Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

I want you to appreciate me at any cost!

The afternoon was nearly perfect. The temperature was in the upper 70s and there was a nice breeze. Wispy clouds were floating by occasionally, dimming the afternoon sun. A friend came by and we decided to sit along the banks of the stream that flows past our home.

I was feeling a bit blue and wasn’t quite sure why. As we reminisced, it dawned on me that I was feeling unappreciated. This feeling isn’t new. In fact, it’s a feeling that has created great mischief in the past. I was also feeling frustrated with myself. I thought I had moved past this need.

So much for that idea! Now, I understand that my desire to be appreciated comes from a belief that if others appreciate me, I must being doing something that’s valuable. When I feel something is missing in my life, I want that hollow place to be filled by the kind words of others. I want to hear how much I’ve helped you, or how you feel what I’m doing is really wonderful.

What am I willing to do to get you to say these things that I feel will fill my inner wanting? I might do things for you so you will say good things about me, or at least express appreciation. This means that I have a price tag for what I offer you that I never express – so much for integrity. I also may do things for you, and if you don’t give me the unspoken token of appreciation, I become irritated with you for your lack of appreciation. All in all, my need to feel good comes with such a big cost.

So what to do? I could say erase all my neediness. Ok, that would certainly do the trick, but I don’t think many of us are going to experience that by the end of today. What I can do is be kind to myself. Most of my needs, desires and wants are underground. When they poke their head up, I either pretend they aren’t there or I try to use some force to push them back down. We know these strategies don’t work particularly well.

When I’m accepting of my needs, I don’t indulge them. Rather, I love myself with these needs. Just this simple act creates a change that many call a miracle. Go ahead, give it a try, and see for yourself.

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