Why You Should ‘See’ Yourself Before Others ‘See’ You!

Drew ParalesAs you know, we live in a world where technology has taken over pretty much the entire atmosphere of the Earth. It’s everywhere. We all have it, most of us do it, and we’ve come to rely on it to get through our day. Because of this, we have been indirectly learning that instant gratification is something that we are getting because we don’t have to work so hard at communicating with other humans directly anymore. It’s just easier to be seen these days because of the media technology. Don’t worry, I won’t get on my soapbox about Facebook or anything like that. I am going to just jump in and talk about why being “seen” seems to be so important to us. And WHY we keep craving it all the time. Technology is just one of the reasons in my opinion.

I have spent days, weeks, months, and YEARS trying to be seen and recognized by other people in my life. My family, my friends, my co-workers, Loved ones, the list goes on. I would spend hours in complete heartache because someone ignored me for something great that I did for them. A friend would come into my life, and I would build them up over and over and over again. Just for us to have a “fall out,” and I would be devastated. I would pine away wondering what the hell went wrong, and why I was “wronged” by them. I would sit and question for hours why they treated me so poorly. I played the victim and carried the cross up the hill as if to get some award for it. The same with my family. I have been desperate for so many years for them to “see” me, participate in the events and activities and ventures that I embark on, like taking the dive into personal growth and mentoring. I love them so much, and all I wanted to do was share with them what I was going through. I would spend countless days doing what I could to show them that I was there for them and that I wanted to spend quality time with them– all with the hopes that one day, my actions would be rewarded in kind. Like I would get down on myself and later see that I did more than anyone I had Love for in my circle. That I went out of my way more than they did.

Although I know, deep down, these are all false facts. My loved ones love me!  But I later realized that what I was doing was not coming from a FULL place of true service and reciprocated Love… not all the time. I have SO MANY wonderful people in my life that ALWAYS give to me as much as I give them! That much I am aware of – and I celebrate them all the time, which is why they are still in my life. But this nagging feeling of the people that don’t give what they do, made me question why I felt so empty when they didn’t reciprocate like the rest. It’s almost like I was looking for my connection with people in my life to be 100% perfect. AND that’s the cause of it all. There ISN’T. Who was I to think that everyone on the planet would act like I do and give what I do!? I loathe narcissism, but yet here I was, doing pretty much the same thing, but on an emotional and victimized level. AH-HA! It was like being hit with a safe or something! That I wasn’t seeing myself enough or valuing myself enough to be JUST FINE without being recognized by others. Not just close friends and family, but the world on the outside of me. I never really took the time to see and recognize in MYSELF what I embodied, what talents I had, what gifts I had to offer, what wisdom’s I had to teach, what energy shined through to help others to be the light for them. People tell me this ALL THE TIME. But I never listened. I never wanted to because I didn’t recognize myself enough. I relied too much on other people’s permission to give me that platform instead of stepping on to it myself. I realized there is no empowerment when you wait for others to give you recognition that you so easily yet lovingly give to yourself. That was an attitude-changing moment…

I began to start accepting the gifts that I had, and I started doing the work for myself that I craved that others would give me. I learned new modalities and got involved with activities that fulfill me when accomplished. Sometimes all it takes is a simple smile in the mirror, an internal celebration that causes chain reactions of my vibration out to the world. Once I did, there was a certain kind of credit that I get to take for myself: a better level of Self-Love that I have for myself and the need to “seen” by others gracefully starts to fall away since now I’m learning to “see” myself a little more each day. In turn, the world has bestowed more positive feedback and recognition that I could have ever dreamed of – from the stories I write, to the blogs I post, to the students I teach, to the clients I mentor, to the gifts I share. It’s more than I could dream of. And I don’t ask for or desperately seek it anymore. It is gracefully given, and I fully accept.

So you see, no matter what it is that we are trying to be seen or recognized for, if we all just gave ourselves the same amount of love, attention and recognition to ourselves, I believe we wouldn’t be searching for it SO much in others, our work, our government, the world. Learning to be more accepting of YOURSELF, you– the talented, valuable person that you are now– will become everything that you do and will do. You will give yourself the fulfillment and freedom to know that YOU are just amazing! Once you do, it will erase the need to always be seen by others. Because you’ll finally be “seeing” yourself and celebrating all that you are and have in each moment for long, even permanent amounts of time. And once you do, others will, too. And that’s a beautiful thing! Something the instant gratification of technology could never give you.

