Don’t live to impress; live to express

Most people live their life to be accepted and to be validated by others. This is usually a perception created by our Ego, which is misunderstood by a lot of us. Ego finds value in recognition and it is satisfied through acceptance. This is how pleasing comes into the process. Therefore it chooses to impress rather than to express. But how long does this pattern last?

The truth is that we can’t please everyone and succumbing to a habit of pleasing is strenuous, stressful and a waste of time. The longer you take to understand this, the more milestones and meaningful relationships you miss. 

‘People pleasing’ is the desire to make others happy at your own expense. You get addicted to the approvals and good feelings that come from making people happy and comfortable, as you tend to their needs over your own. It makes you feel validated and worthy. But what happens overtime is hazardous. You begin to lose confidence in yourself, because you’ve lost sight of who you are, what you want or how to live your life on your own terms. 

Wake up!! Understand that pleasing is a form of seeking acceptance. This happens most of the times when you do not accept yourself or know your worth. This is a trap where in you are imprisoning yourself from attaining the freedom you so badly need. First identify why are you seeking for approval? And what does it take to outgrow this pattern?

Being recognized by others is certainly something to be happy about, but it is not an absolute necessity. 

Contrary to what our Ego says, freedom is in accepting that other people can dislike you. Being disliked by someone is a proof that you are exercising your freedom and living in freedom in accordance with your own principles.

Learn to differentiate between your inner guiding self and your Ego; observe and listen carefully to know ‘who is talking to you’. Any thought, decision or actions that puts you at peace, gives you a good night sleep or puts your life on an upward spiral or growth path is your ‘Inner wise self’ guiding you. Anything that disturbs your peace creates conflicts or puts you on a downward spiral or a pattern that is creating the life you dislike is ‘Your Ego’ guiding you.

Our life is meant to express itself through our actions, associations and accomplishments. There is so much buried and hidden within us. Those hidden treasures are beyond our physical self and material boundaries. When somebody likes what you wear, your cars, your possessions, your titles, or your accomplishments, they like all those “things.” People may like your things—but that doesn’t mean they really like YOU. Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship. The only way to form genuine relationships is to stop trying to impress . . . and start being yourself.

You need your acceptance first. The only approval you need is your own. You need to live a life on your terms. Make your Life an expression of your thoughts and deeds.

Charles Orlando quotes, ‘In life and love, stay true to yourself. Never changes who you are – nor sacrifice what you want to become what someone else demands.’

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Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson

is a leading business strategist, author and a reputed corporate keynote speaker. Paul writes and extensively speaks on ideas and strategies that can help individuals and organisations to unleash their true potential