Back in the early days of my ministry, I feared public speaking. Despite the fact that I keep choosing careers that put me in the spotlight, I’ve always been shy.
My insecurity reached new heights when I participated in a large event with multiple speakers. I finished my “talk” and immediately started comparing myself to others.
I remember thinking, “If only someone would praise me, then I’ll know I was good enough.”
That was a significant moment, because my insecurity led me to a spiritual practice, a practice of grace and abundant reassurance.
I acknowledged my pursuit of external validation. Then I replaced my need for praise with praising others. I praised the other speakers and the musicians participating in the same event. I praised the sound technician. This cured my compulsive need for approval. It conquered my insecurity.
I was fulfilled by the action of giving praise.
The technique of applying praise has infinite applications. If you feel insecure. Needy. Neurotic. Wanting. Not enough. If you compare yourself to others and come up short. If you question your right to take up space in the world. Acknowledge your need — then sincerely praise someone else.
If you practice this, you’ll find that praise is a heart-seeking missile. Giving praise is as good as getting praise. Praise feels good coming and going.
Who and how will you praise today?