‘Praise became a nice addition…like a cherry on top of an ice-cream sundae – rather than being the sundae itself.’ – Tara Mohr
When I was little I loved being involved in all sorts of things – dance shows, piano concerts, science fairs, plays… you name it, I was in it. I loved being a part of it all because it was fun, and I could share my ideas and talents freely.
Yet as I got older I started to be awarded for the things I was involved in, and being graded for sharing my ideas and talents, all of which came with praise and recognition from those around me.
Without realising it I started to associate being praised and rewarded by others with being good, and this shifted the way I did things. I stopped doing things purely for my own enjoyment to becoming heavily reliant on receiving positive recognition.
Over time equating my worth with receiving praise meant I started to fear not being good enough, and replaced joy with worrying over whether or not I was meeting other’s expectations.
So much so, that when praise didn’t come it felt like punch in the gut. Clearly I wasn’t good enough! I felt I’d failed, that I’d stuffed up, and this led to all sorts of critical thoughts about my abilities, my skills, my worth.
And this is so, so common for a lot of us.
If you stop and think about your relationship with praise you’ll see that it plays a massive role in your beliefs around worthiness and being enough, because let’s face it we’ve been programmed to believe we’re only good enough if someone else says so, and this is one of the main reasons we hold ourselves back from doing what we truly want to do in life.
So, my invitation for you this week is to become curious about the role praise plays in your life –
- Where are you giving over the authority around what brings you joy, what makes you worthy and good enough, to someone else?
- What would it look like if you learnt to acknowledge your own sense of worth, and defined for yourself what it means to be enough?