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Acquire: Outrun the Cookie Monster

I volunteer with an organization that has several ways of recognizing people for how they improve the group. There are recognitions for service, knowledge, and even brawn. Some of us call them cookies. These recognitions are lovely but inevitably it sets some people on a full-blown cookie hunt. These people are checking off boxes with their eyes on the prize. A friend recently posted about this to Facebook and it definitely struck a chord.

This might all sound very familiar to you. We all want to be recognized for our work. We want that promotion, that transfer, that next presentation, or sale. Sometimes we’d be happy with the satisfaction of a high five.

This is so human. Recognition meets us at the line between our questions and the abyss.

How do we know if we are good? How do we know if we are wanted? How do we know if we belong?

And being recognized can quiet the voices of doubt within us, for a time. Still, it doesn’t make you good, or wanted, or confirm that you belong. These things come from what you create not what others recognize.

The exercise today is to write a quantitive list of all of your gifts. Everything you do and everything you have to offer. Every last, little thing. If you want to get fancy, mark the ones that you are most proud of by underlining or highlighting. Now, make a list of what you want to add to that list. A tangible list of the skills you wish to acquire will give you a clear direction. Keep it positive, I can see you. Eventually, intention will lead to a process. Immerse yourself in that process and the cookie hunt will take care of itself.


Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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