Thursday, July 28, 2011

Six Ways to Prove What Matters

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.

Affectionately known as, “The Show Me State.”

According to the state government homepage, the most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903.

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have to show me.”

THAT’S THE REALITY: Even if you’re not from Missouri, you still need to show people the proof.

Customers, employees, bosses, fans, competitors – and of course, yourself.

Today we’re going to explore six ways to prove what matters:
1. Criticism is proof of visibility. I won’t pretend that negative feedback doesn’t hurt. It does. Every time. I’m not impervious to those feelings. When I get a message from a reader who thinks I’m spitting hot garbage, I take it personally. After all, I’m a person. And the persons who take things personally are the persons who make things better.

Besides, if people aren’t reacting, you’re doing something wrong. May as well be winking in the dark. Personally, I’d rather be shot to the ground that not remarkable enough to be a target. Sure beats being ignored. When was the last time someone said you were out of your mind?

2. Doubt is proof of legitimacy. Feeling like a fraud is a right of passage. It helps you get over yourself, helps you to stay over yourself and installs the proper humility required to win. Instead of trying to eradicate feelings of inadequacy, lean into the doubt.

Override the disbelief by telling your face that you’re enough. You’ll discover that what you say to yourself when you have doubts about yourself determines how, when and if you make a name for yourself. Feeling like a fraud? Fantastic. That means you’re doing something right. That means you’re stretching. When was the last time you questioned your own abilities?

3. Fear is proof of mattering. In The Courage To Write, Ralph Keyes says, “If you're not scared, you’re not writing.” That’s the cool part about fear: When you find the places that scare you, you find the work that needs to be done. In that respect, fear isn’t a crisis – it’s a compass. And if you have enough faith, you can use fear as a guide to where your heart belongs.

It all hinges on your willingness to change your relationship to fear. To start greeting, bowing, hugging, investing and leveraging it – rather that hiding from it. Are you brave enough to go after what you want?

4. Resistance is proof of rightness. If the work is too easy, it might be the wrong work. As Steven Pressfield writes in Do The Work, “The more important an action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance will feel toward pursuing it.”

The good new is, when you’re willing to endure the period of difficulty that wipes out most of the competition, you don’t just come out first – you come out focused. Because you picked the right work. Or maybe the right work picked you. Either way. Are you willing to bleed for it?

5. Promiscuity is proof of life. If you die a virgin, you did something wrong. And I’m not talking about sex. A virgin is simply someone who’s untapped, uninitiated, uninformed and underexposed. That’s no way to live. As Henry Rollins wrote in A Mad Dash:

“I want to make life run for its life. I want to be a pain in life’s ass. I want life to celebrate the day I die. I want life to finally get a breather once I’m dead.”

That’s the advantage of promiscuity: Your experiences turn into leveragable assets. Will you end the innocence to begin the opportunity?

6. Struggle is proof of life. A life of ups and ups is boring, uneducational and uninspiring. Besides, if nothing bad ever happens, you’ll never know what good feels like. If nothing bad ever happens, you’ll never learn how to cope. And if nothing bad ever happens, you’ll never strengthen the muscle of resilience.

Maybe it’s time to paint yourself into a painful corner. To practice a little voluntary suffering. To put yourself in a position where you have no choice but to struggle. Are you still trying to outsmart getting hurt?

REMEMBER: If you want people to believe, you have to show them.

Practice proving what matters.

How do you show people?

For the list called, "123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

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