Today I want to talk to you about your relationship to praise.

What I know from my own journey is this: When I’m dependent on praise or desperate for it, I can’t play big. If I’m looking for other people’s approval, I can’t take creative risks, be revolutionary, or boldly tell my truth.

But the opposite is also true: If I am avoiding praise because I am uncomfortable receiving it, I also can’t play big. I won’t share my gifts fully. I’ll dim my light.

This is true of every woman. Seeking praise and avoiding it both interfere with our playing big.

That’s why I’m passionate about every woman on this planet taking a good look at her relationship to praise – and becoming a little less attached to it.

A story from my own life: You know me as a writer, and maybe you even think of me as a “good” writer, but for years and years, I didn’t write at all.

I started writing again only because I decided to let go of the very desire for praise.

For a long time, I had wanted the world to tell me I was a good writer. At the same time, I was plagued by fears that I was a terrible writer. These two often go hand in hand – we are insecure about x, and want the world to reassure us out of our insecurity with praise.

I remember the early morning I sat at my computer in my very quiet living room – surrounded by the still darkness of 5am in November. I consciously told myself: “You are now letting go of that whole big thing of whether anyone in this world ever thinks you are a good writer. You are now doing this for you.”

Why/how did I do this? I realized that this was the only way I could write.

That day, something major shifted. I became the authority on my work. I, not anyone else.

That shift allowed me to write and write and write. It allowed a flow of creativity and productivity.

Here’s a little more on this topic, in video (3 minutes). I share about my journey to writing, and I share some interesting research findings about praise that shocked me and woke me up. Click HERE to watch if you are reading this over email.

Where in your life are you being distracted by dependence on praise or avoidance of it?

Which camp do you fall in – people pleasing or avoiding the spotlight – or both?

I invite you to share in the comments!


P.S.The next session of my Playing Big leadership program for women is coming up! Click here to learn all about the program and see if it’s a fit for you.

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