. I wasn’t even close to a ninja.
But then everything changed! I learned the source of the problem in Lou’s activity. I was looking for affirmation from friends who excelled at picking me up after I was knocked down, or people who were awesome at helping me with practical things. I needed to instead reach out to someone who was amazing at mirroring my energy, or asking questions to help me fully experience my success. Luckily, now I know exactly who to go to when I need this kind of response: “OMG! I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!! THAT’S SO AMAZING!!!” or “That’s fantastic! What do you think you’ve learned about who you are from that experience?”
Here’s an example list working through the ways people can show support. Try this activity now.
Joanna – encouraging me when I’m knocked down.
Johnathan – affirming me and seeing the best in me.
Leona – being my biggest cheerleader; seeing the best in me.
Jennifer – asking questions that make me think deeper.
James – actually helping me with something practical.
Learning who to reach out to for the type of support you need is crucial to living a life where you never feel unappreciated, and when you’ve mastered this you’re half way to Appreciation Ninja status!
When it comes to my business, I’ve found everyone supports me in unique ways as well! You do as a reader, and for that I am externally grateful because you take part in a little piece of my soul going out into the universe every week. Some others do by signing up for my programs, liking a Facebook post, or buying a hoodie, for example! But I have tried enough things for many people to have had a chance to appreciate me in their unique way and I’ve learned that my support is greater than I’d ever imagined, and for that I thank you.
STEP THREE: Ninja Mastery
Learn to lavish your love and support on others in a way that they can interpret and understand.
Remember that other people probably show love the same way they want to receive it. You can begin by asking yourself, “How does Mark show he supports me?” Jot down all the things he does naturally. Now, try showing Mark you value him by doing similar things for him! If he cooks for you, make the meal for him next time If he is always giving you compliments, sneak one in just for him when you get a chance to chat. Chances are Mark will love it!
Want to be sure that you’re showering love or support on someone in a way they’ll really get? You can take tests to confirm your findings! Learn your love languages and take a personality test (links to follow), and ask those you interact with regularly to do the same. The more you know about others, the more you know how to show them you support and love them in a way they will really feel to their core.
In my experience with relearning romance, I happened to take a personality test. Since my suitor at the time was the type who liked learning about himself, he did the same, and we shared our results. I can’t even tell you how big of a deal this really was, because if we hadn’t taken those tests, I probably would have given up on him simply because I wouldn’t have known the ways his personality type shows appreciation. Needy Brittney would have been wanting daily messages saying how wonderful she is, but I learned that him taking time out of his busy schedule to send me any message or practically helping me with my business was his way of supporting me (because he definitely doesn’t do these things for just anybody). Had I not taken the time to learn how he shows affection, I would have lost out on a great thing. So I guess I kind of stumbled my way to Appreciation Ninja status, but by learning personalities and love languages I now how to show him and others that I value them far better than I ever knew how before!
And that’s really it! It only takes three steps to live your life feeling appreciated everyday by your lover, boss, or clients. Learn how you show support. Identify the tools they use to appreciate you. And then start lavishing your love on the world in the ways they will really feel it.
The coolest part? Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll really feel like an Appreciation Ninja – like a stealthy spy investigator identifying what makes others feel loved and valued, spreading support so much more powerfully, AND learning to see and accept affirmation even when it isn’t given in the way you’d normally choose to receive it.
Welcome, ninja, to a new level of thinking – you’ll never feel unappreciated again.
Thanks again for the ways you support me: as a reader and possibly more. I appreciated it more than you’ll ever know. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there’s any way I can help you. Don’t want to reach out, but would like to stay in touch? Sign up for my mailing list for exclusive offers and top-secret writing I share with my besties only.
Here’s the link to a great personality test you and your loved ones can take.
To contact my friend Lou-anne about her 6-week program that will help you work through processes like these, click here.