Take Up Space — Do not be afraid of being seen. Your life is so valuable for you to take up as much space as your talent, time, and excellence requires. Also understand everyone’s not going to want to experience your space but that does not invalidate your authenticity.
Starting something new is scary. Learning to believe in yourself can be a critical precursor to starting a new initiative. Why is it so important to learn to believe in yourself? How can someone work on gaining these skills? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders, authors, writers, coaches, medical professionals, teachers, to share empowering insights about “How To Learn To Believe In Yourself.” As a part of this series we had the pleasure of interviewing Drananda Summons.
Drananda Summons is an American Singer/Songwriter residing in California. Drananda Summons serves as Chairman and CEO for Summons Productions (Entertainment & Design Firm). Focused yet introspective, his melodic voice reflects his love of R&B, soul and vocal agility stemming from African American music traditions. Since his first release in 2021, Drananda Summons music has touched the hearts of people in over 150 Countries across the globe.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I believe that my upbringing had a lot to do with my authentic impact as a business leader. I had a very difficult upbringing. I was raised in 23 different foster homes before the age of 16. Both parents struggled with addiction. Therefore, I had to grow up quicker than the average young person. I have endured a great level of traumatic abuse, and I would not wish that on any other person. What I am most thankful for through all my experiences, is that I survived, I am not a victim, and I have a powerful story to tell the world.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
What inspired me to pursue my career was the great desire to be the change that I wanted to see. In the music industry, my goal is to make a universal impact in music and as a leader, my goal is to inspire and empower individuals who come from my similar background, that they themselves can do it as well.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I believe one of the funniest mistakes that I have made, especially starting out as a CEO, was learning the importance of punctuality. I missed one of my greatest meetings with a key investor because of my tardiness. Thankfully the investor still worked with us but to think that all of that could have been avoided. That level of fear and pressure of losing that investor could have been avoided if I would’ve set my alarm.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
One of the biggest projects that Summons Productions is working on is our first national tour of 2023. This tour is not only about the music, but also about building relevant content and establishing relationships with national communities wherefore as the brand grows, we can listen to the needs that each individual community possesses and be a futuristic support. Our ultimate goal is to provide community service projects in every state of our nation as the enterprise of Summons Productions expands.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to believe in yourself? Can you share a story or give some examples?
It is so important to believe in yourself because it’s no one else’s job. You can come from the most loving, supportive family, you can have the most loving, supporting, companion or life partner, you can even have some of the best resources this world can offer. However, if you are unable to carry self-assurance, self-confidence, and inward faith you will always in one way, or the other, fail. My entire life I’ve had to stand on my own. I’ve had to learn how to believe in myself, especially as I heard and dealt with environments that spoke against me, and that made me feel like I was less than who I am. I had to disregard those projections and believe that I was more than victorious, and that my life was worthy of greatness. All this belief had to start, and it will always end with me.
What exactly does it mean to believe in yourself? Can I believe that I can be a great artist even though I’m not very talented? Can I believe I can be a gold medal Olympic even if I’m not athletic? Can you please explain what you mean?
First, it’s important for us to acknowledge that belief is not based on the contingency of what one is doing, or how well they are doing it. Belief is all about “acceptance” therefore, we have to understand that whatever we accept about ourselves, that’s what we believe. It is best to acknowledge and receive who you truly are in order to be your greatest success.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
There have been plenty of times when I didn’t believe in myself, and this allowed me to make poor choices. At times I have not accepted my full self and believe that my power was in something else outside of me. It’s a human experience to learn the value of the importance of self-belief.
At what point did you realize that in order to get to the next level, it would be necessary to build up your belief in yourself? Can you share the story with us?
The point where I realized that it was time to go onto the next level by building up my belief was when I was appointed as CEO of Summons Productions. I swiftly realized, regardless of who is alongside me, who is behind me, it is solely up to me to believe in the mission, the vision, and the value of the company. Many people believe that self-belief is based on how many people are cheering you on or how many people are for you, but it wasn’t until I witnessed people leave that I never thought I would leave. Projects that I thought would define corporate success didn’t even get off the ground. It’s not even following setbacks that I thought were going to break us that didn’t even scratch. Those were the moments that induced the conviction to carry solidarity in my belief in leadership and of self.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . Love Yourself
-No one else is going to love you like you love you. Appreciate who you are, learn who you are and most importantly, accept your voice.
2 . Don’t Compare Yourself
-Don’t compare and contrast yourself to other people. It is a waste of time, and it gets you nowhere closer to understanding your authentic value. Be inspired by others, not intimidated.
3 . Be Present
We live too much in our heads nowadays. Learn to do things that keep you present so that you truly enjoy the best things that happen when you’re living life freely as possible.
4 . Ask Questions
-Never be ashamed of what you don’t know. Surround yourself around people who are willing to give you genuine answers to your questions. Never be afraid to learn.
5 . Take Up Space
-Do not be afraid of being seen. Your life is so valuable for you to take up as much space as your talent, time, and excellence requires. Also understand everyone’s not going to want to experience your space but that does not invalidate your authenticity.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Do not receive it in any way, nor should you ever entertain negative streams of self-criticism. We are our critics, and we have to learn how to be gentle with ourselves. We have to learn how to be patient with ourselves. Keep yourself in a positive state of mind as you gro. If there are things that you wish to perfect, be willing to set goals and follow through with them. But in order to cure criticism, never raise a problem that you aren’t ready to hear the solution for.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
I can say one misconception about self-confidence is the belief that you have to act like you are better than people, or that you have to bring others down to make yourself higher. Confidence is about self-assurance. It’s about knowing what comes out of your mouth for the first time and sticking with it.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
The best advice I would give is to remind that person that they deserve good things in their life. They deserve the right environment, the right people, the right resources, and the best support. Don’t stand in your own way because of past disappointments or previous setbacks because each day is a new day of opportunity.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
This movement for me would be a movement to feed our nation. I believe there are so many people on so many different levels of life that miss that basic essential look for food, and we can come together and develop the best solution to help end national and even world hunger. That would be truly amazing.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I would love to have a private breakfast with the former President Barack Obama. His historical leadership, and impact on the world that we know is like no other, and to sit in his presence, and to receive guidance and advice, would set a great trajectory for the future of my life. If I am unable to meet with the president, I’m willing to meet with any of the first family Obama members.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Please, by all means, follow the music journey by searching Drananda Summons on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music etc. Purchase download and stream hits. You can also follow us on Instagram @SummonsProd.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.