“You did a great job” and “Thank you for your hard work”. These two phrases have more in common than I thought. In general, it means that someone, other than myself, recognized the hard work that went into accomplishing something and decided to tell me. The concept of seeking verbal confirmation is nothing new. Seeking approval is something that is semi-engrained into our nature. Think back to being a child, whenever I was told “good job” I would continue to do the action that resulted in praise. Much like a puppy: good boy gets a tail wag, happy eyes, and I do believe a smile. Seeking the approval from others brings verbal confirmation and outside affirmation to a job well done.
What happens when one stops seeking the verbal confirmation or affirmation from others? For me, it was a release. It was freeing. Why? For many years I was more concerned with how I was doing in the eyes of others, instead of how I was doing as , well, me. I sought to seek the elusive “good job” for something that was expected of me. I am not implying that I expected, nor wanted, someone to recognize me for something I should do at a job. Rather, it was more of the general approval and confirmation that I was where I should be.
Eventually, I was tired of trying seek and be what the world thought. The extra 45 minutes of sleep I could have instead of wearing make-up? Sleep won. Contacts would always result in applying eye drops numerous times a day. Then, I had pinkeye and had to wear my glasses. It has been three years and I can honestly say that my glasses and I have a strong bond now. Sure, I do wear contacts when driving into the sun. Make-up if I have time. At first, people asked what was wrong if I didn’t wear either. Now, I get the “Wow! You look nice today.” My response: So the other days I don’t? conveyed with my usual sense of humor and a smile.
Instead of seeking the aforementioned above, I sought self confirmation. Knowing that I was doing what was expected of me, and more if need be. I was able to go home at the end of the day knowing it was done. Sure, as a human I do like to be told “thank you.” It is part of nature. But I also know that I am me. Flawed, sometimes a hot mess, but I am comfortable in my own skin. I know my strengths; working on my weaknesses. I also do not mind saying “I do not know.”
This does not mean that I do not have things to work on. Rather, I am just saying that I am me. I am finally to a place in my life where I am accepting of the fact that I am not perfect. Seeking the elusive verbal confirmation can be difficult. It can be draining at times.
How about you? Have you found it easier to just seek the verbal confirmation from yourself that you are enough? Because no matter what anyone will, or has, ever said: You are enough. You are more than enough. You are just the way you are supposed to be at this time in your life. And if anyone has never told you that, I am telling you: You are more than enough!