Striving for Recognition

I don’t think it’s just on social media but social media does seem to amplify it. I see so many struggling with it, as I often do. It’s that desire for recognition, to feel like we’re being seen and heard, to feel ‘successful’ and feel like we’ve made it, whatever that means.

(And I don’t know if anyone really feels like they’ve made it, although some do act that way. How many YouTube videos are there with a title like ‘How I got this success’ or ‘How I make so much money’ or ‘You too can be successful like me’? I remember a photographer once saying ‘even I still make mistakes sometimes’. His success story to warrant the ‘even I’? Creating a social media community. Not an insignificant achievement, but very little to do with his abilities as a photographer.)

I do think it’s natural and normal that we seek recognition. But I think we seek it in the wrong places. Here are a few thoughts that I’ve been putting together that I think give a much more healthy perspective:

  1. It’s not all about us, whether are success or progress is large or small. Most of us have some privilege, maybe a lot, some luck and circumstance, and often a helping hand.

  2. We should seek recognition and response, but from God. He wants to be that loving Father who celebrates their kids efforts. People will always let us down sometime.

  3. If something good is done, that’s a good thing. It really doesn’t matter whether I did it or someone else.

I don’t know if that helps you, but it’s been helping me as I’ve worked through my own thoughts and frustrations over the last few months or more. So often I think we strive for things that don’t really matter, or we look in the wrong places.


Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

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