The Problem With Impressing People

Something I heard someone say a long time ago is, “Love your readers.” When I write, this is what I have done. Somewhere along the way, I lost a bit of the magic though. “Love your readers became impress your readers.” When I started viewing life from that perspective, I didn’t have much to share. For whatever reason, everything I wanted to share didn’t feel like it was good enough to share. I met someone recently who told me he had read something I posted quite a while ago, and he told me it meant a lot to him. Then, he pulled out a sheet of paper, and showed me notes he had written down from that post.

Maybe you’re like me and feel like what you want to share isn’t quite good enough, or what you want to share isn’t quite ________ enough. (You fill in the blank.) A lot of us are too hard on ourselves in the wrong areas. We determine in advance whether something is good enough for others. You know what the danger in that can become? Eventually, you might make a switch from “what you make” not being good enough for others to “who you are” not being good enough for others.

Do you know what happens when you start thinking what you are isn’t good enough, and who you are isn’t good enough? It is quite simple. You stop sharing. You think and think and think, but you keep it to yourself. You avoid saying anything that might be a bit risky, because you don’t want to have people tell you that you’re wrong and what you share isn’t good enough.

The other day was really hard. I ended up trying out something like five movies on Netflix, and they were all pretty lame. Finally, I try out this movie with a bad script, and bad soundtrack. I’m not going to say it was a chick flick, but I’m also not going to say it wasn’t. At the end of the movie, I’m sitting there tearing up, and then I think to myself, “Man, this is pretty lame.” (In an attempt to redeem this portion of the post, I watched The Manchurian Candidate the night before, and it was awesome. That’s got to balance  out the tearing up at the end of a lame movie part.)

Here’s the thing. I’d rather not share that part with you, because it’s not really a part of my life that is cool. It doesn’t feel good. It feels like something I would never lead with sitting around a fire with a bunch of guys. Then again, I’ve sat around plenty of fires where we all tried to impress each other with how smart, strong, and funny we are. Even if this is a small risk telling you about some lame movie I cried at, I think I’ll take a little risk. I think I’ll start sharing again. Why? Mainly because I’ve got to move past this idea of whatever I share being brilliant, unique, or cool enough. The problem with impressing people is that you might never get around to sharing what’s most important, real or true. If you’re like me in that you’ve been spending too much time trying to impress people, here is something.

Who you are is good enough, and what you share is good enough.


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