Constantly Seeking Praise and Reassurance: Pluto In Leo

Leo CiggarettesDear Elsa,

I have always felt whatever I do is “not good enough” and I look for reassurance constantly. Through persistence, hard work and conscientiousness, I have had a successful career and relationships – and from the outside, I seem to have things reasonably together.

What follows sounds trivial and I cite it as merely the latest example of a pattern. A while back I started a blog. From the outset I found it a real creative outlet, made online friendships, and I have seen my writing skills improve considerably. However, I constantly compare myself to other bloggers (they are more talented than I am, get more comments, are more confident and popular) to the point where it is blighting my enjoyment of writing and blogging. The current sense of depression and inadequacy about my seemingly average writing is so strong.

I put up a post recently that got no comments at all and felt like sticking my head in the oven! I exaggerate but you get my drift.

Any advice, Elsa? I come from a childhood where praise and recognition seemed in short supply, but I don’t want to be defeated by this. I hate feeling so threatened by others’ abilities and success – these are people that I like. How can I separate out what I do from who I am? And take pleasure in doing something for the sake of it and not feel diminished if it isn’t praised to the hilt?

On the scale of the planet’s problems this is very trivial I know, but this trait of judging myself unfavorably has dogged me my whole life. I’m fed up with it and embarrassed that I still have such an adolescent hang-up.

Planets In Leo

Dear Planets,

This is an enormously interesting question because you describe the pathology of your entire generation. You the baby boomers all have Pluto in Leo and consequently a powerful need for attention and to be recognized as special. Leo is the perennial shiny child and if you look around, you can see this all over the place – the face lifts alone!

Baby boomers aren’t coping with aging all that well. Everyone wants to be the one who managed to hit 60 years old with nary a wrinkle. How’s that for special? So know this: You are not alone.

And your timing to be asking this kind of thing is sublime. Because Saturn is transiting Leo now, pressuring you to “grow up” and face reality – which is exactly what your question addresses. Saturn transits always ask you to define something and Leo represents the creative self. So this is where relief lies. By defining what is singular and creative about you.

For example, no one could have written that post up there but you. It came out of your psyche, your soul, and your fingers. So considering that, it doesn’t matter what another person may have written today. This is your product.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s popular either. Because here’s the revelation: Popular does not equal special! MySpace is popular, but is it special? The popular girl in high school is popular and may think she is special, but is she? Generally not! She’s the one who blends in!

So here’s the path to satisfaction. Dig down deep (Pluto) to excavate what is authentically special (Leo) about you and then work (Saturn) to manifest it in the world. And I’ve given you a hint.

With all your Virgo and Gemini, I think you are a writer. And you have perfectly articulated the question an entire generation is asking right now, so what’s that tell you? Could you be a voice for your generation? Yes.

Does this mean you are Hemingway? No. But it could be your niche and I promise you if you find that… if you find the shoe you were meant to wear, you will be satisfied beyond your wildest dreams and that is what is special.

Good luck.




Constantly Seeking Praise and Reassurance: Pluto In Leo — 8 Comments

  1. Hey Mr/Ms planets-in-leo…

    Care to post a link to the blog you mention? I’m curious (gemini? yes) to read what you’ve got to say.

    Or if you don’t want to post it, email korellyn17 at yahoo dot com (spambots suck)

  2. Immensely helpful and encouraging, Elsa. Thank you. You approached the issue from an angle that wouldn’t have occurred to me.

    And thanks to Heather. Glad I’m not alone.

    Korellyn, will email you.

  3. WOW!For me, too, you articulated EXACTLY what I have been going through! While not a baby boomer, I have spent my leave envying what was special or unique about others, while feeling like I am less of a person if I don’t figure out my special place in the universe.

    I, myself, began writing my memoir last summer. I was going through my transit of Pluto (third house) square natal Pluto (twelth house). To me, that placement makes sense for memoir. Third house being communication and twelth being the hidden self.

    Well, I got a bad cold in Sept. and I just haven’t been the same since then. I quit writing regularly. Mostly because of that critic’s voice in my head that tells me I will never be published. I am now going through Pluto square sun, so lots of depression, old stuff. Not fun.

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of publishing a book. I think anyone who fancies themselves a writer dreams of being talked about on Oprah (or being on Oprah), and having a movie made about their book.

    I plan to start back writing this weekend. I have found that poolside is my favorite place to write. While I do sit under the protection of an umbrella, I find the sun to be therapeutic, and being in Fla., there is no shortage of sun.

    Well, sorry to ramble on. My advice: If you want to write, just do it. I would recommend stream of conciousness journaling as much as you can. Just write, write, write. Don’t take time to think or censor. Just put pen to paper. This will unlock your creative energy and help you be more confident.

    Also, the most invaluable tool for me with my writing has been READING!!! Do it!! Try different authors, different genres. Figure out what kind of narrative voices most stronly speak to you. Then, try emulating that style, As you grow more confident, you will develop your own voice.

    Don’t know what to tell you about the looking for praise thing. I definitely do it, as we all do. I think if you find something you can put your passion into and grow your confidence, that is a good starting point. I find that the more I master life’s tasks, the more confident I am and the less I need to look outward for approval.

    Well, again, sorry to ramble. Your post just really spoke to me and I wanted to wish you luck!

    Many blessings!


  4. Thanks so much Lucy for your thoughtful comment. I’ve re-read it several times and there are a lot of helpful and inspiring ideas there. Wishing you well in your endeavours too!!

  5. Planets question was pretty much what I wanted to ask. My partner noticed how much I grave praise… almost every day or week. It puts me on a high (too much probably, as I sense it feeds an ego and that can be an ugly trait sometimes).

    I definitely did not get enough attention/praise from my family, indeed it was the opposite, more towards ‘mental’ bullying, which I only realised when I was 39, last year.

    I’ve grown in confidence over the past 10 years since facing childhood issues causing me low self-esteem etc. I don’t want to face any more but hate seeking praise all the time.

    Nice to hear I’m not the only one out there.

    Unsure how this blos works, never used any before, in case it helps, my DOB is 2nd Dec 1967.

  6. Another baby boomer here having found out that part of me that loves to be in the limelight, despite years!! of denying it. It takes time but ll that leo stuff connects with children, creativity, taking risks etc. As a pisces sun,moon,mars,saturn in cancer in 4th all I ever wanted to do was to be a backgroudn homemaker BUT hitting early 40’sI wanted more recognition yet ended up out of work, too old, end of 2nd marriage, in debt to a very old cottage but at least it was mine!, I began to renovate, started teaching,(sag MC) adult education six times a year, began sewing lessons from home which of course was where I got the limelight.
    Trust yourself and stop comparing, you are unique and special in your own way. You just have to dig and bring it our into the light. Liz Greene’s Saturn book could be helpful. Your just changing for something more improved,

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