I once worked for a manager who proved very difficult to impress. In fact, the more I went out of my way to work very hard to get into her good books, the more it felt like I was only making a bad situation, worse.
And to put this in perspective, I wasn’t the only one struggling to get a pat on the back for all the hard work I did. My other colleagues were going nuts by her managerial style. Plus the fact that she constantly turned a blind eye to all the efforts we put into our job.
And that alone made that job suck very bad!
As humans, we may sometimes feel the need to be appreciated or recognized of some sort, when we are doing our best to give our best.
But, when our efforts are being undermined, it could go on to affect our morale, self-confidence and even commitment to duty.
The fact that all your efforts are being discounted for nothing can feel brutal, to say the least.
But, what is one supposed to do when all your efforts are treated as if they do not count? How should you react when instead of being bestowed with accolades, appreciation or awards for all your hard work, you are being chastised, scorned or outright berated?
I will tell you.
While I continued to work for that manager, I decided to turn my attention away from her. Meaning that I decided not to pay too much attention to the way she treated us.
Rather, I decided to focus on becoming better at my job, learning new skills and becoming more productive.
I adopted this strategy because I knew I wasn’t going to be working with her forever. So, rather than spend the entire time complaining and losing sleep like my other colleagues, I decided to focus my attention on something else.
I took my attention away from what I considered not important (the mean manager of course) and focused my efforts on becoming a better communicator, team member, and project manager.
And guess what? My strategy paid off. Because, years later, I am still using some of the skills I acquired from that job experience, even though it had felt like hell working there at the time.
You see, I sometimes have people approach me with this sort of problem.
Whether it be someone involved in the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and doing everything within their powers to turn the corner.
Or, a wife or husband doing everything they possibly can to make their relationship work.
Or a frustrated employee who is tired of working for an unappreciative boss, despite all their hard work.
The feeling is usually the same- one of intense frustration.
And this is what I always tell them.
It is not always about the other person, but about you.
From my experience, I found that my former manager probably had a self-esteem problem herself. Therefore, that was probably why she found it very difficult to acknowledge the good in other people.
So, when you are working very hard at something you think you should be celebrated for and get nothing of that in return, try to look beyond that person. And instead focus more on becoming better at that thing you are doing.
Be it a relationship, bad habit or an addiction of some sort. Keep working to perfect your game. And either the other party with time would recognize your efforts and turn around and give you that long-awaited pat on your back,
Or you would actually become a better person for all your efforts. Either way, you do not stand to lose, but actually, stand to gain a lot.
I believe that people often get worked up about situations like this because they feel the need to be validated or appreciated by a fellow human being. And when that human being falls short of their expectations, they become all paranoid about it.
So, when next you feel like all your great efforts are going unnoticed or unappreciated, this is what I would suggest you do.
Begin to live like no one else is seeing you, while continuously working to become better.
I tell you that in due course, you would get that recognition you deserve. It may not be from the person you had expected, but all your hard work would eventually pay off and be recognized.
For me, I am basking in all the experience I gathered from that mean boss of mine. And I must say that I am currently enjoying all the recognition I deserve from all my hard work, albeit from a different environment!
All the very best!
*Never miss out on any of our posts. Sign up here.