“If you are in the wrong market, you’re going to be undervalued.”

I said this to a client this morning as we were looking at her pattern of seeking approval from the wrong people.

How many times have you felt ineffective or not appreciated by the people around you?

You show up with your best intentions and put in effort to do great work. But it falls flat. You hear crickets, or worse, criticism.

So, we look at ourselves as the problem. We ask ourselves,
“What is wrong with me that I’m not getting what I want?”

When we do our best to get results and nothing good is happening, our brains want to solve the problem by blaming ourselves. It seems obvious to think “I must be doing something wrong,” but what if there’s another explanation?


gif of a cartoon dog standing awkwardly with ellipses appearing next to himCredit: KingPuppy

What if it’s just a mismatch between you and the people?

Would you try to sell a new car in a plant shop? Or a special bonsai tree at a monster truck rally?

There are groups of fans for pretty much every hobby imaginable. Same with organizations for every kind of talent. When what you’re bringing is well matched with the group, you’re gonna receive a lot more validation.

Similarly, if you’re taking feedback from the people around you, it’s crucial to think about who they are and whether they are the right group for what you have to offer.

If you’re not getting much support or validation for your efforts, then maybe you’re working at the wrong company. Maybe this group of friends isn’t the one to help you show up as your best self.

Take a pause from the self-criticism and ask instead if you’re just in the wrong place.

Then spend a little time and think about who WOULD appreciate your efforts. Reflect on a place and a person or group who would be thrilled with what you’re bringing. Consider making a plan to connect with those people, instead.

You deserve to be appreciated for all that you are.

Remember, even a diamond won’t shine in darkness.


gif of an image in two parts with a dark background. The left side has text reading "A diamond won't shine in the dark. Find your light." The right side has a light shining from the top onto jewels shining and gleaming.


Find your light and shine.


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