Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's all about presentation!

Remember Dabnis from "The Cosby Show"? Season 8, Episode 177: Vanessa's embarrassed to bring home her boyfriend/soon to be husband. Clair and Bill will never approve. Does he abuse her? No. Is he ignorant? No. Is he off key when he sings in the shower? Who knows. So what was the problem? Well, it turns out that he works as a maintenance worker. He's also older and has some less than perfect past relationships. So Vanessa decides to hide him. By the time she does bring him home, she suddenly announces she's getting married (and you know the Cosby's - they usually have family meetings about this stuff). Of course Clair and Bill are less than thrilled. But things play out in true Cosby fashion. Bill and his wife are not snobs. Their worry wasn't about Dabnis' profession or the fact that he was less than perfect. It was more about Vanessa's presentation. She had hidden him from them. Then she had presented him as if he were trash. She had managed to diminish his worth. She makes it seem like he is less than a man...Of course this isn't the case. The truth is he's very responsible. He has his own home. He's truly is an upstanding guy.

The lesson here...It's all about presentation. Think about it. You've made a decision, but you're a little unsure of yourself. So then when you share what you're doing you present it as if it were garbage. Your worry shows. Your doubt shows. You unknowingly discredit yourself. Then because you sound so negative the people you tell hate the idea. They start telling you why you shouldn't do it. They start mirroring your negative tone. Then you start becoming Vanessa. 'They're pulling me down'. 'They're being so negative'. 'Why wont they leave me alone'? But wasn't it you that wanted their approval? Wasn't it you that sounded stressed out and worried? Wasn't it you who downplayed your dream?

Don't get me wrong, there are friends that you can be totally real with. You can tell them exactly what you're feeling. The challenge comes when you're seeking approval. The challenge comes when not even you believe in what you're doing.

Before you do anything, you have to deal with how you feel -what you really want to do; who you really want to be with - how much you really believe in what you're doing. That has to come from you first. If it doesn't, it's going to show, and people will respond accordingly.

This is something I consider now whenever something really matters to me. In the end, you have to apply your own value. It has to be something or someone you're willing to go to bat for. Then, when you're ready for your public announcement it's treated with the dignity and respect it deserves. And if it isn't, well that's just their opinion.

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