As I prepare to speak at the Hay House I CAN DO IT event, I’m experiencing a myriad of emotions – excitement, nervousness, gratitude, pressure, curiosity, confusion, peace, and more. It’s thrilling and humbling to be invited to speak at an event like this with such powerful teachers and authors like Wayne Dyer and Caroline Myss, whom I’ve admired and learned from for many years. I’ve never actually been a part of an event like this, although I’ve dreamed about it for a long time and hope this is the first of many such events I get to participate in.
And, in the midst of my excitement and gratitude, I notice that more of my attention than I’d like to admit is focused on trying to impress certain people – the other speakers, specific people in the audience, and especially the organizers of the event. Of course I want to do well and want my talk to be both well received and to have a positive impact on all who hear it (which is always my intention when I speak).
However, the more I’ve been noticing this focus on impressing others, the more I realize that this has been a theme throughout much of my life which doesn’t really serve me. In school, as an athlete, in business, and even now in the work that I do as an author and speaker, I have been (and will continue to be) in many situations where I’m being evaluated. When this occurs, especially if I’m feeling nervous, insecure, and/or attached to some specific outcome, my underlying goal is often to impress anyone and everyone involved. Maybe you can relate to this?
How often do you find yourself trying to impress others? Whether it’s in our work, with our friends, on Facebook or Twitter, at a class reunion, at a networking event, with our family, or just in everyday life, we spend and waste a lot of time and energy trying to impress others, somehow thinking that the acknowledgment, validation, and positive perception of other people will make us feel good about ourselves and prove our value or worth in life. As you may have noticed, this never works.
While there’s nothing wrong with us wanting to do a good job, be well received by others, and get positive feedback, when we focus on impressing people we give away our power and set ourselves up for unnecessary stress, worry, and fear.
There was a book that came out about twenty five years ago by Terry Cole-Whittaker called, What You Think About Me is None of My Business. Such a great reminder for all of us!
What if we stopped trying to impress others, and focused more of our attention on “impressing” ourselves. In other words, being true to ourselves, feeling good about who we are, and showing up in the most authentic way possible are all things that give us real power. Trying to manage, control, and ultimately manipulate other people’s perceptions of us is not only exhausting, it’s pretty much impossible.
As the wise sage Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” So true!