Do You Want to Impress or Influence?
We don't need to impress in order to influence. In fact, they are very different.
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by Jamie Spannhake
February 27, 2021
I was reading through notes I'd written from several years ago -- 14 years ago, to be exact -- and I came across this quote:
“At some point in your life, you must decide whether you want to impress people or influence people. You can impress people from a distance, but you must get close to influence them, and they will be able to see your flaws.”
It's from The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. My mom, who is a religious Christian, recommended it to me. There were many parts of the book that resonated with me, and some parts that didn't, but this quote really stood out.
So often, I think we feel we need to impress people in order to influence them. We need to appear perfect, or wonderful, or always happy, or "the best," or whatever we feel will impress.
But the truth is, when we show up, up close and personal, showing our flaws and vulnerabilities, people can relate to us, people will listen to us, and people will be transformed, helped, and influenced by us.
The other truth is: no one likes someone that's perfect. First, the perfect person just makes us feel bad about ourselves. And, second, because we know that perceived perfection can't be real, we try to figure out how they aren't perfect.
So, as Rick Warren says, do you want to impress people or influence them? If you want to influence them: show up as yourself, flaws and all, and share your light.
I can't wait to see you!