This interview with actor, Wood Harris, was a much needed message for me. When asked if he would say Denzel Washington is the greatest (living, black, male) actor, he said no. He goes on to say, he’s not the best, he’s the most successful. That’s a major and very distinct difference.
He was in no way taking anything away from Denzel Washington’s talent or the level he has reached in the industry. He was simply saying that he puts no other actor above himself because he knows his craft and what he’s capable of. In other words, he knows what he knows. This is something I sometimes find myself having to remind myself and others.
This is such an important message for everyone. Every day we see people deemed as “experts” in our chosen field and, I don’t know about you, but for me sometimes it’s daunting. One might think, “what do I have to contribute?” or “will anyone want to hear what I have to contribute?” “Why should I bother with having a blog or posting on LinkedIn when there are SO MANY other people out there with huge audiences talking about similar things? Or when asked to speak or participate in a panel discussion one might be nervous thinking there are people more qualified to do so. STOP IT! What you should be thinking is “why didn’t you ask me sooner? you’ve been missing out!“
Take a lesson from Wood and be confident in your abilities. Not arrogant, but confident. Never assume someone is better than you because they are more conventionally successful or more well known. We each have our own voice, POV, story to tell, experience worth sharing. We each have knowledge, skills and abilities that have gotten us where we are and can take us even further if we believe in ourselves the way we believe in others.
We all have the ability to be great in our own way, whether or not we have our name in lights (literally or figuratively.) Sometimes you’re Prince, sometimes you’re Michael Jackson. Sometimes you’re Justin Bieber but that’s a different blog post. LOL. The bottom line is: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
(Video courtesy of VLADTV. H/T @newblackman for sharing this video on Twitter.)