I feel seen...
52 days into the year 2022 already!! Each week brings about a different set of perspectives, rules, challenges and joys but the one thing that never changes is the pace of time. First there’s minutes, then hours that turn into days and days that turn into weeks and before you notice it’s a new month. Yet, we will press ON one day at a time.
Let's get to it..
Rather on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn this phrase has taken both root and had created an interesting brand of its own by all that use it so regularly. This statement is embedded in common sentences, quick catch phrases and also added to the urban dictionary as a way to describe a feeling of shared sentiment. The term “I feel seen” is probably one of the most popular terms across the innerwebs today. From that to, “They see me”, “I want them to see me “, “ I’m glad someone finally sees me” and the list goes on to be SEEN has become everything for a lot of people. It’s become the upper echelon of compliments and empowerment. It lives at the top of the charts for minorities across various industries who have finally gotten a chance at the big table with the big boys and girls who once did not allow people that looked like them to be there and for some this is the ground-breaking moment, we have all been waiting for and that’s simply to be seen. But what does that really mean? Is this the formality being used to quiet the noise of Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace and beyond or is this a personal thing that has given a voice to the emotions and feelings around validation and affirmation that people once did not have words for? Help me understand?
While I am not here to judge or force my opinions on either subset of person, I am here to raise a flag on the play that could be labeled as unpopular opinion but rooted in truth and LOVE, It’s NOT enough to be SEEN by others if you don’t see YOU.
I tweeted this statement a few days ago and I recall it hitting my spirit over and over again after speaking to a friend and in another setting with a recent client. As both a personal and executive coach you can imagine I hear it very often. It has become so common that I am redesigning how I coach people who care more about being seen than heard and those that consider being seen as heard alike. Newsflash: To be SEEN cannot be the GOAL. If to be SEEN is the GOAL, then you are placing limits on just how far you want to go in anything and you are leaving it up to others to determine your value and your worth. It’s time to stop giving people so much power over the direction of your life! How many executive producers or writers of a film can you name? Do you know what they look like? Have you ever SEEN them? But I bet if I named a few with a list of movies and shows you would realize you have SEEN their work but never SEEN their faces. Does it make what they do any less valuable or impactful? If every author, producer, CEO, entrepreneur or great leader waited for a moment to be SEEN the work and the impact would NOT be done and they would not be the types of leaders they are today. To be SEEN while funny and cute when used as a shared sentiment or term of endearment to those we see doing their thing, IT is not the wave when used as an added source of VALIDATION that you have tied to measure your success. You’ve heard it before and I will say it again, the only time VALIDATION from outside sources is needed is when you are parking. You must LOVE what you SEE so much that what YOU SEE is ENOUGH to get the job done even if nobody else SEES IT the way u do! (Read that again) There is no more room for begging for seats at TABLES and waiting for a TURN to prove that you belong. What if I told you, YOU ARE THE TABLE? Now what kind of moves would you make if you believe it? Exactly.
This week I urge you to take inventory of your desire to be SEEN by others and just how long you have derailed your own success waiting on that kind of moment. Downplaying your own genius and capabilities because someone else has yet to give you the greenlight or say it’s your turn. Each day that you wake up, It’s YOUR TURN. Each moment you look in the mirror, YOU SEE YOU. BE SEEN, FEEL SEEN but make sure it’s by the right one!