"That's nice, but you can do better."How often do we hear words that don't really acknowledge us.The person thinks they are being supportive.They think they are helping us to do better.Yet that lack of true recognition only brings us down.It is not so uncommon that we feel we've something good.Either at home, at work, or for some organization.We feel good about what we've done.We feel we have improved, or reached a higher level.And in our joy and excitement, we ask for someone else's opinion.And when they give it, we wish we hadn't.For as soon as the words leave their lips, we know we are in for disappointment.We can feel the criticism coming with the first syllable."You can do better."Of course we can.And we will.All we wanted was for them to say "good job" and mean it.We all need that validation from someone else.We all crave some words of encouragement.And all too often we are met with a cold, uncaring comment.We can all do better to show some support and encouragement.We can all be kinder and gentler to other people.Most of all, we can be kinder and gentler to ourselves.When the world around us does not recognize our achievements, we can recognize them ourselves.We can go out and celebrate by ourselves.Or with someone else who is actually supportive and caring.We do not have to seek recognition from someone who is unwilling or unable to give it.We can find another way to feel good about ourselves.For there is a trap in looking for recognition externally.And that trap is simply that it does not come.And when we can learn to recognize ourselves internally, then the lack of recognition does not sting as much.The charge around it is lessened.And sometimes it is just about choice.Perhaps the person we are looking for recognition from is just not someone who can give it.Perhaps they never received it themselves so they do not know how to give it.So let's look elsewhere.Let's find someone who is capable of giving it.Let's ask someone whom we know actually wants to encourage us.Sometimes the best choice we can make is to just keep quiet and smile to ourselves.And sometimes it is just about asking someone else.
~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant