Why try too hard to impress?

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I like to make references to football because it was my first real education. As a kid playing in different teams, I was made to understand football teaches one so much about life – the essence of hard work, team work, dedication, determination and zeal to achieve one’s goal.

My coaches helped me understand that football, as a sport, allows me make use of my three brains (the right, the left and subconscious). As a consequence, I was equipped with indelible capabilities such as attention to detail and maintaining focus on my goal.

If a player, whether amateur or professional, can maintain his focus, he has attained a certain level of maturity. This seems easy on paper but it is very hard to maintain focus with fans/girls screaming your name. Personally, I learnt this the hard way.

I invited a beautiful girl (I was interested in at the time) to a football match. During the first half of the game, I couldn’t concentrate on the team’s goal – to win the game. I was keen to impress the young lady with my dribbling skills and by halftime we were one goal down. I got an earful from my teammates for my below-par performance and that was my wake-up call. I was apologetic, remorseful and went into the second half more focused. We ended up winning the game 3-1 with yours faithfully grabbing a brace.

This made me ask myself, why do we even do things to impress others and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves? I believe it is human nature to want to impress others. However, when one consciously tries to do so, it becomes a burden to oneself.

Even though we are reluctant to admit, the desire to impress others motivates our lives. There are many things we do because they seem cool and thence lead to societal acceptance. The clothes we wear, the way we speak, the genre of music we listen to, the movies we watch, the religious beliefs we embrace, the technology devices we use, the beard we keep, the places we hang out, the friends we keep and the careers we choose are heavily influenced by the desire to impress others.

Unfortunately, sustainability of these behaviours is often elusive. In a digital world, things are constantly evolving and changing. And things that impress people today will probably not impress them tomorrow. As a result, we put on a show and run ourselves into debt, get stuck with people and jobs we hate, and envy those who seem to have it all.

Vernon Howard succinctly explained this when he said “The need to impress others causes half the world’s woes.”  The funniest thing about being an ‘impresario’ is that most of the things we do are for those that don’t give a fuck about us. Pardon my French.

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Many mistakenly assume that they have to do big things to impress others however it is the little things that leave the biggest impact on us. According to Zinga Theory, if one has to try so hard to impress another person then the ‘impressee’ is probably not worth it and can’t be bothered.

I sincerely believe the worst person to date/marry is an ‘impressario/wannabe’. It is hard for such people to be satisfied and happy because of the pressure they put on themselves to meet up to expectations. Expectations they created in the first place.

Everybody can’t like you so instead of living your life to impress people who don’t really like you, you should channel that energy into being yourself.

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12 Replies to “Why try too hard to impress?”

  1. Very good dear. I am so much lucky to know u. Please do keep it up. Never try to impress anyone, we are all different in our ways. Be yourself and yourself alone.

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  2. That quote by Vernon Howard prompts me to put up my middle finger….if u get what I mean.
    The quote said it all.
    Good piece

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  3. I agree Arturo and I even wrote something about this on my blog a while ago. As humans, we are constantly plagued with the need to impress and feel accepted. At the end of it all, we still ‘fall short’.

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    1. I often ask people if there’s thoughts are theirs because the brain cannot resist consistent information, whether true or false, presented to it. A lot of people do things to please others or for others to see them as good. This is just a complete waste of time.

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