The West African Idols has become the rallying point of many family and office discussion these days. It provides a mixture of entertainment and an opportunity for Nigerians to debate and criticize. These are some of the times when not having DSTV could be really painful, as it means you’ll be an observer in most of the jokes and comments resulting from West African idols- “This is not werking for me”, “aah aah?”
Watching the West African Idols auditioning has been fantastic comic relief though. Aside of the good sides of being impressed by exceptional voices in Nigeria, one thing you cannot miss are the horrible voices who ventured to go for the audition. Why will someone make a fool of himself/herself in full public view. Isn’t it better to make the mistakes in the presence of a few friends and never again? Some people had no business whatsoever going for this event, they were either wrongly advised, deceived by their friends or lacked counsel! Talking about Counselors, do you have any? Do you have people that advice you? Is there anybody you can count on to always tell you the truth? Or are you on your own? Are you on your way to auditioning for a competition you have no chance in?
Think about it, when was the last time someone was upfront to you about weaknesses you never thought you had? If this hasn’t happened to you lately, it means you are in the wrong crowd. Friendship is not surrounding yourself with only people who like you the way you are, you also need people who love you the way you are but love you too much to leave you that way.
It amazes me how so many people don’t know that they have bad breath, so many don’t know they have body odour, so many don’t know they don’t know how to sing, dance or speak. Yet they do these things in front of friends and family that love them too much to tell them the truth. I’m sure this already sounds like a good excuse, it’s not, if you don’t hear people tell you the truth, you need to go out and get it. Believe me, watching the west african idols, I have seen some people and I have wondered if they have parents, friends or family. But can you really blame these family and friends? Here are a few points on what to do, and how to go about getting counsel.
1. Ask for it – Feedback is best when solicited. Many people have gotten their fingers burnt giving people unsolicited feedback. Even though feedback is a gift, it’s one of those gifts that’s great to give when you ask for it. Go all out and ask people what they think about a skill you think you have. Ask your girlfriend if your mouth stinks, ask your tight pals if they can pick your scent from a distance. Go for feedback, solicit.
2. Take feedback well – One thing that discourages people from ever telling you the truth is your being so defensive. Some people go ahead to ask for feedback, only to start explaining to you why things are not the way you see it. Why did you ask in the first place? Take it well, it’s a gift. The best thing anyone can do for you is be upfront with you about your weakness. As soon as you know it, it becomes easy to start working on it. The bridge between unconscious incompetence and conscious incompetence is awareness.
3. Have mentors, and make them proud – A mentorship relationship is a life saver. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Someone has gone through similar issues with the one facing you right now. Talk to them, ask them for their advice. Let their time be worth it, the best repayment for a mentors time, is you hitting it big. It’s a big thing to be able to point to people who you have supported to succeed. I personally feel a great sense of pride when I recieve those text messages… I got the job, I got the deal, I was chosen, I won, Thank you… e.t.c.
4. Be selective about opinions – Telling you to ask for feedback from others, doesn’t mean that everybody’s opinion counts. Some people don’t have your best interest at heart and cannot advice you right. This is why you need to be selective about who you listen to. Some strong feedback can damage your self esteem for life, don’t listen to every opinion about you. The opinions that count, are the opinions of people who have demonstrated that they genuinely love you and care about you. If we believe everything people said about us, we will be very miserable and confused people. Base your selection on who you believe really cares and wants the best for you.
5. Let people see you perform – The best place to discover if you have a talent is not on television. That’s the place to showcase what you have discovered. Stunning the crowd is preceded by nights of rehearsals. The spotlight is where what you did outside the spotlight will be rewarded. Let your friends and family be first witnesses of your talent, if you can win them, the world is not enough.
The great book says that in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Are you safe?