Think Best, Not Impress.

It’s human nature to want to impress people sometimes. I find it hard to believe that there is anybody anywhere who has never at some point tried to impress someone for any number of reasons. And some of those reasons seem legitimate. Yet we tend to conflate doing our best work for someone with impressing them. Yet these are two very different goals.

A goal is something which defines the way we think, act, and react in any given situation. It determines how we move forward. If our goals are misguided, all actions that spring from it will also be so. Setting a goal to impress somebody will in most cases lead to failure because everything becomes about them. Our energies are  focused upon making ourselves look good to only one individual. (Sometimes a group.) Which means we will try to alter our approach every few moments to match what we perceive they want. Our desire to be held in personal esteem by the other person dictates our choices. When that happens, we open ourselves up to feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and diminished confidence.

Instead of impressing people, our goal should be to offer our best at any given time. We need to present our best selves via behavior, ideas, attitudes, etc. We need to give our best audition to a director, present ourselves in the most effective manner at a job interview, put our best products on display when we meet potential clients. It only makes sense to do so.

When our goal is to produce our best work, (within whatever guidelines apply to the situation), we make it about us. Our mental energies are directed toward engaging our talents, and tapping our passion. Improving who and what we are. We become confident in our ability to bring something forth that deserves to have our names attached to it. Such creations have the best chance of attracting the right attention. And though we may be disappointed if we don’t get the part or the job, we come away from the attempt knowing that in the very least we produced something worthy of our own admiration. We don’t come away with even that much when we bend over backwards merely to impress.

Take pride in your work. Your observations. Your being. Let what someone else thinks of it take care of itself. You’ll have nothing that either you, or other people can take pride in if your entire purpose is to impress, impress, impress.

When have you been tempted to impress someone, as opposed to just living your best, and allowing the consequences of same?


  1. N

    That's a nice way of putting it. Many people don't put forward the best side of themselves for fear of others accusing them of trying to impress them.
    But success requires a person to present their best side to the world.
    This separation of concepts helped me understand the difference. Thank you 🙂

  2. Thanks for stopping by, N. And good point…the fear of trying to impress will sometimes hold people back. But neither fear of or need to impress should keep people from their best work.

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