The Craving to Be Appreciated
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
— William James
Several months ago we had written a post entitled You Have Worth. We’ve received more response to that post than any other we have written. One that touched us the most was this one from a woman named Anne:
My lifelong struggle has been over not only how or why I judge others, but how and why I judge and condemn myself. For as long as I can remember, I have felt “not worthy” and “not enough,” and this has broken and scarred me in every area of my life. I am struggling to evolve toward self-love and self-acceptance without judgment, so I can truly bring that to everyone I touch in my life. Thank you for your beautiful and loving perspective.
As our non-profit has continued to grow we have been amazed by the response we have gotten from people like Anne who have struggled, as we all have at times, with self-worth and self-love. It is a constant problem in our world – so many of us do not believe that we are lovable, worthy or inherently good.
Why is it so hard to love ourselves or to accept who we are? What compels us to believe that we are broken people, broken beyond repair? Why do these scars, as Anne refers to, cover our lives and spirits?
Why is it such a struggle to accept ourselves without judgment?
Prior to our recent television interview, before the cameras began rolling one of our interviewers said something profound:
Our culture tends to focus on our weaknesses, instead of focusing on our strengths. What you are trying to do is help people see their strengths.
She was exactly right. That is exactly what we are trying to do. The cultural tendency to concentrate on our faults, failings and weaknesses permeates our spirits and minds and creates in us a culture of judgment and denunciation. That tendency rarely encourages us to change ourselves or our behavior. But it instead causes us to sink deeper into a pit of loathing and despair.
It is our mission to help others to move away from that perspective, out of that pit, and to discover a better way to live. It is to share the message that everyone deserves to know that they are loved, that everyone is worthy, that everyone does have something of value to offer to this world.
In his popular book, Now Discover Your Strengths, Marcus Buckingham writes:
Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, by our teachers, by our managers, and by psychology’s fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.
Instead of being experts in weakness, we strive for everyone to become experts in living a life in which we all know that we are valued and appreciated.
When that innate hunger is satisfied, just imagine how much more joyful and peaceful this world could be.