Enjoy Praise Without Needing It

Not needing anyone’s good opinion is maturity. Not wanting anyone’s good opinion is pride.

I’ve spent a lot of my life working with young people in their education and career journey and the number one thing that makes them miserable is their need for the approval and praise of others.

As a result, I’ve focused a lot of energy and attention to trying to help people overcome that need. There is a certain confidence, humility (yes humility), and willingness to take risks that is needed to get over seeking stamps of approval or applause. Once achieved, the whole world opens up.

But if you push that mentality too far and actually begin to despise or look down on praise or approval from others or simply not enjoy it, you may be in danger of pride that can lead to darkness. This is a rather rare problem, but among some of the highest achieving not so rare.

If you’re not at least a bit moved and delighted by the praise of others, you’re losing some of your humanity. The process begins by being annoyed at praise from those you feel are lesser, and only enjoying it from your “betters”. It ends in despising it from anyone.

Take joy in a compliment! When someone is impressed, no matter how silly you think the thing is they are impressed by, allow it to warm you heart a little. Don’t need it, but enjoy the bonus. It’s good to know others are moved by things you do.