What Does It Mean to “See”?

Seeing and Being Seen

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” Brené Brown

In close relationships, saying “I see you” can be a powerful affirmation. It shows that you recognise and appreciate the other person’s emotions, struggles, and individuality. For instance, if a friend is sharing a personal story, responding with “I see you” can be a way of expressing empathy and support.

In a professional context, it can mean that someone’s efforts and contributions are acknowledged and valued. For example, a manager might say “I see you” to an employee who has been working hard, indicating that their dedication and work are recognised.

In some cultures, the phrase carries a profound sense of respect and acknowledgment. In the movie “Avatar,” for instance, the phrase “I see you” is used by the Na’vi people to convey a deep connection and understanding between individuals.

The concept of “seeing” can be understood on multiple levels:

 “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Maya Angelou

1. At the most basic level, “seeing” refers to the physical act of perceiving with the eyes. It’s the ability to observe and recognize visual stimuli in the environment.

2. On a deeper level, “seeing” can mean understanding or comprehending something. For example, when someone explains a concept and you grasp it, you might say, “I see what you mean.”

3. “Seeing” can also refer to being aware of something or recognising its existence. This can be an awareness of facts, situations, or even subtle nuances.

What Does It Mean When Someone Says “I See You”?

“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.” Nelson Mandela 

When someone says, “I see you,” it usually conveys a deeper, more meaningful level of recognition and acknowledgment. Here are some interpretations:

1.  It means they acknowledge your existence and presence. It’s a way of saying, “I notice you, and you matter.”

2.  It can also imply a level of understanding and empathy. When someone says “I see you,” they are often indicating that they understand what you are going through or recognise your feelings and experiences. It’s a way of validating your emotions and experiences.

3. This phrase can also signify an appreciation of your true self. It means they see you for who you are, beyond any superficial layers, and they appreciate your authenticity.

How We See Ourselves

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” Beyoncé

How you see yourself can profoundly impact your music career. Self-perception shapes your confidence, creativity, and resilience, all of which are crucial for an artist’s success. 

Confidence and Self-Belief

“Believe in your flyness, conquer your shyness.” Kanye West 

Confidence is the bassline of a successful music career. Believing in your talent and abilities allows you to take risks, perform with passion, and connect with your audience. For instance, Lady Gaga’s journey is a testament to the power of self-belief. Despite early rejections and criticisms, she maintained a strong sense of identity and confidence in her unique style, which eventually led her to become a global superstar. As she famously said, “If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light.”

Creativity and Authenticity

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” Oprah Winfrey 

Self-perception also influences your creativity. Viewing yourself as an authentic and unique artist can inspire originality in your work. Take Prince, for example. He was known for his eclectic musical style and bold persona. By staying true to his self-perception as a groundbreaking artist, he pushed musical boundaries and created timeless hits. Prince’s career exemplifies how embracing your true self can lead to innovative and impactful music.

Resilience and Perseverance

“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.” Janelle Monáe 

The music industry is fraught with challenges, and a positive self-perception can fuel your resilience. When you see yourself as capable and determined, you are more likely to persevere through setbacks. Taylor Swift’s career highlights this aspect. She faced public scrutiny and industry challenges but remained steadfast in her self-belief. Swift’s ability to view herself as a resilient and evolving artist helped her navigate transitions from country to pop and beyond. As she once said, “You are not the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you.”

Overcoming Self-Doubt

“I’ve never been more normal than I am now.” Adele 

Many artists struggle with self-doubt, but how you handle it can make a significant difference. Viewing self-doubt as a natural part of the creative process rather than a personal flaw can help you manage it better. For instance, Ed Sheeran openly discusses his battles with self-doubt and anxiety. By acknowledging these feelings and continuing to push forward, he has achieved monumental success. Sheeran’s journey illustrates that understanding and accepting self-doubt can lead to growth and triumph.

The way you see yourself as an artist can significantly impact your music career. Embrace your unique identity, believe in your talent, and remember that your perception of yourself is the foundation upon which your career will flourish. In essence, to see and to be seen goes beyond the mere act of looking; it involves recognition, understanding, and a deep sense of connection and empathy.

Basil Reynolds

Coaching Consultant

Finding the Music Inside