First Impressions: Should We Really Care What Others Think?
Should we sugarcoat our true self in order to create a lasting first impression, or should we let our light shine bright and not care what others think?
I recently left my job after suffering a professional burnout. As I took time out to recover, I strangely decided to take a leap of faith and take on the challenge of starting my own business.
Naturally of course, this process, as scary as it is exciting, involves meeting a lot of new people – essentially being in an ‘interview’ like situation very regularly, trying to progress something which is now a big part of you and secretly it terrifies you that you might fail.
With the constant barrage of questions and strategic answers exhausting me, I realised that I had started behaving in a way that unusual for me as I was sugarcoating my opinion in order to create a good first impression for the sake of the businesses success rather than how I truly feel.
To say I felt disappointed in myself is an understatement, my truthful (and sometimes blunt sorry not sorry) opinion not only defines who I am, but it also defines my business, it is a part of me after all, interlinked in so many ways from ethics to creativity.
Jokes aside though, this should be the case no matter the situation, so here are a few of my opinions on how I feel we should handle ourselves to give a good first impression whilst being true to ourselves no matter what.
Know What’s Important To You
We all know what’s important to us and no one should judge others for their own limits. It’s none of our business what other people deem as important or not. All we can do is focus on our own life and journey. Some might not have dreams as big as ours; some might not be as close to their family as we are. It’s all relative.
What is life and how are you making it? Think of your goals and the people who make you feel good – they are what you should focus on. Never stray from it because they all fuel our moral compass and help us generate the true confidence within. They’re tools to help us find ourselves again when we’ve lost our way. They define us as individuals. They’re badges of our identity too precious to drop.
When you enter the room/meeting/interview knowing exactly who you are and what you stand for, believe me, you are much more likely to achieve what you want when you walked in and not end up in a compromised situation or job you eventually start to resent.
Impress No One
There is no one in this world you need to impress – no one! Not your boss, your family, your friends, or future employer. Nothing is ever going to be the end of the world if you truly think about it. All you can do is your best, but with pride, confidence and courage rather than fear.
If you’re always trying to impress those around you, then you are in a sense afraid or intimidated of them. You fear their judgment therefor you shape yourself around their ideals to be more palpable.
This is never where you want to be. If a person can’t take you for who you are, should they be able to have you in any way at all? No person is worth limiting or dimming yourself down for, authenticity is a trait most people lack, which is what makes it a valuable commodity.
Having said this, true confidence and arrogance are separated by a very fine line. As I stated in my last post about brutal honesty and truth for example; one is meant to welcome compromise while the other usually brings about resentment – its the same again for true confidence and arrogance.
You’re true confidence will show the world who you are without scaring it away – a slight whiff of any arrogance and you might just turn them off immediately but should we care? After all, this is exactly what this post is about.
The answer is yes.
Not because its the opinion of the other person which matters, but your opinion of yourself. True confidence comes from being proud of your skills and accomplishments, which in turn make you great at the tasks and challenges you take on.
This is what people will see – even if they don’t agree with your opinion, they will like you and be drawn to you, maybe even compromise their own beliefs because they will admire your balls for being yourself in a situation where rarely anyone ever is.
To me this is the best first impression you can ever give anyone, and if not – fuck’em.