So often we find ourselves seeking the approval of others. We want people to like us, we look for other people’s approval, we live our lives not for ourselves, but for the recognition and attention from others. Let me tell you that is no way to live. I am guilty of this myself, but not any longer. I decided a while ago that I did not care if someone liked me, wanted to be around me, or even took the time to pick up the phone to call or text. One of my favorite singer’s is an R&B artist by the name of Ledisi. She has a song called “Bravo” and that song has been my anthem for the year. It isn’t even one of her newer songs, but it doesn’t matter because it has meaning, and all of her music is great. Sometimes, you just have to give yourself a handclap. If you have any interest in music, and like R&B…look up Ledisi if you don’t know her. The bridge into the chorus of the song says:
“See, it’s the same pretty woman with the brand new smile
Same Ledisi but she ain’t walking, she’s flying
A new game, making big moves
See if love found me it can surely find you, say it
I ain’t even got one sad tear left in me
All I really want is to see the whole world
Stand up tonight, take off, aye
Yeah, we celebrating life, the only way
It don’t matter who you are or where you’re from
If you been working hard give yourself a round of applause
Bravo, bravo, bravo, come on, clap for yourself now
Bravo, bravo, bravo, yeah, yeah”
This song resonated with me this year because I started working on a lot of my goals. As I started telling some people who I thought had my back, I noticed that there wasn’t a level of excitement for me, or the goals I wanted to accomplish. I found better reception from people who have known me for a tiny fraction of the time that some of these individuals I shared my dreams with have known me. I adjusted my attitude and said, “If you been working hard give yourself a round of applause.” I know that I have been working hard. I have been putting in the late nights and early mornings. I’m creating a path for me, and if no one is excited about the path but me, then so be it.
No matter what you do in life, there will be people who you would think are in your corner but are secretly praying for your downfall. You see, people prefer you when you are ignorant to your own feelings. When you depend on their approval. There are individuals that thrive on you seeking them out, even when they do not respond. Well I am here to say, stop shrinking yourself to make people comfortable, and start living for you! The way you speak to yourself matters, and it is time to start encouraging yourself regardless of what others think of you. There’s a saying, “make your haters your motivators.” I say, regardless who hates you, who fails to encourage you, be your own cheerleader. Be your own motivational speaker. Speak good things over your life, your dreams, whatever it is you are trying to achieve. Speak those things into existence no matter who is on the sidelines giving you the side-eye.
It is human nature to want others to see your potential and to want them to celebrate your accomplishments, but everyone isn’t capable of doing that. Even the people you think should be first in line to do so. That is why it is so important to love yourself enough to know that you are wonderful without anyone else’s validation. You have to love and appreciate yourself consistently if you want to be successful because self-doubt = self sabotage. Talk to yourself. I know it may seem weird that I am telling you to talk to yourself, but try it. Leave little encouraging notes tacked to your computer, your mirror, your iPad, the book you are reading, the coffee maker, anywhere you know you will see it. Talk to yourself like you would your bestfriend when they need a little motivation. Be your own bestfriend. Let yourself know that you don’t need anyone’s validation and you’ve got this, then go get shit done! That is my motto for this year, like “Bravo” is my anthem. Get Shit DONE! Block out the crowd noise, block out the knowledge that you are aware people want you to fail, block out all the negativity and get it done.
What I am telling you is that you are worthy. No one can take your worth from you because they don’t want to “ride with you” on your journey. When you make it, they will come around and that is when you have to tell them; the train left the station, I gave you a ticket and you refused it. Do so humbly because you do not want to become one of “those” people. Celebrate you, clap for yourself, encourage yourself, and if they didn’t want to experience the full process – the tears and frustration, then they are certainly not allowed to reap the benefits of your hard work. Find you some good motivation music, turn it up real loud – or a sensible volume will do, and go get shit done! BRAVO.