Learning to reduce our dependence on foreign oil

In the modern workplace, there is nothing wrong with wanting to receive validation in exchange for talent. 

What team member doesn’t want to be told that they’re doing a great job? 

But there’s a balance. If we show up at the office each day with the expectation that our bosses will endow us with boundless reassurance and infinite hope, then a tsunami of disappointment is on the horizon. 

Ellis explores this experience is his book about overcoming resistance during therapy sessions. After forty years of sitting across the couch, he concluded that patients are not crazy for desiring to achieve their aims, but rather, for insisting that it is necessary that they achieve them. 

He says that the danger is when we escalate our normal wishes and preferences for feedback into absolutistic musts and demands for praise. 

This tendency plays out in the workplace on a daily basis. Especially for those of us who are people pleasing codependent nice guys who want nothing more than a seat at the grownup table, our interactions with bosses can play into our need to make daddy happy and feel like a good boy. 

We can become hyper agreeable, hanging the stability of our souls and the fullness of our hearts and constant positive reinforcement. 

Unless, of course, we learn to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We grow beyond our need for kudos. And we trust that our sense of strength, efficacy and validation can be self generated. 

Yes, it still feels good when they stroke us, but it doesn’t make us any more whole than we already were. 


Have you abandoned your frantic pursuit of an external object of validation?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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