Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Public Praise

I really don't want to write this. I don't want it to come off as "I'm better than you." or that I'm really stuck-up, or that I need to be more appreciative. It has nothing to do with those things. 

Weird. Odd. Doesn't make sense. Yes, yes, I know. I don't know why. I just don't. 

I don't like being recognized publicly for doing good things.  

Weird. Odd. Doesn't make sense. Yes, yes, I know. I don't know why. I just don't. 

I don't like the limelight. I don't like getting awards. I don't like the feeling that I'm better than others. I just get this huge knot in my stomach when I have to talk about myself positively. I tend to deflect praise to others or at least try and diminish it so it doesn't look like I did something amazing. I have always been like this. It bothered me when I won awards in elementary school. It bothered me when I won awards in middle school. It bothered me when I won scholarships for college. It just simply bothers me. I am not motivated by awards or public praise. It does nothing for me. In fact, public praise makes me not want to do my best so that I don't get recognized. 

It has nothing to do with not being appreciative, because I am very, very, very grateful and appreciative for being praised. Public praise just rubs me the wrong way. 

I just prefer private thank yous and congratulations. This is what motivates me. Not a certificate that I did something well. Not doing something for school that is used as a good example of good practice.

I'm more interested in getting better, in improvement, and the process. The products just don't motivate me. I can't really explain it. 

I also get this weird pit in my stomach feeling when you get rewarded for what you should be doing. Although, if money is involved in the reward I tend to think differently, but that thinking involves me thinking about how that money can be used by my family. 

I tried to explain this feeling once to someone. She might be reading this, I'm not sure. She let me off the hook, but what she did do was forward the things to me that mean the most to me: the positive comments from parents and students that were praising me.  I still have that email. I printed it out and look at it often. It keeps me going. It drives me. It makes me want to do better. 

I know it's weird. I know it doesn't make sense. I think it bothers others that it bothers me. 

Like I said, I don't want this to come off as a "holier than thou" type deal. I'm just trying to put into words how I feel. 

Does anyone else feel this way?