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Creating a magical world: Recognition

My Magazine 2022/07
6 min
Author: Angelika Mitterer
The quest for recognition is innate in us humans. In science, it is also described as a strong motivational drug, because our brain needs recognition just as our body needs food. But what is recognition and why do we need it?

Even as babies and toddlers, we intuitively react in such a way that we receive the recognition of our parents. We react to expectations and wishes and thus learn certain behaviours that become deeply anchored in our subconscious. Thus, it becomes very likely that children who are always praised for good performance will also necessarily seek this kind of recognition later on in order to feel "good enough". Other are brought up to be responsible and to put their own needs second to those of others; these children find it more difficult later on to think of themselves and take care of themselves.

Recognition is thus the ultimate reward for a behaviour which is deemed to be “good”  or desired by our environment. This means that the behaviour is useful to the social community in which we move. If we receive recognition, we are seen, perceived and confirmed by others. In evolutionary biology, belonging to a group is existentially important - without this belonging, a human being could not survive, find enough food, reproduce and defend itself against predators. As a result, the programme "social being" was installed in our brain.

Am I enough?

If we receive no or very little recognition and attention in our first years of life, we grow up to be people with low self-esteem. In adult life, it is then difficult to accept praise, to dare to tackle tasks, to motivate oneself. Since the last century, and especially in the western world, recognition is increasingly achieved through performance and work. This acts like a drug, we want more and more, and the pressure, especially in the professional world, increases enormously. Questions of identity, of the self, of the individual, of recognition, are therefore now closely connected with the concept of work. Nowadays, work shapes the human being in a very elementary sense, helps him or her to become human, if it is done as such, which per se cancels out alienation. It is always about the human being in the midst of a community, as it was in the early days of the market economy. If recognition is lacking for us as human beings, then all that remains is a feeling - I am not enough - not beautiful enough, not hardworking enough, not brave enough, not clever enough, not creative enough, not good enough.

But now we have reached a point in our development where we recognise the problem of recognition tied to performance and many people are now taking completely new paths in the awareness of this recognition. We define ourselves and recognition in a completely new way and also the interplay with our environment and its recognition. If we learn from the beginning that no matter what we do, we always have a value for our caregivers, if we experience unconditional love from our parents, for example, and if our environment is generous and free with praise, gratitude and recognition, then our self-esteem grows and we with it. This gives us more strength and courage, we become more independent in our decisions and actions, freer and more creative. In the end, we learn faster and more thoroughly because we do it without any pressure and the body's own motivation system reacts faster and better even to small successes.

Strengthening oneself to strengthen others

Of course it is difficult to break with old patterns of thinking and behaviour, but in our society more and more people are finding their way to their inner centre, strengthening themselves, giving themselves the recognition they need and thus being able to convey this success to others through their actions and work. Getting out of the usual environment and familiar circle of people, into new cultures and forms of society - this can often open up completely new insights and valuable differentiated perspectives.

With the offer of the investor trip in the Gambia, IN∙US enables freedom-loving people to have a completely new experience outside their usual comfort zone. People can expect an exciting and very personal trip with individual as well as shared content and the simultaneous networking of people from different cultures. Of course, our trips are primarily about a new professional orientation, about changing one's entrepreneurial career through international activities and investments and finding new ways to realise oneself independently (financially free!).

In June 2022, we had another very exciting travel group here in the Gambia - adults and, for the first time, children. We experienced a beautiful and yet challenging time together for each individual. Every single, very individual personality, contributed to creating completely new insights, wonderful experiences and adventures for all of us, and to getting wonderful impressions about the Gambia, the culture of the country and its people. At the same time, all participants have also been able to learn a lot about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their feelings and emotions and about their relationship and interaction with other people. In connection with members of the local population who are also currently on the same quest for new opportunities, wonderful new projects and enterprises are emerging that will not only strengthen ourselves, but also others. It is time to learn to feel ourselves again – and not only in relation to others. To surround ourselves with people who appreciate us the way we are, who have no demands and simply like to laugh, talk, sing and cry with us, who embrace us. This is a unique experience on our journeys here in the Gambai – it lets us acknowledge our thoughts and feelings as valid and valuable. We recognize our own needs again, accept and satisfy them.

Our tour group also particularly appreciated our work and dived deep into the country and culture of the Gambia. They came into intensive contact with the people who live here and discovered the diversity and colourfulness of the population. In their feedback, they clearly described how this trip, the people and diverse experiences touched their hearts, how the children enchanted them with their open laughter and how this trip changed their whole outlook on life. We are all allowed to open up and discover completely new directions in life and we at IN.US would like to offer everyone who wants to do so, an opportunity to do so.

My insider tip in The Gambia of the month!

The Fathala Wildlife Reserve is just across the border in Senegal and is available as a day trip or with an overnight stay. In Banjul, you take the ferry, cross the Gambia River and then drive across the country in an old jeep to the border with Senegal. This journey alone is a colourful adventure and often takes several hours, despite the fact that the distance is actually short. Once at the Wildlife Reserve, you can enjoy unique wildlife experiences and take in a great African bush experience with a guided safari tour in an open game viewing vehicle. You can observe various large animals such as giraffes, rhinos, buffalos, and warthogs, as well as red stump, green guenon and red patas monkeys and exquisitely coloured bird species among the huge African mahogany trees. Family herds of the rare West African giant derby eland, found only in this part of the world, as well as other antelope species such as roan, waterbuck and bushbuck can also be seen there. The so-called “lion walk”, where one walks right next to two fully grown lions for a while, is an experience with a difference. It is extremely impressive and one can feel the imposing strength of the animals living there. A one-day trip from the Gambia one should not miss out on!

Photo Credit: Angelika's Personal Archive


Angelika Mitterer
The story of the Austrian architect Angelika Mitterer tells us that the only constant in life is a change and how this can be used as an opportunity for a positive change in one's lifestyle habits.

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