Growing up, I was always being told the reality of a situation. If I wasn't the best, I wasn't the best, so be it. Move on. Granted, I was raised by Italian New Yorkers who had no problem telling somebody how it is, but still.
I remember feeling not exactly jealous, but more so confused as I watched my classmates get praised for being the sports star, or the best artist in art class.
My mom never took it to Facebook to brag about how talented my sister and I were, or how we just finished our tenth school play, dance recital, or we made the honor roll. She reminded us that we were special and talented, but didn't throw it in the face of others. She didn't want us to grow up depending on the approval and attention of others.
My parents adored my artwork from a young age, but they didn't run around bragging about how at 10-years old my painting was almost sold at an auction for a generous amount of money.
When I began performing, the only accolades I got from my parents was a short and sweet night of congratulations. Maybe a Facebook post with some after-show pictures that said "Congrats to Joe for another great performance," but no paragraphs and essays of how their son will surely take Broadway by storm.
My Mom never minded "Oh my daughter has an audition for the University of Michigan and she just got into NYU!" She saw right through the bs of bragging parents, and more importantly, she never acted that way towards other people with my successes. There was no "MY son was just the lead in his school play AND he just got accepted to the school of his dreams!"
Through this, I was raised to not need constant attention and accolades from people, and I am so thankful for that.
I kept doing the things I loved because I loved them, and I worked hard to progress myself and become a better artist for my own enjoyment, not so I could have people compliment me or tell me I'm talented.
I never felt the reason for other people to tell me I'm talented, I never felt the need to try extra hard for the professor or work bosses to single out my work, I never felt the need to be praised for everything I did; I did things because they made me happy.
People nowadays feel the need to be praised for every little thing they do, and it shows that it roots from how they were raised. It's always "Look, I'm doing this at school, it's so popular" and "Oh this professor said I have a really great career ahead of me" because they grew up being told they were going to be so great.
After everything, there was always an essay on Facebook and every time you ran into their parents their child was the only topic of conversation.
What I realized as I grew up was that I don't want to be the topic of conversation. I don't like to be talked about, I don't like to be praised. When I put my work in, I'll thank the people that support me and move on.
At Christmas dinner, my grandmother was telling my family members (in her thick Brooklyn accent) about my work at school, and I started to get uncomfortable. I didn't like the attention, but what stuck out to me was I know people who would've taken these comments to turn the entire night into a convention about them.
Everybody enjoys praise and attention, that's something you can't deny. It does feel good for people to recognize your work, and if you're happy about what you've done, feel free to be proud of yourself and to give yourself a pat on the back.
However, don't keep bringing up something you've done because you know people will praise you for it. Kendrick didn't say "sit down, be humble" for nothing. Grow out of the habit that makes you do things because it'll get you attention or praise, and start doing things because you love them.
Don't read 500 books because you want people to tell you you're smart, read them because you want to expand your knowledge.
Don't start a new project at school with hopes that you'll get the leadership and attention out of it, start one because you want to make a change.
Let go of the need to have the spotlight on you every second. Someone else being praised for their hard work does not belittle or take away from the work you've produced.