There are many quotes and statements that follow the cry of, “Don’t care what anyone thinks of you.”
It is made to sound as if we have hit a spiritual milestone when we can say “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me!”
The reality is we do care about what people think of us, it is hard-wired into us to care; otherwise, our behaviours would have us kicked out of the tribe. And if we were kicked out of the tribe our chances of survival were drastically reduced.
And people who don’t care what people think about them are called sociopaths.
As a young woman of colour, for many years I cared what people thought of me. I felt I had to be kinder, smarter, funnier. I needed to be more, to try and negate the colour of my skin: maybe if I were all of those things people would accept me and I would be of value.
And then I was ‘accepted’ in a National way.
In the UK I acted a lead role in a TV series for nearly 3 years. Within the black community, I was put up on a pedestal. It was rare for there to be a young black female with a lead role; it was a big deal. I was a role model for so many people of colour that I was constantly being stopped on the street, and these complete strangers thought I was the bee’s knees.
I will admit that it was fun for a little while, and it felt good to feel that my presence on their TV screens made them feel proud; that I was a ‘good representation of my race’.
But I became increasingly uncomfortable. These people had no idea who I was. They knew the character I played on the screen, they knew what ‘progress’ I represented for them as a black woman, but they had no idea who I was, and this left me feeling unsettled.
It made me realise that I do care about what people think of me, but I do not care about what complete strangers think of me.
I care deeply about what my family, my inner circle, my industry peers and my clients think of me, and that’s about it.
I don’t want to be someone who goes around saying “I don’t care what people think of me.” There is a level of arrogance I hear in that statement, and it leaves me feeling cold and detached.
But, the people that matter to me and the people that I matter to, I care about what they think. We have chosen each other in varying ways, and that means something.
And there is comfort in being chosen. And there is beauty in caring. And there is strength in accepting that what some people think of us does matter.
We just need to be clear on who those people are and why.
Wishing you a weekend of what matters. xxx
Do you need support in 2019?
I currently have availability for a few clients so if you would like any support this year with your commitments, your goals, your relationships or your leadership, please do not hesitate to book in a discovery session with me.
A discovery session is a 45-minutes complimentary session where you can experience the coaching process for 30 minutes and then ask any questions you have for the remaining 15-minutes. We will both know by the end of the session if we are a good fit.
All you need to do is take action and email me email@example.com and we will take it from there.
“I decided to work with Kemi because I knew I needed support and external accountability during my first year in business. From our first discovery call, I felt complete trust in Kemi and was already moved by her insights and clarity. Over six months of working together, Kemi expertly created a space for me to explore a full range of emotions and uncover powerful insights into both my personal and professional life. At the end of our coaching series I know myself better, I have better strategies for managing my challenges and more inspiration to celebrate my strengths. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with Kemi, grab it with both hands. – Elly Baxter
“I decided to invest in a coach at a period of my life when I had just gone through a great deal of personal and professional upheaval. I had recently been made redundant from a company I had given a great deal of personal commitment to; six months prior I had left a 15 years relationship, I’d moved house and started from scratch. So it was a time of my life when I decided I needed to focus on my needs, on my passion and on my personal growth.
From the one-on-one coaching with Kemi, I gained the ability to see through my internal thoughts and accept that it was okay to have bad days, it was okay to feel like things were hard, and it was okay to fail. But most importantly I learned more about who I am as a leader, who I am as a mother and who I am as a founder. I am not trying to be like anyone else, I am not going to change for anyone else. I will remain authentic and deeply committed to whatever I put in front of me because that is who I am. I am a deeply committed, authentic leader who cares about people, the planet and creating change.
Kemi is a thoughtful coach, who takes her time to consider who I am and what I need. She does not make me feel like just another client, I believe that Kemi wanted to get to know me and what was needed for me. I appreciated her humour, her calmness and her ability to cut through the crap to the core. What I learned about myself in 6 months with Kemi has set me up for a much brighter future as a leader, a change maker and a founder.” – Vicki Stirling