Where in your life do you seek recognition from others? How can you make the shift to see yourself before needing to be seen by others? What talents do you possess that you can find value in and embody so that you can accept the whole of you? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear from the TDL Community!

All My Love,



Andrew “Drew” Parales is a Vocational Rehab Educator for students with disabilities in transition & employment, a school site program & events coordinator/trainer. Connect with Drew at:


Facebook: ILOVEliberation

Twitter: @iLOVEliberation

  • K

    Thank you for the beautiful and simple yet deep message and instructions! : ) t came at the right time for me. : )
    With Love,

    • Your so welcome K! I love when the timing of things are just right!

      All my Love, Drew =)

  • Sarah


  • Monica

    I agree, great timing…I’ve realized that I’ve been playing the ‘victim’ both at work and in my personal relationships by craving reassurance and wanting acceptance and permission. I’ve been feeling like I give, and give but don’t get enough in return and I am now realizing that if I’m giving, it should be truthful and not expect something in return, and specially how important it is to not feel like a ‘victim’ because I don’t receive something in return or I don’t get the recognition I think I should.

    • Hi Monica!
      Yes, GREAT insight into how you work and to how most of us, including myself seem to want that recognition as to validate that we are whole. If we are as comfortable as possible in WHO we are, what we’ve accomplished and self-approved, the validation and recognition by others will be something we will no longer search for because we have already found it in ourselves! Then it’s magic when suddenly we do begin to get recognized when we least expect it and it means more than if searching for it is all we did. Its like our aura just expands and people cant help but pay attention! Push through Monica! Give a little more Love to yourself and approval! Let me know how you do!
      Lots of Love, Drew

  • Hellothere

    Thanks to what ever or who ever made me find you but your words are just what I needed to hear. I have for so long looked for affirmation outside of me when all along it was there and I ignored it…your wonderful and have made me realize that I am ok.

    • Hello there Hellothere! 😉
      Well we’ll just leave this plan to get you here as a part of Uni-verse’s work! It was meant to be to have you led here today to catch and embrace this wisdom and I’m grateful that these words have made a difference! YOU are wonderful and more than ok! Just know it inside…
      Much Love, Drew

  • Gayle

    What a fantastic article!
    It is SO TRUE how we all seem to CRAVE that reciprocation of “credit”
    from loved ones…why do we tell ourselves these goofy things? We so easily forget, or just plain don’t
    realize that what we are looking for is deep within us, and that we can just
    give it to ourselves! It’s inside all of
    us, the ability to self-love, and we need to realize that we are all FANTASTIC
    people in our own ways. I look back and can
    see now that I was “forced” into this idea when I chose my career in Law
    Enforcement. My job is literally to help
    people, but I never get the chance to see the actual rewards of my

    I never get to help people who are happy…the people I help
    are always angry, scared, sad, desperate, ill, mentally disturbed – and they
    need me to help them NOW. I make split
    second decisions that change people’s lives, and I do it with constant scrutiny
    (cameras/radios recording my every word).
    I only deal with negativity all day long…nobody ever calls the Police
    when they are happy, they only call when they are mad, hurt, or in crisis…and
    the expectation of my job is to help these people in a kind and professional
    manner, no matter how they treat me. And
    nobody, NOBODY ever calls to thank me for anything. It is a very thankless job, probably one of
    THE most thankless jobs out there…but I love it.

    I have had no choice over the years but to tell myself that
    I am good at what I do and that I make a difference. I’ve only recently discovered this through
    deep inner realization and techniques provided by my fantastic mentor (love
    you!). In exercises, I’ve asked myself, “In
    all of the things that are a part of me, where do I feel the strongest? When is it that I feel the most confident
    and sure of myself?” – and it’s always in my job. When I am at work, I am confident, I know
    what to do, I know I do it well, and I know that I help people every day. There is NO DOUBT when it comes to my career,
    NONE. I absolutely believe in myself
    100% when I am working. So why is it that
    I can feel 100% confident when I’m doing a literally THANKLESS job…yet I seem
    to demand that the loved ones in my life give me constant “credit”?

