Be you, be true, be strong.
The best conversations with my kids always happen after school, when they are having their afternoon snack and I’m preparing things for dinner. Yesterday was no different. I was asking my five year old son, Cade, about his day, and I said I had noticed he hadn’t mentioned his best friend (as of last week) Brendan much anymore and he said, “I can’t stand Brendan, he’s always trying to act like he knows everything and be somebody he isn’t.”
Hmmm, I thought. How interesting. So I said, “Can you give me an example of what he does?” So he preceded to tell me that Brendan (according to Cade) acts like he knows the answer to every problem, even when he doesn’t, that he tries to act older than he really is, and he tries to impress (yes, Cade’s word) the teacher and everyone else.
So I said, “Well, if Brendan isn’t your best friend anymore, who is?” And he said, “Andy”.
I asked, “Does Andy try to impress everyone?” and Cade said, “No, he acts like his real life”.
His “real life”. You gotta love it. Inauthentic behavior snagged at age five.
Of course, we’ve all tried to impress people in various situations in our life, but why do we do it? So we can feel bigger or better than others. It’s all ego stuff.
It’s probably not a big deal when we do it on a small scale and it is certainly not a big deal at age five. But, when we aren’t authentic and are trying to impress others in our relationships, work, businesses, etc its noticeable…even at age five. And people trust an authentic person more than someone who’s not.
Consider these questions:
-Where in your life are you trying to impress others?
-Where are you not being your authentic self?
-What do you have to force yourself to do, be or have?
-Where in your life can you help make others feel enough?
The biggest reason we try to impress others all comes down to not feeling like we’re enough. Like we’re not smart enough, rich enough, funny enough, happy enough, pretty enough, and good enough. One of my favorite lines from the movie, The Breakfast Club was, “spend a little more time trying to make something OF YOURSELF and spend a little less time trying to impress people.”
Or as my son, Cade puts it, “Act like your real life”.