I would be lying if I said I haven't lived trying impressing others - whether it was on social media or in the workplace. You know, the kind that seeks validation from others? Trying to prove something. Wanting to 'fit in'. Sometimes, we are often consumed with impressing others - like our boss or someone we want in our corner. I mean, after all, we read articles telling us how to impress others, rather than following our gut and doing what works for us.
When I started out in the working world as a young inexperienced professional, I realise I had this great need to 'fit in'. Always wanting to prove, I can get it right and that I can match up with more experienced and older peers. But what I have come to realise it that doing anything whether work or otherwise to impress others, isn't worth it. And if you are not doing something it because you wanted to make yourself proud or do a darn good work for you, then it didn't matter.
The Need for Validation
This thing about the need for validation is real. We see others do it so often on social media, painting this picture perfect life that doesn't exist, living beyond their means just because they are trying to prove something. You don't need to do that. And then, we have those in the workplace, like myself - who will go above and beyond to get praised for a job well done. Listen, there is no need to do that, whether you are inexperienced or not.
I remember the first time I tried impressing my supervisor. It didn't work. Because for one, while I did an excellent job, invested more time than usual - it was a job done trying to impress others. And then what? I didn't get the praise I believe I deserved and what happened? Life went on.
Why Do You, Do What You Do?
Sometimes, we get so caught up doing things because of other people's perception - which is none of our business. Easy to say right? But what I am saying is, working to please others because you want to fit in is nonsense. I have proved that.
In You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero (one of my favourite books), one of the best things I probably took away was, before doing anything, ask yourself - 'why am I doing this?'. Is it for me or am I doing it because I want to do good or am I just trying to impress those around me.
Here are three (3) ways to do good work without the need for impressing others
1. Set your standards
We all have one, or at least I would hope so. What I found work for me is that, once you do a good job and you feel it in your gut that it is your best work, that's all that counts. And the standards of others doesn't matter much.
2. Do it for the cause, not the applause
'Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.' is one of the most powerful quotes ever that means so much. Often, we set out to do things because we want recognization and then when that doesn't happen, we feel disappointed. How many times have you felt to need to put in more than the other person, just because you wanted a pat on your back?
3. Know What Works for You
I live by one of life's simple rules - do what works for you! You know, getting to know who you are, connecting with your true self, leading the path instead of the following without questioning. Because everyone is doing it means you should too. When you know who you are and love who you truly are - what others think is not your business.
Sometimes based on our association with others (or what we see others doing) we feel like we need to alter our true selves to 'fit in'. I have had instances where I was doing things that didn't seem natural to me and if you realise you doing something to fit in especially among a group of friends/associates - it's not for you! Let it go.