Noticing with a capital N is as simple as taking the time to tell somebody I see you, I hear you, and You matter to me. It is a simple, yet powerful thing to do and way to be. It is changing the world for good because when people know that they are Noticed, the world is a better place.
Does that seem too good to be true? Well, there are so many reasons to feel negatively that it has become commonplace to focus on the things we don't like in ourselves and others. But there is hope. The idea of Noticing is so exciting because it can be done by anyone and for anyone. We all have the basic human need to feel significant and to connect with others - no matter a person’s age, race, gender, or affiliation. When people know that they have been Noticed, they just show up differently! Although I can explain that from a scientific perspective (and I will in other articles), I think what makes me the most qualified to explain what Noticing with a capital N is, is the law of reciprocity. You see…I set out to Notice other people and one thing I didn't consider in the very beginning was the fact that because I was putting all of that Noticing out into the world - it was going to come back to me!
As you might already know, I initially started by making a list and intentionally Noticing about 250 women. And as you can imagine there were a lot of hand to heart moments during those experience. Do you know what I mean? That common gesture made when someone realizes that they are receiving a thoughtful gift.
This list of women consisted of women in my life who I wanted to tell that I had seen them, I had heard their stories, and because of who they were, I was a better person - they mattered to me! Having a background in training and development and being someone who naturally geeks out on human behavior (and the study of it), I knew that if I just took a moment and told someone I Notice them and complemented them on who they were, that moment would be fleeting. It wouldn't stick. I knew I needed an anchor. So that's where the tangible reminder, the Noticed product came in. I wanted something that I could give to each of those women and say: “I Noticed you. Here's a little something to keep so that whenever you see it, you'll remember that I think you're amazing just for being yourself”. I was - and continue to be - genuinely so grateful for these amazing people and I wanted them to feel that. I naturally enjoy giving complements so Noticing the goodness in them was naturally part of the conversation. So, guess what came back to me?
The Law of Reciprocity is very interesting. I thought that Noticing people could change the world for good, but I understand Noticing because I have been Noticed. I have been Noticed so many times by so many amazing people in my life. And I show up differently in my life because I know how much it matters. It feels soooo good!!!! And yet … I have had to grapple with the discomfort that often comes along with getting Noticed. I had to learn that in order to authentically Notice the goodness in others we must be able to Notice the goodness in ourselves. I had to learn that receiving being Noticed is every bit as important as Noticing itself. And I have witnessed growth in my own life and in the lives of so many other people who have embraced Noticing as a way of being. That is why Noticing with a capital N is a thing!
We get good at what we practice and as this community of people who are practicing Noticing and Noticing goodness grows, I look forward to learning from each other’s experiences. I often refer to Noticing as my 5th kid (if we don't know each other well yet, I have 4 daughters <3 <3 <3 <3). This idea that taking the time to intentionally Notice the goodness in ourselves and others is changing the world. It is organic. It is alive. Noticing with a capital N is a thing! I think that the dictionary should add the word Noticed as a proper noun with the definition: To see someone, to hear their story, and tell them that they matter. What Noticing looks like in real life is defined and will continue to be defined by every experience that we have as Noticers.