Humans have a deep need for recognition. Whether that’s for unloading the dishwasher or executing your work project with a little extra oomph. We want those efforts recognized. We want them seen and praised. When they aren’t, we are left feeling frustrated, sometimes even resentful. It can lead to feeling like you’re running on a treadmill of sorts. “If I just work a little bit harder… if I just perform a little bit more… I’ll be recognized.”
Let’s think about how this plays out. Ever heard of the term “burned out?” Stay-at-home-moms may feel burned out because their jobs are 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, and often they receive little recognition. Employees may feel burned out from putting in overtime without enough acknowledgment of their hard work. Our tendency to continually bite off more than we can chew damages our most important relationships as we continue to neglect our loved ones in pursuit of the title of “Most Valuable Person”.
So how can we manage our need for recognition?
The cold hard truth is that we will all continue to seek out recognition. We are hardwired for this. However, there are some strategies we can use to help manage the negative effects:
- Compete with yourself, not others. Focus on how you have improved over time.
- Choose whom you seek recognition from.
- Think of someone who has had a positive impact on your life. then try to have that impact on another person’s life.
- Recognize others applaud other people whose work you admire
- Live in alignment with your own values, be the kind of person you want to be. Respect yourself. (For help figuring out your values, get counseling in Frisco, TX)
Life can feel like a treadmill if we’re constantly seeking recognition from others. While we cannot avoid this completely, we can choose which parts of life we want to prioritize. By regularly slowing down and focusing on your values, You can keep perspective on your purpose and meaning rather than the appraisal of others.
Adapted from Jennifer Keluskar, Ph.D.
If you think you may need help balancing your life, we can help at New Roots Counseling Frisco, TX.