When is the last time you’ve been truly impressed by someone?
What did they do? Why were you impressed?
Chances are, whatever they did was extremely challenging. Often even something you didn’t think was possible. I mean, doing easy stuff isn’t impressive, right? We are impressed by people accomplishing incredibly difficult feets. There’s nothing impressive about people doing things that everyone else is doing.
I believe a number of great things take place when we are impressed by someone else. Maybe their accomplishment provides you with hope that what you previously thought was impossible is, indeed, possible. Their conquering of the task removed the mental roadblock you had held on to - see Roger Banister and the 4:00 mile. Maybe someone else simply going for it - giving their absolute best - inspires you to do the same. I know I’ve been inspired by a fearless, relentless effort numerous times. Or, maybe someone taking a risk for something they find worthwhile allows you the opportunity to consider what you are settling for in your life and what is worth taking risks for.
Why Should We Care?
When is the last time you’ve been impressed by yourself?
What did you do? Why were you impressed?
Chances are, whatever you did, others have done. Although you think your obstacles were more challenging and difficult to overcome than that of others, they weren’t. It’s human nature to think this way, but it’s a perspective that stunts our growth and limits our impact.
When we consider our accomplishments and achievements greater than those of the people around us, we begin to struggle performing the primary role of any leader: to lift those we are serving.
Being impressed with yourself is a dangerous proposition. We are often drawn to that line of thinking in the vain claim to confidence. That’s not confidence, it’s arrogance. There is a significant difference.
Confidence was created in the past, but only lives in the present. The arrogance around the impressed version of yourself fights to stay in the past, still talking about what you did.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
It’s funny how much credit we attempt to take for our accomplishments. Yet, so little of it’s true. We do very little on our own. Whether it’s our family that has forged our beliefs, our friends that have impacted our mindset, or our challengers that have provided the opportunity to overcome; we owe virtually everything to someone else. Here are a few ideas to help you remember that.
Stop talking about what you did and start talking about what others did. As the leader, our message should be focused on lifting those we are serving, not ourselves. What’s really impressive is the performance that is truly remarkable yet treated by the performer as an expected outcome - no tweets, no posts, not even any pictures posted … imagine that!
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.