Sunday, October 23, 2011

"One Monkey Don't Stop No Show"

I grew up hearing this phrase.  It meant that one person, one hitch, one snag or one problem was not sufficient to stop or stall your progress.  A "no" was just a bump in the road on the way to "yes."  In talking to people recently, I've become aware of just how critical ONE SINGLE interaction can be for an individual seeking validation.

In one conversation, one actress told me that she asked a higher-profile actress to tell her whether or not she had any talent.  The well-know actress told her that she did have talent and encouraged her to pursue an acting career.  I asked her "What if she had told you that you sucked, and not to quit your day job?"  The reply? "I really trusted her judgement, and would have stopped pursuing acting."

Wow.  That's a lot of power to give to one person.

I started thinking about the need to be validated (which, by the way, is just another way of saying that we want to be told "you are enough"), and how, by it's very nature, validation requires us to give away at least some of our power.  We have to peel back the armor and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, if only for a moment.  This is how we function in healthy, reciprocal relationships.

In lopsided pairings, however, the scales tip heavily in favor of one person, and rarely tip the other way.  One is made powerful, and the other allows it to be so.

But your life's purpose is yours alone.  Your personal torch is yours alone to carry.  Others may help light your flame from time to time, but your work is your work, and handing responsibility to someone else does not absolve you from the responsibility of getting it done.

So, seek the counsel of others when you need it, but, whatever it is that you do - get it done.  And be mindful when you give counsel to others - they may (consciously or unconsciously) have transferred their power to you.  Be gentle, be honest, and allow them to leave their interaction with you better than they were when they arrived; inspired, empassioned, emboldened, and empowered.

As for those monkeys?  Let them do what they will.  It is of little importance, because, no matter what, the work must be done, and show must go on.

1 comment:

Sis Ivd said...

As a child, I grew up hearing "One monkey don't stop no show" in exactly those words. What one person cannot do (or WON'T do) someone else can and that someone may as well be ME!! I was taught (and learned) to examine each new endeavor I felt interesting, I left no stone unturned until I was able to master it and then move on to something else that captured my attention.
When I get feedback from people about what I should or should not do or what I can or cannot do, I usually listen (respectfully) then I "eat the fish & spit out the bones"!!!
Nicole, you keep on doing YOU!!!!