If you want to be seen, stand up.
If you want to be heard, speak up.
If you want to be appreciated, shut up.”
― Bill Cosby
do you long to feel significant? do want to be appreciated for the amazing person you know you can be?
yeah, me, too.
one of our strongest core needs is for acceptance; to be seen for who we really and fully are.
in our search for acceptance we begin to hide who we really are in fear that our differences, our idiosyncrasies, our quirks, our failings, and our weaknesses are too undesirable for others to see. we convince ourselves that if others really knew who we are or what we really are, they will walk away from us. we fear their reaction. then, we make a decision that fitting in is more important than finding joy by expressing who we really are. we begin to bury our true self and project an image we want others to believe.
mired in a state of insecurity, feeling small, invisible, irrelevant, and insignificant many of us journey through life silently, withdrawn and fearful.
this is painful and leaves us dissatisfied.
i’ve spent much of my life demanding perfection of myself and falling short and feeling inadequate on a regular basis. “i’m not good enough” and “what i have to say is not important enough” can run our lives and leave us feeling empty and unappreciated. even though we understand this to be true, appreciating ourselves, accepting and loving ourselves can be easier said than done.
here are 3 simple ways to find significance and appreciation:
1. if you want to be seen, stand up. i found a trusted friend that i could allow “the real me” to stand forward to. i remember days that i felt paralyzed, wanting to run and hide. yet, i didn’t. little by little, I began to stand up and shine in my own brilliance. what we don’t realize is that people are usually rooting for us to succeed and are truly interested in the unique being we are. they want to know what makes us tick, what inspires us, what brings us joy. when we are courageous to reveal who we are to them, we enrich their lives and inspire them to be courageous as well.
2. if you want to be heard, speak up. i found that it’s not necessary to bolster and qualify everything i have to say. expressing my passion about what i am voicing, even when different from someone else’s point of view, can be met with appreciation and respect. it is important to know what i want and possess the ability to communicate it to others. beating around the bush, hem-hawing, being mousy and indecisive are frustrating. most people appreciate a person who is confident and direct. this often empowers them to have the courage to speak up for themselves.
3. if you want to be appreciated, shut up. ok, i am not contradicting myself here (nor is Bill Cosby who originated this point). validate others. listen. in the same way that you strongly desire to be heard…recognize that others do as well. our inner critic can drive us to be critical and judgemental as a means to level the playing field. if we criticize the person in front of us, we somehow feel less critical about ourselves…only, it doesn’t work that way. when we validate others, we are offering them the opportunity for acceptance, appreciation and significance and we begin to release ourselves from our own inner prison. what we sow, we reap. encouraging others to be brave enough to stand up, speak up and find appreciation speaks to our hearts that we can be braver, stronger and bolder as we endeavour to release who we really are. people appreciate us giving them the freedom to be their true self.
be free to love everything about you. your strengths and your flaws -they make you who you are. come to love who you are, then you can then be free to love others. allow the real you to stand up and shine. find courage to explore ways to express yourself and you will discover freedom.
make your journey meaningful, satisfying and significant by being really and fully you…appreciate yourself and watch others follow your example.