Journey To Greatness Tip #1

As you receive recognition for the places where your greatness shines through, don’t confuse recognition with reality.

In Tips to Survive Your Greatness, I refer to never believing your own press. You will never have to worry about if you learn early on not to become addicted to or defined by recognition of any kind. Now, this is not to say when someone praises you, compliments you, or recognizes any kind of positive in you that you shouldn’t enjoy it, or that you can’t bask in it—briefly. The problem arises when you find yourself needing it or craving it. Instead of just being you and having that be recognized, you become motivated by praise, your actions are driven by praise, and your value of yourself becomes solely defined by praise.

The song “Addicted to Love” could easily become “Addicted to Praise.”

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough

You know you’re gonna have to face it

You’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love1

If we are trained at any point in our lives—especially in our childhood—to associate our value and our “lovability” with the amount of praise or criticism we receive, we could become as easily addicted to praise as fast food, sugar, and video games.

   When you stop doing something for the sake of doing it—because you’re passionate about it—    and start doing it for the praise, it takes on a different energy.  

You move to a place where you start self-justifying, compromising in areas you shouldn’t, doing and saying things that aren’t fully honest, authentic, or sincere.

We have created a dangerous reality among many young people; they were never taught the importance of constructive criticism.

   We have taught that all criticism is debilitating, and all praise is mandatory but it’s not enough.

The last positive remark is forgotten as soon as it’s said and they are already looking for the next fix.

If you are (or would like to be) on your own journey to greatness, be careful of defining yourself by the praise of others.

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough

You know you’re gonna have to face it

You’re addicted to praise

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to praise.

And remember, you can become an addict at any age.

Image Source here

1 © Robert Allan Palmer