approval seeking,  Competition,  Personal growth

Gold stars

“Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to give myself a gold star for being ordinary, and maybe one of these days I’ll give myself a gold star for being extraordinary — for persisting. And maybe one day I won’t need to have a star at all.” ~Sue Bender, Plain and Simple

In our early grade school years, teachers rewarded our best efforts with gold star-shaped stickers. Remember the delicious rush of achievement you felt every time your test came back with a bright gold star at the top?

Even when we’re old enough to judge the quality of our own work, some of us still need validation or approval from others. We might strive for special awards, extra praise, or a constant stream of “likes” on our social media posts. But as today’s quote reminds us, when we’re truly fulfilled and confident, we don’t need those little gold stars anymore. ~Cindy La Ferle

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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