    AH HA!!!! Light
    bulb!!! DUH GAYLE!!!!

    What was I thinking? I
    know I kick ass at what I do, yet I never get any credit for it. SO if I reverse that thinking…can I possibly
    NOT get credit for other things in my life and still know that I kick ass? DUH!!!
    OF COURSE I CAN!!! We ALL can!!! It’s so simple, yet we make it SO
    HARD!!! All it takes is to look inside
    yourself, and love yourself for exactly who you are, and what you give to
    others. Be happy with that, be PROUD of
    that, and CELEBRATE that!!! YOU ARE

    AMAZING!!! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!! YOU ARE FANTASTIC!!! And you know why people like to be around
    you??? BECAUSE OF THAT!!! Make sure to SEE yourself properly – it makes
    ALL the difference!!!

    Thank you my dear Andrew, for helping me SEE myself!!!

    Love always, Gayle

    • Dearest Gayle!
      Your experiences and willingness to share yourself with the TDL community and the world speaks VOLUMES of your character and the new self-love that you have for yourself! I couldnt be anymore proud to watch the amazing transformation that you have gone through physically and emotionally. Being a mentee of mine has also shaped my life and the way I share myself with others. Keep going, CELEBRATING and never stop this amazing growth. You are an example to us all and with one of THE toughest jobs on the planet. I have TONS of Love for you, my dear!! Glad that you finally ‘see’ yourself. We’ve ALWAYS ‘seen’ you…


  • anne

    This message was so powerful. I saw myself in that story. Question? how do I own my talents in a way that is not boastful? I truly get this message, however only on the surface. I’d ike to get it in my DNA. Thanks. Anne

    • Hi Anne!
      The best way to own your talent and beauty in on the inside… These days there is SO MUCH self-promotion these days online, on FB, Tweets, crazy photos that are posted, the way people drive, the way people talk, their status, etc. It goes on and on. Like you, I also felt like I couldn’t own, and appreciate who I was because I was not like that. But Self-Love is not always made up of external qualities. Celebrations happen internally as well, and it begins to show on the outside. We begin to smile more, offer more, walk differently, talk differently, etc. We exude a vibration that is noticeable to others. And that kind of self-recognition lasts longer and is more permanent that some cheap posting on FB, etc. You can begin by the self-talk you give yourself. Recognize in yourself what you perhaps wished what others would in you. Its not overnight, but with some practice, possibly meditation or what works for you. Owning yourself is much more an inside job than we think and its counter-intuitive to today’s society standards. 😉 Give it shot and walk through the fear of being judged for being boastful Anne! Let me know how you do..
      Big Love, Drew

  • Drew,

    I love how you said you loathe narcissism, but finally realized that’s basically what you were doing. Isn’t that the way it is? Typically, the stuff we dislike most in other people is IN us too, and we’re either not seeing it, or we also dislike it in ourselves, but we’re blaming others or putting the quality outside of ourselves. For years and years I’d always proclaim how I hated people who thought they were better than other people. I didn’t like conceited, arrogant people who were condescending. But finally I saw that I can have that attitude myself. Major eye-opener.

    I can also really relate to you in regards to wanting others to see you and hear you… but you’re not seeing/hearing yourself. You want that validation from others, but really we all just need to validate ourselves. I’m the same way and am finally seeing this! I have OFTEN complained about how people don’t SEE me and don’t LISTEN to me and don’t CARE about me. But what was I doing? I was lying low, being quiet, not drawing attention to myself, not proclaiming my own gifts and strengths. I was waiting for someone ELSE to see me and proclaim how awesome I was…. instead of doing it myself! Not in an ego-centered way, mind you, but I was waiting to receive validation from others when I wasn’t giving it to myself.

    A well-said, well-written post… I could have written it myself, with how much I identified! Loved it! 🙂 Thanks!


