Attitude, and the ability to overcome self-doubt is very important for all of us. But I think maybe Doers instinctively know how to do this. Doers know they are special. Doers know they are unique.
I started thinking about how important self-confidence is after I went to see the movie I Feel Pretty last night. I was one of only four men in the theater, and as I watched this film about an insecure, self-doubting young woman who hits her head and then finds an attitude of self-confidence, I started thinking about the importance of overcoming our fears and embracing our own incredible and extraordinary selves. But it isn’t just about “feeling pretty,” it is about seeing our own value and using that knowledge to make real change––to make the world a better place.
I believe we are all unique. Unique fingerprints, unique retina scans, unique ways of processing information––even smells, tastes, sounds and light. Even identical twins can perceive an environmental impulse in different ways.
This uniqueness can be both comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time, depending on how you process it. Sometimes it is just more comfortable to be part of the group. We as humans (to a certain extent) are built to identify with and work within groups, to be drawn to the idea that we are the same as everyone else. But you can also hide within a group, where you don’t need to stand out. Is this good or bad? Can Doers really even hide their uniqueness or confidence? Aren’t Doers always fighting the group-mind for a place that feels right? Isn’t it always a struggle for Doers to find a place for their unique opinions, perceptions and beliefs? Or are Doers urged into Doing by circumstances?
There where a couple of other incredible and extraordinary developments this last week that are consistent with this theme of exuding confidence and embracing our extraordinary selves. I want to share a few of what I feel are important examples of Doers who weren’t able to hide their uniqueness, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
[tweetthis]Stand up for what is right.Help others who are afraid to stand up overcome their fear too.[/tweetthis]
Of course, the Amazon Shareholder letter dominated the news last week, but in many ways, the Fortune List of the Worlds 50 Greatest Leaders rings bigger and more important to me. I found it interesting that numbers 1, 3, and 22 on the list weren’t even single leaders, but collective movements that have impacted society in much the same way a single leader might. And it’s important to remember that the Doers who started and continued these movements might have been more comfortable hiding within the group, maintaining their privacy inside the terrible uniqueness of their individual situations. But I am glad that they decided the good that they could do outweighed the fear they must have felt in stepping forward. I believe that is the definition of a Doer…
Number 1 on the list has been particularly important. It is listed simply as “The Students Marjorie Stoneman Douglas and other schools,” meaning the students that have created the advocacy group Never Again MSD, protesting against gun violence, and in favor of gun control legislation in the face of the atrocity at a Florida school.
Number 3 was another movement that has been truly incredible to watch and pay attention to: The #MeToo Movement, in which sexually harassed and abused women have stood up to their male offenders, speaking out publicly about their experiences, no matter how uncomfortable it was.
And finally, number 22 on the Fortune List of the Worlds Greatest Leaders is “The Gymnasts and Their Allies,” that revealed decades long abuse by a trusted doctor, Larry Nassar. Another example of the magnitude of these collective voices, and their ability to shine a light into the dark corners where predators hide.
It was the confidence in the face of fear of these Doers that enabled their voices to be heard. Overcoming self-doubt, especially when so much is on the line, takes not only empowered strength, but also gut-level courage and determination. It is not about “feeling pretty,” because pretty has nothing to do with it. It is about standing up for what is right, and helping others––who might be afraid to add their voices––to overcome their fear, too.
How are you going to use your uniqueness, your self-confidence, your positive attitude, to make positive change in this world and be a Doer––a Doer like “The Students,” The “#MeToo” Movement, and “The Gymnasts”?
It’s interesting, after I wrote this I realized how important these movements are to me as an example of the Worlds Greatest Leaders. I hope every one reading this realizes that on the World Stage, any one of us can stand up and make a difference, a difference that has far reaching magnitude, and in the end, a much bigger impact than even one of the world’s largest companies or the world’s wealthiest individuals.
Go get ‘em––