“Don’t wait for someone to make you important; your relevance is your responsibility.” Natalie Redding
Do you matter?
“Relevance” is not like a degree or a certificate where you have to wait for some governing entity to validate you. When it comes to business, you must make your opportunities and claim your importance. I learned this from my late father in law, Jheri Redding. If you’re picturing some father in law looking person named “Jheri” having this intense and fruitful conversation about business with me, erase it. Instead, picture me analyzing how on earth a hunched over short, pale, red haired 2nd generation Irishman could create and launch an iconic product like, “Jheri Curl” to the ethnic hair market and be successful? I’m still in awe of Jheri’s marketing prowess… more on this another time, the point is, Jheri Redding didn’t wait for anyone to tell him he was relevant or worthy, and if he had, companies like Jhirmack, Redken and Nexxus wouldn’t exist.
Where does it start?
I’m in constant wonderment about how a person becomes confident. I think it’s well established in the mental health profession that having a safe and nurturing childhood helps foster confidence in a person; however, I’ve met countless people who’ve had terrible childhoods, yet are quite confident. No matter how many times I re-hash the “epigenesis of confidence” question, I always arrive at the same conclusion; genetics (nature) is probably more important than upbringing (nurture). I truly believe humans have a significant genetic component to survival, and sequestered somewhere in the survival trait is something that gives us resilience. This resilience, the ability to bounce back after failure, is what keeps us from internalizing bad outcome situations. If a person doesn’t take failure personally, they’re more likely to learn from the situation, remaining optimistic rather than victimized and beaten down.
I’m not a big “self help book” type person, but I will tell you, one major source of empowerment to finding the key to my own confidence? Eckart Tolle. I bought his book on tape, “The Power of Now” and listened to it while I did yoga. I found myself rewinding certain parts over and over because some of the concepts were incredibly emotionally complex. I will say, what I learned from listening to Eckart Tolle was life changing. It solidified that my life, business, happiness (and relevance) is all my responsibility. Knowing success in my life is not like a winning lottery ticket, something only “lucky people” stumble upon is empowering.
Whether or not you were born with a predisposition to be resilient doesn’t really matter. You can condition yourself to be more confident and self assured. You must make the choice to look at every situation (favorable or not) as information; not necessarily good or bad. You must also make the choice to have an active participation in your success. Further, you can’t wait for people to validate you. In a nutshell, it’s up to you; CARPE DIEM!