Why we need recognition and how to get it from the right places

recogntion
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

As someone growing her readership, I often receive advice to guest post on larger “platforms” to increase my recognition. You can’t keep showing up for just your own readers and expect to get ahead, they say.

While I have provided guest content when it felt right to me, something holds me back from going hard at seeking guest spots. That may change, but for now I prefer to focus on my readers.

The recognition I desire comes from my audience and those who have trusted me with their email address. I’m more interested in writing something that makes you open and read my emails, than capturing a guest spot on HuffPost.

I’m not writing this to flatter you, but to introduce my topic today which is about recognition. What it means, why it’s important to us, and how it differs from person to person.

It seems obvious that recognition is a basic human need. But it’s important to look at ourselves and know from whom we desire that recognition. So we’re not seeking it in all the wrong places.

What is recognition?

It’s the feeling of wanting to be seen and known. That could come from your husband and family or your boss at work. It doesn’t mean you want to be famous.

I’ve read we crave recognition most from the people we serve. That’s why a compliment from a customer can mean more than one from your manager.

If you’re a mom, nothing feels better than hearing your kids call you a good mom. Other people can praise your parenting all day, but it’s special when the kids acknowledge you this way.

Same when other women call you pretty but you never hear a man say it. This may not pass the PC test, but it’s something many women experience, myself included.

Why do we need it?

recognition

You may have convinced yourself you don’t need this type of outside affirmation. And it is better to get the lion’s share of our motivation from within. But we all need a little appreciation and tend to wilt and wither without it.

As a child, you may have felt discouraged from flexing your talents for others to see. You learned to avoid getting too big for your britches. You dimmed your light to become more acceptable to whoever fed you those lies.

When you tell yourself recognition doesn’t matter, cognitive dissonance sets in. This leads to simmering resentment and the martyr syndrome common to mothers of previous generations.

When you tell yourself recognition doesn't matter, it leads to resentment and martyr syndrome. Click To Tweet

We are not made to give selflessly without any acknowledgment of our contributions. When we are recognized by those we serve, we stand a little taller and shine a little brighter.

Ultimately, recognition shows us we’re not alone. As social animals, human beings crave connection with others. Recognition provides proof that we matter and have a purpose that influences others.

What does recognition mean to you?

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