Why you need praise from yourself more than anyone else
Anyone who has written a book knows it is a long, solitary process that takes an immense
amount of resolve and commitment. I realized in the early days of working on my first book
manuscript that I would never get it done if I waited until the end for external approval—from
my father, a publisher, or anyone for that matter. So I decided not to.
As I was writing, I would say in my head that this book was going to be great, help so many
people, and sell lots of copies. I didn’t know if it was true or not, but it was that internal
encouragement that gave me the commitment and resolve to continue until it was done.
When I finally finished it, I took the unusual step of sending off the book as an “unsolicited
manuscript” to publishers. This essentially means that publishers weren’t asking for it, but I
sent it anyway despite it being unconventional. Within a few months, I had a book deal, and
it was on shelves in all major book stores within a year .
Today, I’m very lucky to have published several best-selling books in my career, but I can tell
you in the early days, I wasn’t as naturally confident in my writing abilities. Furthermore, from
a very young age when I was doing school work, I was always eager to get the approval of
my father when it came to what I wrote.
Fast forward to my first book coming out. While I was thrilled my book had a great reception
and sold lots of copies, the next thing that happened was really surprising. My dad called me
up and complimented me on my book and writing skills, something he’d never done in all my
life—something I had desperately wanted to hear for as long as I can remember! But by the
time he finally did, guess what? I didn’t need to hear it anymore. I had yearned for my
father’s approval for so long until I realized it was futile; I might never get it. So I replaced it
with my own praise. Once I did that, external praise became less important, and I was able
to operate like the confident, assured writer I had always wanted to be.
I believe this is one of the most misunderstood parts of self-development and therapy.
People sit in a therapy chair for years trying to regain the love, approval, or praise they never
got from someone they needed. You simply don’t need to do this. We all need praise and
love, but we don’t all need it from one source.
While life will certainly be easier initially if you have loving parents, it’s not helpful to say that
people who didn’t get loving parents are out of luck. You can undo years of criticism and lack
of love with self-love and self-praise. I’ve learned from decades of treating people that the
human mind simply doesn’t know the difference. The truth is that happy, evolved people who
are successful and realize their dreams aren’t the people who have been loved and praised
the most from an early age. Rather, they are the people who learn and master the art of
praising themselves. It’s not about arrogance or delusion, it’s about confidence, and most
importantly, it’s a tool that will help you get wherever it is you want to go.
Go ahead and think of all the words you have always wanted to hear then say them to
yourself a lot, let the words and the self praise sink in, do this repeatedly and watch as your
self esteem soars.