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Why we Fail to Gain Recognition from Others
What kind of recognition do we seek from others? We want the acknowledgement of a job well done, or of something good about our character to be noted to us personally, or publicly. The essential attitude and emotional component of those comments is appreciation and respect. Appreciation and Respect are two common expressions of Love. Here is the obstacle that often precludes others from acknowledging our efforts and accomplishments. In order for someone to give appreciation and respect, they first have to have it. They then have to enough of it that they can give some to others.
Many people do not feel enough appreciation and respect for themselves, others, or the world around them to have it spill over into words of acknowledgments to others. If you are seeking to be acknowledged by someone that doesn’t operate in the emotional range of respect and appreciation for others, then you will be waiting a long time. It is as if we were hoping to receive a gift of money from someone who is in debt. They simply don’t have the emotional currency to put into those words of praise and acknowledgement and give it to you.
If you are not sure about what I am saying, or at least skeptical, then good. You should be skeptical of what people write and say. To find out, I encourage you to listen carefully to what people say. Or maybe you can take a few minutes to review the previous conversations you have had. How much conversation focuses on appreciation and respect, vs. how much centers around criticism and complaining? Study what people say around you. Pay attention to what you talk about, and the comments you make. You might be one of those people that has more complaints come out of them than appreciation.
People give what they have. If they have a lot of complaints, then they don’t have much respect and appreciation to “recognize” other’s efforts and accomplishments.
Perhaps there are people around you seeking recognition in the form of appreciation and respect, but you are in debt yourself. You just don’t have it in you to give. If so, then in that debt of value, you might be seeking recognition from others as well. If this is the case, then we have multiple people feeling the debt of their personal value, all seeking to be enriched from someone else who is also in debt about their own value. This isn’t a viable solution
Consider that your boss is busy. Maybe busier than you are. Your client that you worked hard for, is stressed, and worried about making their payroll, has a sick kid, or elderly parent at home they need to get back to. Financial stress, work stress, deadlines, health, family obligations, add that up and you are in a state of fear. A fear state doesn’t cultivate emotions of appreciation and respect. Appreciation and respect come from Love, and is necessary to express recognition of someone else. If others are busy, or stressed, then seeking recognition from them in the forms of praise then you are seeking someone to see your value that can’t see past their own feeling of stress and overwhelm. People can’t give you what they don’t have.
How to Get Recognition that is Satisfying
If seeking your sense of value from other’s opinions leaves you exhausted from your efforts then maybe that is not the way to go. Being recognized by others is just a way we got in touch with and felt our own value. Feeling our own value is what we are really seeking. We don’t want or need others to acknowledge our value so much as we have become dependent on that trigger for being in connection and feeling our own sense of worth. It is possible for you to feel your own sense of value and worth without getting others to trigger it. If we do that, then we don’t need to over extend our work efforts to please others.
Of course, it is easy to reach this sense of our own value when people we are close to, and respect put attention on us in appreciative, respectful, or loving ways. When people close to us honor us, we feel that emotion, and the connection, and expands our sense of value. Having people like this in your life is an important part off healthy and happy relationships. However, expecting recognition and acknowledgements to come from people at work, isn’t the most reliable plan. If it is part of your plan, then be wise in choosing who you work with, and who you work for.
Feeling your own sense of value is an internal feeling, and internal sensation. We can have food in our fridge, cook in our own kitchens and feed ourselves with nourishment. It would be foolish to believe that we have to eat out at someone else’s house, or restaurant for every meal. The balancing act is to nourish ourselves with respect and appreciation, without tipping over into the ego version of self-importance.
Finding Your Own Value
What are you seeking when you seek to recognize and see your own value? You are looking to be in touch with a feeling within. Call it self-acceptance, self-worth, peace, happiness, gratitude, appreciation, self-respect, Integrity, or anything else you like. The one thing that is common is that you will experience it as a good feeling within yourself. How do you find this good feeling? You begin by paying attention to your emotions.
This will likely seem like an odd thing, and even a difficult thing. We have learned to be busy in achieving success more than we have learned to pay attention to our emotions. It may seem like you are going in the wrong direction if you discover you don’t like how you feel. Who wants to pay attention to your emotions if they are negative, like anger, disappointment, sadness, loneliness, or fear. This leads to the next step in the journey.
Behind those unpleasant emotions are false beliefs. Those negative thoughts connected to such emotions hide beliefs that aren’t true, but that we carry in our mind. Every not good enough story, fear of failure, fear of rejection, disappointment, guilt, and shame is kept alive in us because we have false beliefs we are unconscious of. Find those false beliefs, change them, and those unpleasant emotions dissolve.
On the other side of those false beliefs are the good feelings. The good feelings are the self-acceptance, peace, self-respect, and self-love. When you stop covering up your intrinsic value, that real value that is always there, that was always there, and will always be there, you will feel it. You will feel your own loving presence, and you won’t have to have anyone recognize it, or see it, because you will “see” it by feeling it yourself. This is how you recognize yourself. When you do, you won’t need anyone else to see you.
You have your own intrinsic value which has been, and will always be yours. This is the value and beauty we see and feel in ourselves and others when we are in our Integrity. However, we have repressed being in touch with feeling good about ourselves through beliefs systems that generate internal negative thoughts of self-judgments, and comparisons to others. This creates an emotional state internally of feeling “less than” and unworthy. In some cases those false beliefs create feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and depression.
The perceived “solution” to these falsely created feelings of unworthiness, is to seek to get that emotional fix from others. We do this through work, sometimes to exhaustion, or projecting ourselves as “perfect” in some way or trying to please others with our efforts just to get a few kind words. All the effort is to overcome a feeling that is manufactured by a false belief system. Then we are left disappointed or frustrated by others for not recognizing our efforts, with praise, approval, or some few words of respect, and acknowledgment. Which they may not have in them to give through no fault of their own, because they are without an abundance of emotions. But without that awareness, we create feelings of frustration, annoyance, or disappointment about their failure to give, or our failure to work hard enough to get recognition. Even if all that work is equivalent to fishing in a lake that has no fish.
The shorter path solution is to eliminate the false beliefs that hide the feelings of self-worth from ourselves. Eliminate your false beliefs and you will no longer be in the emotions about the lack of value those thoughts and emotions create. Then you can easily get in touch with, and feel your own Authentic Presence.
For practical steps in identifying and changing false beliefs, do the free sessions of the Basic Self Mastery Series.