Recognition...Doesn't Make you Good

You have to be careful how you identify yourself. What I mean by that is sometimes when you’re doing your job or your sport or your relationship, you define who you are by the thing you’re doing. If that still sounds a bit weird stay with me for a second here.

In a previous blog titled, “The Danger of the Need for Approval” I explained that sometimes as a kid when we’re succeeding and doing well in: soccer or little league or gymnastics or dance; we attach all of our identity and all of our self-esteem to the sport or to the activity.

When we win in soccer that’s how we get our love because we’re a “good” soccer player. Or if we win in gymnastics, that’s how we get our love because we’re a “good” gymnast. One of the tricky parts, if you’re a parent or a leader or a manager or a business owner, is understanding your team and your staff can fall in the same trap. Specifically, seeking recognition or connection by doing a good job.

They say to themselves, “doing a good job means I’m good”. However, there’s a dangerous slippery slope there that can prevent somebody from winning. Part of the training I deliver, talks about being able to handle pressure.

When the student or the child or the colleague feel that the only way to get connection is by winning or that they're only good if they do the good; all of a sudden it adds a ton of pressure…too much pressure in fact.

If you’re feeling yourself in the same situation, understand you are good regardless of the activity you’re doing. Let me use a different example. As I’m working with my daughter, I try to avoid saying, “Good girl”. In the sense that she’s good regardless of if she eats her vegetables. She’s good regardless of if she goes to bed on time. She’s just good because she is. Does that make sense? She doesn’t have to do anything to get the good from me. She just is good.

The same is true for your employees. The same is true for your teammates and your players. The same is true for anyone you have the opportunity to lead. It’s the idea that they don’t have to do something to be considered good. They just are good.

There’s another powerful example that took place recently. I think it was last year when Ronda Rousey lost to Holly Holm. Remember the UFC championship fighter? Ronda took the match. She was undefeated. She was a phenom. Ronda Rousey is amazing and she still is. But, Holly Holm went in there and knocked Ronda out. It was the most crushing defeat for anybody who’s a Ronda Rousey fan, but for Ronda Rousey it was really crushing. So much so that she was having suicidal thoughts after losing that match.

Perhaps you watched the Ellen Show where Ronda courageously opened up and  said, “Listen, you know what? I lost the championship. Who am I without it?” She wanted to take her own life because she didn’t establish that she was good regardless of if she had that belt or not. The belt means nothing. Ronda is awesome just the way she is, not because of a f@#king belt. Do you follow me?

The take home message is that you are good.

Realize you are good regardless of what your activities are, regardless of whether you win or get the promotion or whether you have a certain title or a certain relationship or a certain body weight. You are just good because you are. Does that make sense?

I want you to really understand that because once you fully grasp that, it doesn’t matter what they say or what they do or how they position you or how they evaluate you. You’ll understand there’s so much more to what you are and so much more is possible. You’ll drop all those criticisms and realize you’re good just because of the way you are.

It’ll take away all the pressure and it will help you find a way to win.

Thanks for reading and thanks for watching!


Calvin Strachan made the Find a Way to Win programs after becoming a leader in several multi-million dollar sales organizations ranging from: direct sales to pharmaceutical sales to personal development.

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