By Nancy Bowers
Originally published January 31, 2015 at Opening to the Possibility
I was watching Shark Tank, when I heard Mark Cuban admonish the entrepreneurs for sounding desperate. Having been perched on the edge of desperation myself a time or two, I started thinking about it. What makes someone desperate and what is it about that vibe that is such a turn off?
I mean, no one interviews someone whether for a job or potential date and thinks, “Wow. I’d better snatch this guy up. He’s desperate!” Desperation is like repellent. It’s like being a flailing drowning man – other people extend help cautiously, because you don’t want to get pulled under yourself.
So, I started doing some searches on line and found, not too surprisingly I guess, that it is a condition often central to the search for love, which immediately made me curious about worthiness. Is being desperate a plea for confirmation of worthiness? Is it a fear that its victim is somehow inferior goods? Desperate people aren’t exuding confidence, they’re begging for a pity party. Aren’t they?
I can always tell when I’ve started down that slippery slope because I notice that I’m subtly branding myself as in need of sympathy. “Feel sorry for me,” seems to be my under-lying message and truth be told, it is that observation that generally snaps me out of it; because I’m not interested in victim status. I don’t want anyone thinking I am desperate, even though it is a road I’ve traveled a time or two.
I don’t care to disempower myself that way.
Because, in my estimation, powerlessness is the root of desperation. If I didn’t somehow feel as if I were out of options, I couldn’t have invited desperation to steal my soul. When I’m desperate, I am willing to settle for less than I may think I serve; I am primed to be taken advantage of by those who prey on the weak and desperate. In desperation comes the willingness to take whatever I can get. I’ve devalued myself.
I’ve become a motivated seller, willing to undercut my true worth, willing to sell at a discount just to unload my burden.
At the heart of all desperation is fear, poisoning my chances for showing off my best self.
All of which makes me think that the cure for desperation must be self-confidence. It must be faith. It must be being rooted in knowing the truth of one’s value.
The antidote for desperation must therefore be to remember the truth of who and what you are. It must be to anchor yourself in it so firmly that you become a hot commodity.
So, whenever you are feeling desperate, it’s time to step back. It’s time to surround yourself with people who see your true worth and value it.
It’s time to raise your prices.
For power will come on the heels of those who use desperation as a means to scrape themselves off the floor and refuse to lie down. Hitting rock bottom is only a bad thing if you allow it to define you as a bottom feeder. You could instead use it as a springboard. For rock bottom can be just the call to action you need. It can be the foundation on which you build the determination to never be that desperate again.