The People Who Admire You

Many years ago, I was chatting with one of my cousins when she casually mentioned that I was one of her role models, and that I had been for a long time. I was flattered and floored in equal measure because I had no idea that this cousin was paying attention to me at all.

Fast forward to earlier this year and I’m sitting at my computer about to be interviewed by a podcaster who has millions of followers, a massive profile, and is smart and gorgeous to boot. As I’m mentally rehearsing what I’m going to say and reminding myself to play it cool, she bursts onto screen and immediately launches into a monologue about how she loves my work and has been following me for months, and how my book is the first business/smart-thinking book written by a woman that she can relate to, and how she loves my voice, and on and on and on, leaving me open-jawed, and yes, flattered and floored in equal measure.

And the reason I’m sharing this with you is because in both scenarios I had no idea that either of these amazing humans knew anything about me at all. Like many of us, I had assumed that I had all the information, that I knew everyone who was “watching” me, that I knew everyone who admired me, and that I knew (or could measure) the impact I was having. 

But that’s never the case. For any of us.

We can never know the impact we have on others because they won’t always tell us. We can never know what our legacy will be because we can’t keep count of all the ripples we create each day by being who we are. We can never know how many people are watching us because we don’t always notice. 

Whether we know it or not, someone is always watching, someone is always paying attention, and someone is always admiring. Whether we know it or not.

So stop waiting for feedback that may never come. Stop waiting for your cousin – real or metaphorical – to tell you, or a famous podcaster – real or metaphorical – to gush about you. Just keep doing your thing, shining the way you shine, so that you can be the person your admirers are looking for whenever they finally find you.

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About Me
Rupal Patel logo
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Rupal is a born-and-bred New Yorker now living near London. Her high-octane career as a CIA officer turned serial entrepreneur has taken her from military briefing rooms in jungles and war zones to corporate boardrooms and international stages.

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