Aiming to impress is aiming too low.
Updated: Jan 30, 2020
5 min read
The goal is to impact anybody who is able to get through the chaos of my first impression.
Impact beats impression, every time.
Impression is one of the lowest things that we as humans can strive for. You might have an “only god can judge me” attitude, but more than likely you have thought about someone’s impression of you. You may not acknowledge it, but you have at least thought of it. Over and over were told, “make a good impression — their important”, “leave a good impression”, “you only get one shot at an making a first impression”.
There is nothing wrong with making a good impression. But if your want — your focus — is to make that good impression than you are dis-empowering yourself. Furthermore, if you strive to impress in the external world as a way of getting where you want to go, you’re stopping yourself from achieving your full potential. You must learn that wanting to make a good impression, cripples people. It cripples them because there is no standard for impression and there is no clarity regarding what it exactly represents.
When something is not clear, it is not useful. And when it is not useful, and we follow it, we are not useful. That said, it’s not clear because what it takes to impress one person is not what it takes to impress another person or all people for that matter. And if you constantly seek to impress people, you will eventually lose your grounding and the more people you seek to impress, the more lost you will become.
Why do we normally want to make a good impression:
1. We care what other people think
2. We don’t care what people think: but we know in order to accomplish what we want to accomplish we need to make a good impression
When we are trying to accomplish something externally, we know that good impressions will make accomplishing that task easier. The challenge with that is by continually wanting to make those good impressions you’re setting yourself up for the same kind of failure that comes with being a perfectionist.
When someone is a perfectionists, they will question every aspect of what they do, who they are, both externally and internally. They question everything, because in their minds nothing could be as good as it can be. When you add the opinions of others to the equation it becomes even worse.
For example, the perfectionists will think, “am I driving the right car”, “is it washed properly enough”, “am I wearing the right outfit”, “is it color coordinated enough”, “am I wearing the right accessories”, “am I smart enough”, “am I funny enough”, “am I good enough”.
If we apply the opinions of others to that, this is what happens: “Am I driving the right car to give off the image I want to my boss”, “Is it washed properly enough to show how detailed oriented I am”. “Am I wearing the right outfit to pick up this girl— is it color coordinated enough to show that I can dress myself. Am I funny enough to make her laugh”, you get the idea. That is looking at it using two people that we are trying to impress.
But the thing is this, if you try to impress one, it is normal that you try to impress many. You can’t just impress your boss, you have to impress your colleagues. You can’t just impress the one girl, you have to impress her friends to. And then later on down the road you feel you need to make a good impression on the parents. You can’t just impress one person, you normally want to impress a group of people. You compound that desire, that want to impress over time, it will make someone depressed and riddled with fear just like a perfectionist.
Wanting to impress is bad, worrying to impress is even worse.
Impression is stupid, it is unclear, external, and a low standard. None of which we can use to empower ourselves. Wanting to make a good impression is the lazy road to take. It’s lazy because it’s surface level. For that reason, I encourage you to think about it differently.
Do not care about impression, and care even less about wanting* to make one. Don’t care about impression there is a much more powerful tool that we can use to accomplish everything impression accomplishes — impact. Impact should be what we strive for. Impact in people’s lives, impact in our own lives, and impact on the world.
What’s the difference:
Impressions can be undone, they can be buffed out and covered up. An impact, once made, never goes away.
You need to be able to identify the difference between impression and impact in situations.
1. Can be bought
2. Relative to individuals
3. Not Clear
4.Require low level (surface level thinking)
1. Actions compounded over time
2. Requires thought, until it becomes automatic
To move from impression to impact is simple, raise your standard. When you are seeking impression, you are subconsciously trying to reach for something outside your “level”. Many try to impress others because they want validation from a different level.
Impression focused on level up — you’re not worthy (need to prove those above you, you are worthy)
Impression focused on level down — you’re not worthy (need validation from lower levels)
In both scenarios what you are saying is, you’re not worthy, you’re in-fact dis-empowering yourself.
The quickest way to shift from impression to impact:
Raise Your Standards.
By raising your standards from the point of “I want to impress” to “I want to make an impact”, you change the game completely. By raising your standard of operations you will begin to realize that you will no longer “want/worry” about making a good impression, it will happen automatically. The reason being is, when you raise your standard, you raise how you conduct yourself. And eventually, you will be able to get to the point where you conduct yourself at such a high level that you don’t put a second thought into impression.
If we focused each day, or even each week at operating at a standard higher than what is set for us by society, your power will increase exponentially. A standard higher than any standard of impression in society, this means we create impressions without thought. It happens just by way of who we are, and we no longer need to spend one of greatest tools — our focus — on if we are making the impressions we want to make or not.
By focusing on impact instead of impression, it forces us to level up. And when we level up impression becomes second nature. Finally, if we continue to focus on raising our standards, we won’t even have to focus on impact any more, it will become second nature, we will conduct ourselves in such a manner that we will make impacts in people without thought.
Empower yourself with the standards you set. By leaving the bar so low, leaving it at impression. You take power away from yourself and actually give it to those you are trying to impress. Our goal is to always empower ourselves, and in doing so, those around us will become more empowered, better off. With that said have respect for yourself, when you speak — have something meaningful to say, When you move — move with distinction — with purpose. Recognize that your life has meaning.