Today, during a two hour long meeting, my supervisor decided to take a moment and thank me in front of the CEO of our organization…..
My supervisor preceded to sing my praises “her professionalism, the quality of work she delivers , and her attention to detail is unmatched”. My heart races. I say thank you, I briefly make eye contact around the table, and proceed to stare at my notepad. People started clapping and the CEO says “Your work is truly appreciated”. I could only muster up a meek thank you and under my breath i whispered “please stop clapping”.
This is how is goes for me, someone acknowledges me in some way, and I immediately want to disappear. Why is that? Shouldn’t I be thrilled that someone noticed me? The attention, the unsought validation, should make my heart flutter not fold over so it becomes tinier and tinier.
One thing I need to become better at is accepting recognition. It is okay to get a little attention, as painful as it may seem. It is so easy for people to only notice the negativity and run wild with telling others about your faults and shortcomings. But, when someone, who does not have to, decides to shine a light on you, acknowledging your contributions, that is way more powerful and a lot harder to fulfill.
Another thing is, you do not want to impede your own growth or professional success because of your unwillingness to acknowledge that you are pretty damn awesome (yeah,you!). I know for me, my first thought is usually “I don’t understand what’s the big deal, I am just doing my job.” I scurry away to my desk or eat lunch in the creepy stairwell no one uses. At the same time, I constantly complain about the people who are inept and make things way more difficult than they need to be. Maybe everyone has a point, may I do make worthwhile contributions and you do too!
Let’s take this time to acknowledge something you do really well or you are pretty good at (I am sure there’s a lot!). Tag a friend and let them know something too!
I’ll go first…I am really good at (long, pregnant pause) active listening and remembering significant ,or completely useless, details about people.
That was hard (it really took my like 10 minutes).