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The Danger of Desiring Recognition: The Dark Side of Wanting Respect

By: Elizabeth Louis

The Danger of Desiring Recognition

I have worked with thousands of clients, and hundreds of them were high-performers. With a decade of psychometric testing experience, I have learned there is one trait that can hinder anyone’s performance, but especially a high performer’s performance.

Before I get to that trait, let me explain what a high performer is by sharing a big-picture definition and their main psychometrics.

I believe high performers have a champion identity.

A champion identity is where your perspective is highly optimistic and hopeful, with a growth-oriented and single-minded mindset, and where you speak a faith-filled winning language.

To say this in psychometrics or personality traits, the individual would have high trust, high ambition, high endurance, high boldness, high assertiveness, high leadership, high structure, high order, high creativity, moderate flexibility, high responsibility, high self-confidence, high tough-mindedness, high composure, and high control.

Are you curious to know if you score as high performer? Take the Performance Development Assessment to learn where you score. Remember, the brain is mailable so you can always improve your scores.

High performers are efficient, focused, optimistic, and very intelligent. Most importantly, they have strong self-belief and are rooted in God.

I notice many people neglect to speak on the fact that most high performers believe in something greater than themselves.

Unfortunately, many high performers are also too invested in what people think about them. It’s healthy to care about your reputation, but caring too much about what others think about you will make you a candidate for the fixed and destructive mindset of codependency. When I see a high performer with high recognition, how socially desirable you want to be seen, I immediately bring our attention to reducing this high score in recognition to one that is more moderate.

What is Recognition?

Recognition is the personality trait that scores you in how socially desirable you want to be viewed by society and your peers. Recognition falls in the intrapersonal trait section and influences how you interact with other people.

People with HIGH recognition want to be RESPECTED, world-renowned, famous, or well-known for something. They want to leave a lasting legacy and have an exceptionally purposeful life with significant meaning.

They also want to be always liked, which is an unrealistic expectation. Since they want to be liked all the time, they unintentionally give their power away to keep the peace, and this is especially true if the individual also has high nurturance, which is how much emotional resources and energy you can provide to others. It is ironic when you stop and think about it because people with high recognition want to influence people, but instead, they are being influenced without always realizing it.

Therefore, high recognition is a dangerous trap because when you are overly concerned with what people think about you, it can influence you to do things you don’t want to do or not to do something you believe is best or authentic to you because of the simple but defeating thought, “What will people think?”

Are you curious to know what your recognition score is? Take the Performance Development Assessment to learn where you score.

The Danger of High Recognition

In short, high recognition will cause you to see humans as your god, giving humans the power to affirm your worth and value. Remember, no human can affirm your worth because humans don’t create humans. I understand this is counterintuitive for many people and will depend on if you believe in God. However, for me, a psychology expert who has spent almost fifteen years studying humanity, it’s my personal and professional experience that the Bible is the most accurate scientific book.

Therefore, God created humans in my world. That means when you have high recognition, you see humans as your god instead of allowing God to be your God. Indirectly and unconsciously, you allow others to have power over you. It’s a deep-rooted unconscious belief that says, “I’m not accepted until (this human in front of me) accepts and validates my ideas.”

HIGH RECOGNITION influences you to NEED to be seen as socially desirable to others. Human approval is critical to you; when you don’t get it, you may feel EXTREMELY rejected.

Likewise, High recognition + moderate to high conscientiousness + moderate to high nurturance = people-pleasing tendencies, which is codependency. Codependency is one of the most destructive fixed mindsets that a human can have. I have learned that codependency is fabricated in most people’s DNA, meaning that a person will have some level of this fixed mindset until they do the work to break free.

People pleasing is a manifestation of codependency, which comes from Fear of Man, a deep-rooted belief that humans are your God and judge. Perhaps you see a theme here?

Manifestations of Fear of Man:

  • You say “yes,” even though you don’t want to do it deep down. You say yes because you fear disappointing the person or hurting their feelings. You don’t want them upset at you because then they may not like you.
  • Where you intently read people’s faces out of the influence to please them
  • You refrain from being honest with someone because of what the individual may do or not do.
  • You dismiss your values to give the person in front of you what they want, even if it means doing things you are morally against—for example, making fun of someone. Hazing. Etc.
  • People’s opinions or potential opinions of you control you.
  • You believe people’s opinions about you more than your opinion of you.

Please understand it’s not a bad thing to have high recognition. There are considerable benefits to having this trait, but like anything, you may need to be mindful of when it is hindering you and what is driving the beliefs. Like many things, it comes down to intention.

In your career, recognition encourages a person to do their work correctly to gain respect and trust from their managers. When management can trust you to behave appropriately, more opportunities can come your way.

Plus, those with high recognition are less likely to draw negative attention. Why? Because respect is fundamental to them, and they want to be respected. But respect is earned and requires tremendous self-control, wisdom, and discernment. Those who are respected usually have strong integrity. They do what they say and do not need to speak the words “I promise” because their words are enough.

Are you curious to what your psychometric or personality traits are? Take the Performance Development Assessment. This assessments scores you in 23 psychometrics or personality traits. It takes less than 5 minutes. You get a 20-page pdf that explains each trait. Take the assessment for $39.95.

Take the Performance Development Assessment Now!

Here is What You Need to be Mindful of if You Have High Recognition:

  1. Because people’s opinions of you are so important, you may say things & do things that are not sincere. You may be afraid to do the “right” thing, especially when it is unpopular with those you are with. Consider focusing on your relationship with God. Grounding yourself in God’s truth and not human opinion.
  2. It’s easy for this trait to dominate your life. Be mindful of when you care more about people’s opinions of you and less about your family & own opinion. It’s easy for those with high recognition to be motivated by what others may think or want. Sometimes, they give more emphasis to the critic than their inner circle. Make sure you think objectively and challenge subjective thoughts.
  3. Identify the triggers that influence you to place others’ opinions ahead of your own. What are your deep-rooted fears that are driving you to please people and be inauthentic to yourself?

Book your 90-minute Needs Analysis session with me. This is where I debrief your results and tell you the exact weeds growing in your mental garden that is hindering and limiting you. You will leave with an action plan and the exact steps you need to take to become unstoppable and adopt the champion identity. You’ll also have a $750.00 credit to use on any of my 1:1 coaching package. Book your Needs Analysis now.

Check out the episode WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW YOUR THINKING TRAPS on THE LIZ SHOW podcast! Listen to this Episode on  Spotify | Apple Podcast | Direct Download

You got this. Keep up the excellent work. I’m rooting for you!