“People work for money but go the extra mile for praise, recognition, and rewards.” ― Dale Carnegie
Our minds are hardwired to be in a state of constant recognition. We are all hungry for it, and when we do not get enough, our brains are less efficient.
We are wired for recognition because it makes us feel good. It is the key to every person’s sense of self-esteem and the best way for us to know that we have done well. So when our brain does not get enough, it suffers.
The need for recognition is the most important factor in your professional life as well, because it provides you with a sense of achievement or happiness that you can carry back into your work. Becoming someone who is recognizable is not only a sought-after feat, but it can become addictive as well.
Why the Crazy Need for Recognition?
Human beings are social animals who need recognition from others to feel happy. And often, people find themselves in trouble when they are not getting the desired responses they were looking for.
○ We All Want to be “Famous”
We’ve all wanted to be famous at one point because we feel like those are the most respected people on the planet.
Their lives seem so perfect, and for some reason, their celebrity status brings them joy. Of course, you’ll never have an anonymous lifestyle when you’ve reached a certain level of fame, but nobody ever considers that.
We start living vicariously through famous people and celebrate their achievements and life.
Being a famous person or celebrity, in general, will always bring you a sensation of belonging. Nobody wants to feel like their life has been a waste, and that’s precisely why we feel like being famous would make everything worthwhile.
○ Celebrities Are NOT Normal People!
Celebrities are constantly under the public eye, subject to scrutiny, and required to be on top of their game. And despite this, many celebrities still struggle with their mental health because of the pressure they face.
It is very easy to get caught up in the chase of fame. We might be trying to get famous because we think it will give us a sense of worth or some sort of validation.
Fame isn’t going to help you get to your kids’ baseball game on time, and as a matter of fact, it’s likely going to take you away from your family for the most part. The more we try to become famous, the more we will suffer from a lack of happiness and satisfaction in our lives.
○ Crazy effect on our Brain
The need for recognition effect on brain is a phenomenon where we experience a feeling of happiness and motivation when we receive feedback from the people around us. This happens because our brains are programmed to feel rewarded by being recognized by others.
People with addictive behaviors have a lot of dopamine in their brain. It is a chemical that is released when we get something that we want or deserve. This dopamine also takes over our brain and makes us addicted to the person or thing that we are getting it from.
The need for recognition can lead to this toxic dependency in relationships, the workplace, friendship, etc. And this is dangerous because it compels people to put their well-being at stake by putting too much importance on success and fame.
The Healthy Part of Recognition
A lot of people seek recognition in one way or another. Whether it is for a good deed, a milestone, or an achievement. Everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions and hard work. It is important that we understand the healthy part of seeking recognition and how we can use it to our advantage
○ Seek Appreciation over Recognition
Appreciation is not the same as recognition, which is where many of you reading this will slip up.
Seek Appreciation over Recognition is a philosophy that talks about the need to focus more on what you do well rather than how others perceive it. Seeking appreciation brings out your strengths and builds self-confidence, while seeking recognition can make you feel insecure and low self-esteem.
By seeking appreciation over recognition, we can make sure that we are not slaves of our own ego and that we are able to stay grounded and focused on what matters.
It’s important to find the right balance between seeking appreciation and seeking recognition to keep our self-esteem in check.
○ It acts as motivation to do something beneficial for society
Society is always looking for people to bear the burden and take on more than most. In this case, trying to achieve recognition in this world can very well fuel people to do exactly that.
I’m sure there have been situations in the past where great war chiefs were willing to do whatever it took because they understood the battle would be etched in history for eternity. When you’re doing something that you know will drastically impact the planet, you can approach it with pride.
Benefitting society is always going to give you recognition, and some people may even focus on doing precisely that because of the off-chance they gain for themselves.
Managing the need for recognition
We should stop seeking external recognition for our achievements and recognize only what is important to us – our well-being. The more we recognize our needs and wants, the less vulnerable we are to the ego that has a tendency to take over when we start chasing what other people think of us.
○ Watch your Mind
The key is learning how to harness the power of your mind when it seeks recognition. It is the ego that causes this tension and when you understand what your mind needs, you can find peace instead of conflict.
Recognize the trigger when it seeks recognition, by knowing why you feel like this or what you need so that you can get back on track instead of ending up frustrated and pressured.
Learning how to watch your mind when it seeks recognition is a skill that can help us cultivate inner happiness and cultivate self-awareness around this natural egoism in our minds.
There are a lot of ways in which we can watch our mind and realize when it needs recognition. The best way to do this is to keep a journal of sorts where you write down your thoughts. That way, you can see what the triggers are that lead to negative thoughts and then start doing something about them instead of letting them build up into bigger problems.
○ Consider the repercussions of fulfilling the need for recognition
Fulfilling an unmet need for recognition can lead to codependency on this need by creating a cycle of behaviors that perpetuate dependency on external validation. The need for recognition leads to behaviors that create an attachment with the outcome of being honored.
This can lead to depression, anxiety and feelings of emptiness without getting what one needs out of the experience. This is why people should consider the ramifications of fulfilling their need for recognition before they do so.
By considering these repercussions, one can already see the dark side of this mentality. This should be a wake-up call, and one must use this as a reminder every time there is a trigger in our mind for unnecessary recognition. This should go a long way in building a winning mentality and trust in your own acknowledgment than others.
We all want to be famous people, and the moment we want to be something we are no longer free. – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Our brain is always looking for ways to keep itself busy. One way it does this is by recognizing patterns and categorizing them. If we do not recognize a pattern, it creates a sense of boredom and discomfort, leading to an increased need for recognition somewhere else.
This can impact our daily life in many ways, such as feeling that we need to compete with others or neglecting the importance of our health and individual well-being. It can also lead us to neglect our tasks because we feel like they will not be recognized as important.
It is important that we keep our minds clear and focused on what we’re doing. To avoid working under stress, try to identify when your mind needs recognition. This will help you stay in the present moment and not get caught up in our own thoughts.