I’ll admit I’ve always loved recognition and praise. I’m sure most of you would agree that it’s nice when people notice that you’re doing something great and then tell you that.
My problem is that sometimes I think my motivation for doing that great thing switches from the good in doing it to the good I feel in getting praised for it. Not only is that ugly, it also backfires on me when I don’t get praised. Then I feel like I just invested my time and effort into something for nothing.
Recently I’ve had opportunity to practice just enjoying that fact that I’m doing something good without getting any recognition. In one case, I spent hours working on a report that was to be presented to a large group of people. I did a good job on this report, it was interesting, complete, and even included illustrations. At the presentation, through some mix up, my husband got credited for creating the report! Now my first desire would have been to make a correction and make sure I got the credit due to me. But then I stopped and thought, what’s the harm in letting people think my husband did a great job on this report? I guess it harmed my pride a bit, but nothing else.
My husband and I are currently coordinating a college level extra curricular class for nearly forty people in our valley. Planning and carrying out this class has been a LOT of work for us over the past 9 months. It’s a fifteen week course and we are through over half of it (Yeah!). This class has been phenomenal and something Kris and I are so glad that we are part of, however most of my work on this class has been behind the scenes. Because of our kids and my fantastic organizational skills I’ve been the one who makes sure everything runs smoothly but isn’t in front of the class actually carrying out the details. This has been hard for me. I know that I am doing a good job (most of the time) but I’m not usually the one the people say, “Hey, you’re doing a great job!”, to because they don’t see me actually doing the work. A couple times I’ve tried to put myself in the spotlight, volunteering to lead activities or make announcements in class. Each time I’ve been completely humiliated for one reason or another (screaming son, miscommunications, etc). So I’ve decided that I’ll happily sit behind the scenes and play my role. This has been a good reminder for me about doing good work simply for the sake of the good work…I guess my head must have been getting too big. 🙂