Impress YOURSELF, not others

If you're one of those people who strives to impress other people at every turn, I'm here to tell you one thing: you should be trying to impress yourself instead.

Some of you may ask, "What does impressing yourself even mean?"

In a nutshell, it means growing as a person.

Impressing yourself signifies achieving big goals -- succeeding at things even you never thought possible. For example, maybe you're convinced you can't lose 30 pounds in two months or read two voluminous books in a single month, but through hard work and commitment, you prove yourself wrong. There's no better feeling in the world, especially when other people said you couldn't do it.

While "I told you so" moments can be empowering, here's the problem with trying to impress other people:cic

You'll always fall short of someone's expectations. What's more, people always have something to criticize. You could have lost more weight. You spend way too much reading rather than doing more practical things. It goes on and on.

Before you know it, you're living life on someone else's terms rather than your own.

The only person whose expectations you should try to meet -- and surpass - are your own. No one will ever appreciate your hard work, skills, and talents more than you will. No one has a clearer sense of all the sweat and tears it has taken you to accomplish something than you do.

We live in a society where touting your own accomplishments to gain others' validation is par for the course, thanks in part to the proliferation of social media like Facebook and Twitter.

While you may get a few "likes" and congratulatory remarks, people seem to have very short time spans when it comes to achievements that don't concern them. By tomorrow, they will have forgotten about everything you achieved.

On the other hand, you'll continue to take pride in what you accomplished for a much longer period of time. Why? Because our accomplishments hold special sentimental value in our lives. They bespeak not giving up in the face of tough challenges. They're indicative of how far one's steely determination to prevail can take them.

I realize that there are people in our inner circle -- from parents and friends to coaches -- who help us get to the finish line. It's rare to be able to achieve anything without some guidance for others.

Still, keep in mind who it is that you're doing all this for. You're doing it for yourself.

While it feels great to see your loved ones proud of you, it feels even better to be proud of yourself, for it wouldn't have happened without your decision to embark on the journey in the first place.

Believe in yourself -- you might surprise yourself at the many things you can accomplish.

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