When you know you're giving the best of yourself, there's nothing worse than not having that giving appreciated.
It's easier to excuse a lack of appreciation if you know you haven't really done your best, or you've shared inauthentically. Yet when you have given your all to something, then you have a burning desire to see that giving appreciated. What to do then, if you find that isn't happening?
First of all, don't turn their lack of appreciation in on yourself. Perhaps those in your immediate environment can't appreciate you. There can be many reasons why that is the case. But whatever the reason, their lack of appreciation doesn't need to be a reflection of who you are and what you have to offer.
It doesn't matter how you've given your best. You could be a great parent, employee, friend, partner, artist, musician, boss, craftsman, listener, teacher or student, etc. Whenever you've given from the heart, you deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated.
Which is why it's important to value yourself first. Let nothing and no-one distract you from that. There has to be an innate sense of appreciation for who you are and what you bring to the world. Which is why actively cultivating self-appreciation feels so affirming. It means you no longer need to feel rocked to and fro on the unstable base of others' approval. You will instead, be resting on the solid foundations of always knowing your value and worth.
A big indicator that you're feeling undervalued is becoming resentful when others receive the appreciation you feel you deserve. It can feel like a red flag being waved irritatingly in your face. Your emotions feel churned up. Which then provokes a 'bullish' response from you. 'Why them and not me?' may be your lament in this case. Yet the person you're resenting may also feel unappreciated in some other area of their lives.
We all have areas of our lives where we naturally expect to be valued, affirmed or acknowledged. In these areas, we allow the energy of appreciation without thinking. In fact, we may not view the appreciation that comes our way in those moments as a big deal precisely because we don't expect anything less.
Giving your desire to be appreciated too much importance, creates tension and a subtle build-up of resentment. This is a sure sign that it's time to loosen your attachment to a particular outcome. So whenever you're feeling unappreciated, the answer is always to reach for self-appreciation first. You will also need to explore why you were initially feeling triggered and learn to stop seeking outside validation.
It's important to rest on your own solid foundations and derive your sense of worth from your own innate value. In this way, it becomes easier to exude inner confidence and build positive expectations. This is how to receive true appreciation. Offer it to yourself first and then allow the rest of the world, to follow your lead.
This article was previously published at The Good Men Project and is reprinted here with their permission.
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