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10 Ways to Overcome an Unhealthy Pursuit of Praise to Be Your Own Inspiration




Using praise as recognition isn’t a new concept. Look back to when you were in primary school and the number of gold star stickers for doing a good job on your homework. The childhood conditioning to expect positive reinforcement and for some, depended on it for success. Being constantly praised can be addictive. The danger in the love of being praised enables people to become conditioned to act a certain way to seek incentives. You become engrossed in seeking extrinsic motivation– the dangling carrot –  to deliver results.

You crave others “liking” your thoughts, photos and accomplishments. You experience an adrenaline rush to your brain, as you are fed praise you so desperately crave. It makes you feel a false sense of being more loved, connected than you are. People who attribute their results to environment or circumstances are viewed as having an external locus of control. You tend to believe you have little power or influence in your successes or failures.

People who view outcomes as being influenced by their own choices and action have an internal locus of control. You take responsibility for whatever happens and are more resilient in the face of ongoing change. You do anything for the simple satisfaction of accomplishment. You are driven by an internal desire to create value even when not asked of you.

Getting too much positive reinforcement can be crippling if constant praise is necessary to perform well. Let me share with you 10 ways to overcome an unhealthy pursuit of praise:

1. Be your own inspiration

Instead of waiting for another person to pat you on the back, keep your own file of accomplishments and kudos. Gather the evidence of how you met your specific goals through a time log as a way of tracking your accomplishments. When you need a boost, tap into your own line of credit and give yourself the gold star.

2. Give all the credit away

Celebrating someone else’s success or giving away praise to a group of peers, creates ripples within the workplace. Another way is to ask one of your team members for help. Without realizing it, you are offering praise by showing respect for someone’s knowledge and experience by acknowledging that you trust their judgement on a task.

3. Accountability is the magic

Invest time in conducting an accountability self-assessment. Rate yourself on each of the statements to determine whether you have an internal or external locus of control. “I am responsible for my learning to be successful, my manager should provide me all the information l need to do my job, my colleague’s behavior prevents me from performing exceptionally in my role and my commitment is the driver of my success”.

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett

4. Upgrade your standards

Eliminate the need for external praise by setting personal goals and standards. Your personal accomplishments build your self-worth and encourage you to take on more challenges. Company leaders take notice on your professional strengths and how you drive results. Spend time with mentors exploring how you can improve your work habits

5. Praise is like sugar

You gorge on the chocolate chip biscuits, the Nutella laden pizzas and fairy floss to satisfy your hardwired cravings. Social media is the same. With every “like” and retweet, every selfie, share or filter, you are overfeeding your mind as you walk around with a boundless source of praise, taking a bite every single day.

Today, the praise bar is so low that the feedback you get is meaningless, but you want it anyway. You crave praise that requires little energy to acquire. No deep thought or real effort. The more you get, the less you feel it and the more you seek to attain the satisfaction.

6. Escape the Willy Wonka land of praise

Praise isn’t always a bad thing. When you aren’t inundated with praise every day for every little thing, it means more when you finally do get it. You work harder for it and its quality rises exponentially. Praise earned is richer and more satisfying than praise thoughtlessly given away. Disconnect from social media for 2 days and see how you feel. Reassess how you use your time and what sort of praise you truly value.

7. Define what you what to achieve

Investing in what you want to accomplish detracts from your need to seek constant validation from others. Define what your end of year review would say about you, perhaps write your own eulogy highlighting your achievements and turn them into goals. Break down your big widely audacious goal into doable steps and focus on the progress.

8. Trade in the flattering sidekick

Praise addiction can drive you to form connections with people who feed your ego and withhold honest feedback. Seeking people who think you are fabulous has limited use. Actively asking quality questions such as “what can l do better? What might l work on next time to take me to the next level?”, allows you to delve deeper in how you can add more value in the future.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

9. Small doses

What’s good for you in small doses can be bad for you if you have too much of it. Everything requires appropriate dosage. Over-praising can imply something is exceptional then that makes it the exception to what is within the range of normal or acceptable. Constantly praising you for not disobeying all the health and safety rules implies that disobeying these rules would be more normal for you. You don’t want healthy behavior to be exceptional.

10. Benchmark of excellence

Making a huge deal out of anything someone achieves or attempts, encourages praise addiction. Praising children for turning up to school, not being disruptive or completing their assignments is poor preparation for a life of real excellence as you turn ‘normal’ into excellent.

Genuine excellence thus loses its value. Focus on praising what is within the person’s control. For instance, praising someone on their commitment to hard work. It implies that success was something they could consciously influence. Highlighting how fabulous they are for completing something gives them no meaningful information about their contribution.

The right kind of praise at the right time with the right quantity can help you develop the habit of excellence. An uncontrolled diet of praise won’t do you or anyone else any favors.

What’s one thing strategy you can put in place to become your own inspiration?

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website or through her Facebook.

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling



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