This school year, I'm participating in a leadership development program on campus and it has already shed light on so many areas of my life. I thought it would be great to share some of the leadership lessons, in my own words, on my blog because I think they apply to people of all ages in any chapter of life. Consider this a new blog series for the year.
THE PROBLEM WITH SEEKING AFFIRMATION FROM OTHERS
Affirmation from others does not confirm your worth. There will always be someone who doesn't like you, doesn't like your work, or doesn't think you're good enough. And sometimes those people are more vocal than the ones who do like you, do like your work, and do believe in you.
This is why you cannot live for the affirmation of other people, especially people who do not truly know you.
In school, work, and blogging I absolutely appreciate feedback and interaction. However, I have learned to never let that feedback be the determining factor for my validity. Because often times, when people try and diminish you or your work, it's often because of insecurity within themselves. When confronted with these people, it's best to either quickly and politely respond then move on or not respond at all. Not everything or everyone requires a response.
And if we all did things the same way, how boring would the world be! If Picasso had listened when people told him to stop painting,,, if Oprah had listened when people told her she wouldn't succeed in being on television and was aiming too high, and if Steve Jobs had listened to people when they said the Macintosh was a terrible idea and he should just quit…we wouldn't have the art, inspiration, and technology that plays a pivotal role in our society today.
The same thing goes for you and for me. When we seek affirmation from others and let others determine your quality, in a sense you are giving them power over your life and your potential.
So you may be asking, "how is this a leadership lesson?" By understanding your own worth, without leaning on the empty comments of outsiders, you are displaying leadership. Great leaders don't seek affirmation from strangers. They simply taking positive and negative feedback with a grain of salt and continue working on self-development that works for them.
I'm encouraging you, and reminding myself to determine my own self-value, worth, potential, and success. At the end of the day, all of the outside affirmation in the world is meaningless if you haven't first affirmed yourself.
Because life is too short to live by the standards of others when you're happy creating and meeting your own.