Being in PR means that many potential clients seek my media relations services as a means to enhance the visibility of their businesses. Therefore I am very much aware of the potency of media attention and to some extent external validation. Many brands, businesses and individuals want to get covered by the biggest media platforms in terms of traditional coverage and when it comes to social media and new media exposure they want the most likes/follows/retweets possible. This makes perfect sense if you are using the coverage to harness overall credibility and subsequent sales (with a constructive PR strategy in place). But what I often find, particularly on individual levels is that people are seeking external validation to somehow confirm their value. This is why I am weary of individual media relations campaigns that are undertaken to feed the ego without an over arching purpose other than to chase fame and popularity that will not last without credibility and self-assurance. This piece is not a lesson in PR nor is it judgement, the intention of this piece is to remind you, the reader that wherever you are, you have value and you must value yourself before seeking external validation. Ask yourself why you are seeking external validation and learn the art of being yourself without fear of failure or comparing yourself to others.
Stop looking for validation from people who do not value you.
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) June 23, 2017
Regardless of whether you are in business or you are a professional working in an organisation you must make sure that your internal reserves are full. Why? Because if you do not value yourself, the validation of others is purely a cover-up, it is vacuous and temporary. When you know your worth, when you know and are certain of how precious and valuable you are, the need for validation becomes less of a priority and more of an additional treat. You can spend less time hoping that people will see you and more time knowing that you are doing the right work that will be seen at the right time.
Stop looking for approval from people who don’t appreciate you.
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) June 23, 2017
How do you start to value yourself more? Be more intentional about praising yourself as opposed to waiting for others to praise you. So many people just don’t like to praise themselves. Whether you are a professional, creative or a business owner I believe it is really important to encourage yourself and do whatever it takes to work on your confidence, particularly if you are a woman. We live in a world that does not always like to see confident women, we are not taught to be bold or to own our greatness and will often be called intimidating or arrogant when we are overtly confident. Of course I not encouraging narcissism, I am encouraging self awareness and self confidence. I want more of us to celebrate our successes boldly and authentically without dimming their lights to make others more comfortable or losing sight of who they really are in the process. In this video I wanted to remind you to give yourself the same amount of kudos as you would anyone else who is doing great things in life.
Even if you feel like you are in tough situation right now, take a moment to recognise that you are worthy of celebration. I know it is not always easy and I know that sometimes life gets really tough but that is all the more reason to celebrate your wins. You deserve good things to happen to you, you are not an impostor, you are making progress. Do whatever you need to do to build your confidence each and every day and believe that you really are worthy, if that means investing in a life coach or a therapist or finding yourself a mentor do it.
Let me go full circle and put this back in the context of PR, a strategic approach to gain media attention in the form of external validation is great for business and personal brand exposure and it works but what works just as well is hard work and efforts that can’t be ignored. So do the work to stay emotionally and spiritually secure, put the effort into enhancing your skills and gifts, celebrate your achievements, praise yourself when you do win, work on your personal brand and value yourself before seeking external validation. Trust me it works!