What is appreciation? Is it merely recognition of a job well done or is it deeper than that? I ask because it is, to me, the greatest thing in the world.  There are many people, I know, who are content to live in a vacuum, who are able to recognize the value of their own work without having other people see it. I am jealous of people like that. I wish I could be satisfied with my own opinion on my effort. But I am not. Sadly, I feel that nothing I do is of any value unless it is seen and admired by other people.

The logical side of my brain tells me this is ridiculous. I feel quite capable of forming a valued, objective opinion on the work of others, I should be able to do this for myself. But I feel completely unable to be objective. If I have done something that I feel is good, I am sure that I am wrong, completely blind to its faults. I simply don’t believe it is good until someone else tells me so.

Anyone else out there have this same problem?

3 thoughts on “Appreciation

  1. I believe you can only be as happy with your work (or any other expression of self) as you are with yourself.
    On the one hand we are social creatures, formed and defined through our interactions with others. The input of others is thus essential in any ‘beingness’. Therefore needing feedback to measure the cultural value of a work is entirely understandable.
    On the other hand, a poor relationship with the self often leads to a dysfunctional relationship to ones actions (or creations). The evaluation of ones works is considered an evaluation of oneself – which makes for treacherous waters if people criticise that work, however positively.
    The healthiest thing I think is to see any work as having two functions. It is enjoyable to do, and something one can feel happiness in achieving for oneself. If it then becomes a public work it is now a separate thing, and judgements of it are only responses to the artefact.
    After posting my ‘I have followers’ post – I realised I was developing an unhealthy relationship to my blog – I had begun to crave feedback, instead of writing from the heart and trusting. I’m going to try and care less for stats and more for enjoying what I’m doing from now on. 🙂


    1. Interesting to me that you took my post to be about creative output. I hadn’t thought of it before but I am able to separate myself from my creations quite easily when I post them here or elsewhere on the web, or when I submit to periodicals. I have a folder full of rejection letters, but that doesn’t stop me from writing, (their loss if they can’t see the awesomeness of my stories!) =) And while I too have an unhealthy relationship with the ‘stats’ tab, I don’t take a lack of feedback here personally at all.

      But at my job, I am different. I am a freelancer and ‘only as good as my last gig.’ When I get no feedback on my efforts from the person who hired me, it just depresses the hell out of me!


      1. I can understand that. We have a culture of use and dump – where I can remember when managers and bosses once said thanks and well done – it really mattered.


Comments are closed.