The Need for Recognition, Cornerstone of Self-Esteem

· January 18, 2016

We all need to be recognized. It’s not a matter of pride, selfishness, or immaturity. Human beings, from the earliest moments in their lives, absolutely need respect and affection from everyone around them, which is where we implicitly find that sincere recognition towards us as people.

Our value as a loved, cared for human being is recognized. Our virtues and our ability to move forward and achieve things are recognized. Our ability to be happy, with maturity and integrity. The strength of those close connections gives us confidence and helps us to grow. Our parents and our family are the first social circle responsible for giving us recognition, respect, and affection.

If we are recognized and respected, our self-esteem blossoms. But be careful! Just as we accept it, it is also essential to know how to offer recognition to others: “I value you as a person, I appreciate you and believe in you. I know what you are capable of and I respect you for that. You are part of my life.”

Today, let’s talk about that. Let’s dig deeper into the concept of recognition.


Recognition and self-esteem

First off, let’s reminds ourselves of all those pillars that form the foundation of our self-esteem:

  1. Respect for oneself: Indispensible. If you don’t even value yourself and recognize yourself as a capable and important person, we have nothing. Love always starts with one’s own person. If I value myself and am able to see all of my virtues and my right to be happy, I will be capable of almost anything.
  2. Self-confidence: I am aware of my abilities and my limitations. I trust in myself to move forward with balance and security all along my life path. If I do not have confidence in myself, I lose control of my life. Or, what is worse, I leave it in the hands of others.
  3. The responsibility to have control over our own lives: You are the captain of your ship. You are not a cabin boy and definitely not a stowaway. It is necessary that we know from very early on how to make our own decisions, how to value ourselves more as people and to be brave.
  4. The belief that we are appreciated: Never look at your life from a perspective of loss, but always with one of possibility. One of ability. Recognize your virtues, your strengths, never your weak points. We are all allowed to be happy in this complex life; all that is required is assurance in oneself and courage. Never think that others are more deserving than you, or this will be the moment when you start to build walls up around your life. Do not make this mistake.

As you can see, we all need recognition, and above all else, self-recognition. We each need to feel certain that we are deserving of success, balance, and happiness. Maybe you did not enjoy that respect and recognition from your family in the first years of your life. It may be that those close connections were not the most appropriate for your particular case.

Maybe it was like this, but never stay chained to this unhappy past. Do some inward reflection, look for the strengths that we all have, and seek the life jacket of that self-recognition, the one that tells you that you are a courageous person, that you deserve the best and that love always starts with oneself.

The need for healthy recognition

As you can see, we have been talking about essential recognition that supports the concept of self-esteem, although we must also make a small distinction. Surely you know one, maybe several people who are always looking for recognition from others.

When our need for validation of our own actions, words, behavior, attitudes, and even physical appearance become borderline obsessive, then we’ve crossed over into an unhealthy yearning for recognition. We are looking in the outside world for what we cannot find in our own interior world.

It is absolutely true that we all need our friends, family, and partner to offer us recognition, but not in an obsessive and continuous way, because then what I am showing is a clear insecurity in my person. And then, one cornerstone of my self-esteem would be falling apart.

Recognition is necessary for human beings. It helps us to grow with assurance. However, it is also necessary that we exercise it inside ourselves, making it rise up like an inner locomotive capable of giving us confidence, strength, and stability.