    • Hey Sarah!
      Thanks so much for discussing! YES– isn’t it weird that most of us humans DO THIS! =) We have this strange habit of only feeling good when others “see” us and recognize us. I mean its nice, right? But so much more life energy comes when we can graciously give it to ourselves, there is this awesome sense of self-worth and we suddenly stop spending energy looking for it elsewhere. Then oddly we draw the eyes and ears of the outside world without even asking! 😉 And yes– the narcissism aspect. Its SUCH a hard lesson to understand that everything is a mirror and we reflect back what we are giving. So glad you like eye-openers too! Thanks so much Sarah for the kind words and great comment!
      Lots of Love, Drew

  • Kathleen Chelquist

    About two years ago, I woke up with a quote: “I have found that what I’ve been looking for all my life, has been with me all along.” Although it was in a dream state…it sure is easier said than done. Great article. Recently I said to my mentor, “It is so wonderful just writing…for me, and if people do NOT want to read my blog…well, that’s ok, too.” Her response? You will be free when you say: “And that’s wonderful, too.” Big “Ah Ha” for me! Thanks Andrew!
    The Daily Commenter,

    • Hi Kathleen!
      YES YES! awesome quote: “I have found,..” Couldn’t be anymore true! These Ah-ha moments seem to come like avalanches when we really turn inward to find all that we have been looking for outside of us! You are learning such a great outlook on your life! True liberation: “that’s wonderful too!” You’re the great Daily Commenter here. Great to see you everyday! I love it…Thank YOU Kathleen!

      All my Love, Drew

  • Cori

    Well said Andrew! You always have a way with words. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Cori! I just let it flow… =)

      TONS of Love,

  • Bria

    Dear Drew,

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this entry today! I was actually just thinking how little I actually feel about myself and HOW MUCH I want to change that! I want to feel weightless (as in letting go of the past and being PRESENT in the moment) and grounded in who I am. I know I can do it, it’s just allowing myself to let go of the fears of rejection, fear of fear, and the fears of not getting/being LOVE that I choose to get stuck on all the time. (Luckily I have ordered the “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer to help with the confusion so I am excited to begin taking that journey as well!) But sometimes it gets so confusing because I KNOW I’m already love and light and a part of the Uni-verse/Creator/God in the flesh and yet I choose the fears over the freedom and the LIGHT of who I really am!

    Your message today reminded me that I have to truly accept myself and LOVE MYSELF for others to love me too! This is so critical for me right now because I’m graduating high school next week and soon my whole life is going to be literally FULL of possibilities and I want to be as grounded within myself and as fearless as I possibly can be so that I can walk into the next phases in my life with ENTHUSIASM, FAITH, and LOVE rather than fear. I have been so afraid because I really want my life to count towards something and to be of service and to FOLLOW God’s plan for me, and my fears are going ballistic which only means I’m about to make a break-through. (YAY!) And thanks to you, I know know what I must do: I need to FACE my fears and angst with LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and then choose to view life with brighter eyes!

    Thank you so much! I so needed this. 🙂


    • Thanks SO MUCH for this beautiful share Bria! And youre so welcome..I am thrilled that his piece brought you to a new place of understanding and helps in the road map to you brilliant life! You are in a such a great time in your life to have these lessons and experiences make such a huge impact on your spirit, and the transformation will lead to such great patterns of success for you! It will be in the grounding of yourself Bria that will lead to so many open doors.

      As you learn to see yourself more clearly, you’ll begin to sense that fear, as you mention is only to the doorbell to so pretty massive breakthroughs! Keep up the great work, MANY congrats on your Graduation next week. We are all so proud of your accomplishments! Keep me posted on how you do!

      Sending HUGE Love, Drew

  • Oz never gave nothing to the tin man….that he didn’t, didn’t already have. I heard that song lyric the other day. I am also reading a book by Jean Houston called The wizard of us. We have what we are looking for the whole time. Heart courage and brains. All right there inside of us. It takes the personal journey to realize that. The sooner we can see we have the way home right in our grasp the whole time the sooner we see our own attributes and stop trying to find someone else to acknowledge them.

    Loved hearing your version.
    I’m in the process of it all. I feel called to write and spread love. I get stuck and all too often my flying monkeys swoop in assuring me that what others say about u really matters but I’m still trying to get back home. Love to all.

