Who are you trying to impress anyway?

who are you trying to impress anyway?

Who are you trying to impress anyway?

A friend asked me this exact question several years ago.  At the time, I thought he was being bloody cheeky, (smarty pants!) not to mention, a tad rude.

Truth can be uncomfortable like that.

It’s hard to accept that the purpose of our lives is NOT to impress or please other people.

I mean – who doesn’t want to feel accepted, liked, and appreciated?

This has been my way of living for more years than I care to admit. Although I understand just how much of a stress cocktail, perfectionism and people pleasing can be – it’s a habit that I am still learning to unlearn.

 How can you stop worrying about what others think of you?

:: Baby steps.  If you can’t stop caring about what everyone thinks about you, start by caring a little less.

:: Bring some awareness to your decision making. Are you doing this to appear somehow better in the eyes of another person?  Are you trying to be all things to all people and spreading yourself too thin (feeling stretched and resentful is a good indicator that you are).

:: Take fewer things personally. Learn to be ok with dissension and differing points of view.  Watch yourself when you find yourself agreeing, just to be agreeable!

:: When you take a stand for yourself – be ok with feeling embarrassed, uncomfortable or a little anxious. Don’t expect it to be easy to begin with. It’s not.  And when its not, remember that a little self compassion goes a long way.

:: Practice being you. I know this can sound trite, – but I truly believe that authenticity is a practice . Years of people pleasing leads to a disconnect.  Who are we really? What are we willing to take a stand for?

:: Notice that there is something incredibly powerful and sexy about being comfortable in your own skin.  It feels good having your own back and being your own best friend!

Too many of us spend our time, investing energy in keeping everyone else happy, because we are scared of being ourselves.  We haven’t even given ourselves the privilege of getting to know who we really are.

Oscar Wilde said it perfectly: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

And from now on – if someone asks – who are you trying to impress anyway?  Answer, No one but myself.

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  1. says

    Kirri – perfectly timed. I have been feeling lately like I’m just not impressing anyone, least of all myself. A friend of mine has really raised her profile lately and has just found out she has a fabulous new job. I’m really happy for her, but I have been feeling unsuccessful/boring in comparison. And then last night I thought to myself – why should I feel any less about myself just because of her good news – it is crazy isn’t it! Comparison and perfectionism are such big enemies.

      • says

        Hey thanks Kirri – you know I think there is part of me that wants that ‘successful job’ but I suspect it is ego led. I know the rest of me wants the balance, the sense of service and (perhaps) the sense of success that comes when I surrender to that. X

  2. says

    Who am I NOT trying to impress might be a more apt question… This is definitely an area I am working on. If I could just get my big fat ego to step out of the way, I’d have a clearer picture of who I am!!

  3. says

    I can’t remember but I don’t think it worked anyway. Seriously I feel if you live as you ought and think as you should what others think it is up to them and should not affect your own sense of well-being

    • says

      You brought up an important point Peter. It does have the potential to wreak havoc with your well-being! Acknowledging how exhausting the drive to impress others can be and how we have no control over how we are received anyway….that feels like the perfect place to begin.

  4. Lorraine Hallam says

    Loved this post Kirri. You hit the nail right on the head. BTW I I have started writing, practicing the keyboard and playing my guitar again. Feels great! Something for me.

  5. says

    This is great Kirri and something that I am slowly learning.
    I recently showed some family members something I had written that had been published and didn’t get the response I wanted. I was hurt initially and felt a sudden ‘Oh My Lord I am crap at what I do and love’ but then I went inward and realised that they just don’t understand this part of my life, we are in different places and have different views, and that’s ok…I understand it, and that’s all that matters xx

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