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Expectations, Perfectionism & Recognition

Expectations, Perfectionism & Recognition

Recognition is a pillar of our self-esteem. In fact, this is a chapter of our lives that is very important to develop healthy self-esteem and self-assurance. Humans are social beings and we need approval and respect from their environment. 

Since we were kids, we look for recognition in our parents, as they are our only social circle. Later on, we’ll find that validation in our friends and classmates, and we start dressing like them, changing our hairdos, or tattooing ugly things that we later regret, just to be validated by our group.

Actually, the esteem needs are part of Maslow’s hierarchy and refer to the need for respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Esteem needs are the basis for the human desire we all have to be accepted and valued by others. 

There was a  survey that found that employees are more motivated by recognition and virtual rewards compared to financial incentives: 83% of employees consider recognition more fulfilling than any other reward.

In fact, the salary is compensation for the work done and obviously, we would get it in every job we’d do. However, being recognized for an achievement, being asked for ideas or proposals, and feeling that we’re valued is not that common and can be very rewarding.

What happens when external recognition becomes your only motivation? 

Sometimes it happens that we focus so much on the external validation that we forget about our internal motivation. What hides this tireless search is insecurity or lack of self-esteem. When we do not value our own work, we need that other people do it for us. 

We all create certain life expectations that guide us but it happens to many of us that our expectations go hand in hand with those that someone told us. We continue comparing ourselves with the person beside us, our bosses, other areas… just creating fake ideas of what to be. These fake ideas also create anxiety. And anxiety is experiencing failure in advance.

We are not enjoying the work, the process, learning from others. We are in a daily comparison with others to idealize an unreal life.

And where did we get the idea that the life or the job that the person beside us is perfect and ours isn’t? The word perfectionism comes from the Latin «perfectio» and refers to the “action of leaving something finished”.

But we gave it a second meaning:
The attitude of the person who tends to seek perfection in what he does, improving it indefinitely without deciding to consider it never finished.

Most of us are aware that perfection does not exist and that it depends largely on our ideas about perfection and the perfect. 

Sometimes procrastination appears because we are excessively perfectionists and we’re so afraid of failing. People too self-demanding impose themselves a certain standard that is almost unattainable. Thus, the pressure to face the obligations makes them postpone them as much as possible.

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