A First Impression
Originally Written: 06-Apr-2020
Word Count: 1051 / 3.5 minutes
Ever think you’re about to do something amazing and then slip on the ice as soon as you step out onto the rink? Yeah, me too.
First impressions are everything in a world that is constantly sussing each other out.
I try so hard to make an impression that I don’t think I consider the follow-up to making one, which is maintaining the mark you’ve made in order to keep it from fading.
When you try too hard to make an impression, what ends up happening is a constant desire to maintain a standard feeling you get from the way people react to you.
It’s frankly validating yourself through the opinions of others.
Codependency at its finest, with approval from others being above self-respect.
At this point I think I would normally jump into justifying where it comes from, but I won’t waste your time.
Giving context about yourself to explain why you can act out in oblong ways is a double-edged sword.
I don’t want to be known for my past. But I don’t want to be known for my oddities.
Even though those things make me me, I can’t help but see opportunities in life pass me by because I don’t get a chance to explain myself. I want to be understood too much.
Frankly I forget at times that we all want to be understood. That my desperate attempts to be understood are just a delusion in my mind being exacerbated by my own anxieties. My anxiety tells me to do the stupidest shit sometimes and I watch myself self-sabotage my own experience constantly.
Regardless, I just have to work harder at managing my thoughts than others.
Some days its easy when you can see the benefits to your self-work, but when I make mistakes I just visualize myself slipping and I lose myself through it.
I become the mistake – I visualize all the ways life could have been if I were different.
I beat myself up for being the way I am. I then beat myself up for beating myself up.
Back on point. We all want to be understood.
I wish we could be seen for our intentions more clearly and given more compassion in our execution but, alas, we all pay the consequences of poor delivery at times.
When we fail to get what we want, all we can really give ourselves is gratitude for those intentions. We have to give that compassion to ourselves instead of expecting it from others, which is controlling when used to validate a feeling over getting over it.
I’m not sure why that was a hard lesson to realize, but it was for me.
When I act on my anxieties, I see myself making choices that lead to my “worst of lives” scenario and when I see myself acting on my best intentions I truly see myself make choices leading to my “best of lives” scenario. Regardless, both are romanticized as fuck and I live into my thoughts so much so that I disappoint myself on either end of the spectrum. I overthink things to the point of dissecting what need not be examined more than a plain stone on the side of a road. I ruin what could be great things for myself by acting in ways that create my worst fears.
This is why I think it’s important to develop mindful awareness techniques in order to combat thoughts that are coming from places that are not value-adding to my experience. I think everyone can benefit from such techniques.
If we all practiced the exchange of ideas in ways that allowed us to examine for ourselves that we all have toxic beliefs to unroot, I think there’s be more compassionate of each other’s experiences. Perhaps it’d make it more acceptable to talk about what we’re trying to get over for ourselves so that we can get help from people who are right next to us.
I guess that’s my impression of how people could benefit one another, but it also still places a dependency on others as saviors to our problems over getting over our own shit.
We’re here to lift one another up with ideas, not drag one another down with our problems. The difference between survival- and growth-minded thoughts are metaphorical anchors and balloons. If the impression you’re making is coming from a place of survival and anxiety then you’re going to sink the situation.
There is more than one way to be understood by others and you don’t have to be a drag to prove your case when everyone has been through it at some point.
This is what I fail to recognize at times. It’s not about what you’ve gone through, it’s how you show up at the end of the day. When you fail to deliver, that’s on you.
When all you have to give are excuses, then what you’re doing is showing your ego. The ego will do whatever it can to scrape whatever scraps of dignity are on the floor after I slip and make mistakes. Rather than recover, I justify and, worse, shame myself at the same time over recognizing everyone makes mistakes and getting back on track.
Meditation helps. Wow does it help. I recommend it to anyone trying to get over themselves. When you start confronting yourself, it can be a bit much. Meditation helps teach you that the whole point is to compassionately bring yourself back on track with your breath as soon as you notice you’re off track.
When we notice ourselves off track, we just need to practice the same swift delivery of compassionate discipline to ourselves and come back into focus on who we think we are. The longer you are harder on yourself, the longer you are failing to recognize yourself as someone capable of making the mistakes you do. The longer you are failing to rectify or course correct in a way that is meaningful.
That’s at least the lesson I’m learning as a person bent on the art of making an impression. There’s more to a moment than what can be capitalized upon, but I can’t help but remark at what I am missing out on as a result of some of my choices lately.