U Remind Me that Self-Perception is Never Accurate

Robyn Eckersley
3 min readSep 19, 2020
September 16, 2020

I opened my Saturday by watching musical artist superstar, Usher, be interviewed by Power 106 Los Angeles, so my weekend is off to a much better start after the heartbreaking news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing yesterday. #RIPRBG

This man’s music was on my mix CD’s, my flip phone’s ringtone, my MySpace page, but nostalgic fangirling aside, 4 things stood out to me:

  1. Usher Raymond does not appear to age. *opens tab, runs an Ecosia** search for Usher’s personal care regimen.*
  2. As a Las Vegas resident, I’m personally *really* pumped because Usher announced a 12-date Vegas residency at the Caesar’s Palace Coliseum next July! That’s 12 chances for Tony to see 37-year-old Robyn revert to middle school Robyn outside of the arenas of Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears! #luckyTony
  3. It was so refreshing and encouraging to hear 3 grown men talking about therapy, how it is healthy and normal to cry, and their personal journeys coming into being comfortable expressing emotion.
  4. Early in the interview, Usher reflects: “Then [my manager and I] sit down and started talking about the idea of doing a Vegas residency, and I’m like ‘Man, I made it. I did it.’”

I want to draw attention to that last point: this was a moment that took place earlier this year, where he is saying to himself “Man, I made it. I did it.” This man has been churning out art that has moved millions of people around the world since he was 13, and here he is in 2020 feeling that sense of awe.

A screenshot of Usher’s NUMEROUS accomplishments

Anyone would be justified in saying that Usher “made it” by any number of standards of success decades ago, but that’s the thing about self-reflection: we never see ourselves how others see us.

Earlier this week I was interviewed by Asif Dhanani on his podcast “Invisible Illnesses” about imposter syndrome, and we talk about how completely crippling a skewed self-perception can be. Whether it’s success as a professional, or feeling “enough” in any number of other ways (attractive enough, thin enough, smart enough, experienced enough, etc.), it is very important to consciously take action to temper our self-perception with more objective reflection sources.

This could look like:

  • Getting regular feedback from managers and colleagues at work.
  • Checking in with the relationships most important to you, and asking how supported and loved they feel as your friend, partner, or family member, and if there’s anything they would like to adjust in the relationship.
  • Working with a coach or mentor to serve as a neutral third party that can reflect on your thought and behavioral patterns.
  • Regularly (at least once a week) reflecting on what you’re proud of having done or accomplished recently.
  • Examine whether “holding yourself to high standards” comes with the kind of self-talk that would raise eyebrows if anyone were to hear you speak in the same way to someone else.

This is by no means assuming that Usher struggles with imposter syndrome, that he suffers from negative self-talk, that he beats up on himself, it sounds like he has intentionally created a very supportive and grounded environment for himself over the years. These are just a few tips I offer you, Reader, to explore as you move forward in your own personal evolution in case this resonates with you.

And if it does, please share! Everyone experiences the restrictive impact of inaccurate self-perception in one way or another, and maybe this could offer some help.

**Ecosia is an amazing search engine that contributes to planting trees and reforestation efforts with every web search you run! Try it out!



Robyn Eckersley

Impact & Empowerment Coach, Founder of Own This Life Coaching