The Need for Recognition


When you accomplish something that is noteworthy, do you prefer that other people know so you can get some sort of ‘credit’ or acknowledgement? Would you rather have an audience so you can ‘prove yourself’ or make some sort of statement in front of them? If you make a donation to a charity, do you like to have your name attached to it so that people know you generously donated? Do you seek acknowledgement in general? Most of us, if being honest, will respond YES to these questions. It is common human nature to want credit because this credit, in our minds, helps shape (or augments) how we are perceived.

On the other hand, a relatively small percentage of us will actually NOT seek credit or acknowledgement and are happy to be anonymous. These people are less concerned with how they are perceived by others and demonstrate that their own satisfaction, personal standards, expectations and gratification are enough to motivate them to excel, accomplish or otherwise ‘do good’. Like anything, there are no fixed rules and there are times to draw attention to yourself and times to be more discreet.   The Smarter Sooner strategy, however, suggests we err on the side of being discreet and subtle in these situations. If credit or attention is due, it will naturally happen and you really don’t have to actively seek it. Instead of spending time trying to get credit, why not direct that energy to being the best that you can?

Those who are most comfortable being anonymous are those who are the most comfortable and self-confident and, as such, don’t need external accolades and recognition to feel better. These people are less dominated by their egos, are highly stable and more quietly bring value to this world. If you seek attention more often and find it hard to be subtle and discreet as described above, you should truly investigate this tendency.   The desire for attention is something we all feel from time to time and need more as children, but it’s something that we can hopefully wean as we get older. If you are dominated by this need for recognition, it’s probably due to a stronger than normal ego. Be aware of your behavior and observe your tendencies. Self-awareness is very powerful. Good luck and may you continue accomplish great things without worrying about gaining direct acknowledgment from others. That’s being Smarter Sooner.

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