    • Hi Carrie!
      LOVED your comment! Thanks for writing! I loved that you made the Oz visual comparison to the Tin Man. We can all be what we are looking for if we saw ourselves indeed! Oz was a bit more colorful than my version for sure! 😉 And yes, its DEF a process and a daily teaching one’s self esp my own. We keep going, keep moving, and answer the call just like you do! It will keep the flying monkey mind of searching for validation further and further away!

      With Love, Drew

  • Josephine

    Drew, oh my, this was like a smack in the face to me lol. When I was a new mom, I kept trying to be “supermom” and constantly searched for others’ approval, that I was doing a fantastic job with my babies, etc. I was proud of my kids’ milestones for sure, but I let the whole world know about them as a subconscious way to receive a sort of “thumbs-up” for how I am raising them. It was pretty depressing when I would rush to the emergency room with a sick baby and spend the whole night awake tending to her, and there was no one there to applaud my efforts. I can’t speak for every mom, but I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one out there who feels overwhelmed, exhausted, and underappreciated. It wasn’t even just parenting, but being a mom–the pressure to have the house clean, to get my pre-pregnancy body back in no time flat, to just “having it all under control.” It wasn’t until recently that I realized, “Hey wait a minute, am I doing this ‘parenting’ thing for recognition? Or for my children?” What a rude wake-up call!! When my second daughter was born, I definitely changed my attitude and realized that I shouldn’t let what the world thinks of me dictate how I Love or parent my children. I gave myself permission to make mistakes as a parent, to forgive myself when I did, to recognize myself when I handled a situation thoughtfully and Lovingly, and you know what–it is AWESOME! I was able to truly be the mom my kids needed me to be without having to worry about others’ approval or recognition. If they acted up in public, I honestly don’t care anymore about the glaring looks I got haha! I would instill discipline right there and then, not later when “no one was looking.” The result of this is well, my kids no longer act up in public because they know instantly what they did is wrong, and they don’t get confused about if they are gonna get in trouble later or not when “no one is looking.” Not to say I beat my kids or anything haha! But before, I would let it go and deal with it later at home. Anyway, the point is, I gave myself permission to be a real mom, and Loved myself for it. To have Self-Love is to have this overwhelming peace just filling you up from your head to your toe. I finally started “seeing” myself!

    There’s a quote I read the other day: “Be careful. You will always find what you’re looking for,” by Olianna Portnoy. I couldn’t agree more with this! If you look for your mistakes, you’ll certainly find some! If you look for accomplishments, you’ll find those, too! I think it’s a pretty powerful shift in perspective when you focus more on Loving yourself 🙂

    Say hello to the SD gang for me! Lots of love!

    • Hello Josephine!
      So GREAT to see you on TDL! I absolutely LOVE what you posted here.. What great honesty, candor and love that you expressed here, esp in the realm of being mom and its trials and tribulations… Its hard to admit that we look for and want to garner this attention in many areas of our life! Being a parent (I imagine because I dont have my own offspring) can be a thankless job and many times to go SO unrecognized… You have made a GREAT breakthrough with the birth of your second daughter and its shows! I love to hear the fulfillment that you are experiencing since having your revelation and finally seeing yourself and who are are as mother.

      Im SO GLAD that you are only looking to yourself for the need to be validated and im sure now that you are receiving unexpected accolades for doing amazing job with your kids! Parenting IS for you, and your children,.. not for ANYONE else! Way to go Josephine!! I loved your comment…. We’ll see you soon!
      All My LOVE to you!!


    Where in your life do you seek recognition from others? How can you make the shift to see yourself before needing to be seen by others? What talents do you possess that you can find value in and embody so that you can accept the whole of you? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear from the TDL Community!

    In everything but as I get older not as much anymore (probably because I do not remember to worry about things because I forget that I need recognition as much as when I was younger. I read a lot of books which helps to get a shift the last book was
    Shift Happens by Robert Holden PHD. Great Book and I have made the shift to back out of the way of the ego and to just be happy…I am a loyal and good person and I accept and know that.