“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” – Dale Carnegie.
My gut is sticking out. Am I wearing the right clothes? The car looks pretty battered. Is it time to get a new one? I said a witty thing at work. Did my coworkers notice?
Some days we act as if we’re on a stage, performing for an audience. Even when we think we’re doing well, we can’t be happy until we know what our audience thinks of our performance. The problem is, we can never know for sure before—or even after the fact—what other people are really thinking.
The level in which you need someone else’s opinion to validate your self-worth is directly disproportionate to the level in which you believe in yourself. The less you care about how others think of you, the more confident and secure you are with yourself. The more you care about what “they” think, the lower your self-image is and the less secure you are with yourself.
Several years ago, when I was getting started in sales, I was a wreck. My day hinged on whether or not I got a sale or if I got the next appointment. If I didn’t, I thought, “they think I’m such an idiot…what did I do wrong…why don’t they like me…I’m sure they’re mad that I stopped by…etc.” It was terrible! My self-image was so low that I had to have their approval to feel good about myself, and the only sign of their approval was to buy my product. Anything less than that and I was dirt.
Then I attended a seminar and one of the greatest salesmen in the world was talking about my situation exactly. He asked, “How many of you feel terrible after you ask someone for the sale and they reject you?”
Needless to say, I’m in my seat thinking, “I so understand!” Then he continued, “How many of you have ever had someone try to sell something to you?”
“Who hasn’t,” I thought. To which he responded, “After they leave how much are you thinking about that person versus your life, day, job, customers, responsibilities, family, etc.?”
Gees O’ Peet…I got it. They were rejecting my product, not me! “They” really didn’t even think a whole lot of me afterward…I did.
The late, great, five-time Olympian Willye White summed it up best when she said, “If it is to be, it’s up to me…and I…believe…in me!” What others think of me matters, but it shouldn’t matter as much as what I think of myself. Remember: You are powerful beyond measure.
Brett Penager, Founding Partner