As we go about daily life, alot of our behaviour is compelled by a deep desire to be admired, to be seen as good and desirable. If we admit it to ourselves, we often want to be a bit better than others.
We might want to be prettier, smarter, more successful or more morally superior (more kind, considerate or spiritual) than others.
But what it comes down to underneath all that is that we actually just want to feel special. We want to be accepted. We want to be lovable and loved.
Keep reading to find out more about why true connection beats being ‘better than’, or listen to the accompanying podcast episode below.
It’s tempting to be attached to the opinions other people have about us and define our self-worth through them. We live much of our lives driven by an urge to impress, striving hard to prove our worth, trying to be ‘someone’ in the eyes of the world.
We spend our time, in the words of David Ramsey, “Buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t know.”
Women are often conditioned to compete with each other for men’s attention and desire, and men are taught to compete to get to the top.
We all see images and advertisements showing us images of what we ‘should’ have and what we should be like. No one wants to be average anymore.
The cost of competing and impressing
As long as we’re caught up in this cycle where we are trying to impress or compete, we are in a very fragile position in life. Our sense of self-worth is wrapped up in extrinsic factors. That is, conditions outside ourselves – what others think of us, whether we have the possessions the ads tell us to have, or whether we look like the pictures in the magazines.
Not only that but we end up competing with others, always trying to be a bit ‘better than’, instead of truly connecting with each other. We miss out on a more true, deep and fulfilling way of relating with other people.
So it’s worth pausing to ponder every now and then, what is it that you truly want most? To impress and compete, or connect? Because you can’t do both at the same time.
How to practice true connection with others
To truly connect with another human being, you have to lay aside your desire to be better than them, to want anything from them, or to have them see you in any particular way.
You just have to be present with them, look into their eyes, listen to their stories, and see past your judgements and agendas to the heart of who they are.
If we’re able to truly connect with others, we can build friendships, trust, authenticity and love. We break down barriers, take off our masks and, together, we lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives.
So, my invitation for today and the week going forward is to simply notice your underlying intentions when interacting with others. Is it to impress or be better than? Or is it to truly connect? And, as much as possible, see what it feels like to let go of everything else and truly connect with others. Notice what effect it has on your body, mind and life.
I hope this is helpful to you. Wishing you well for the week ahead. Take care and stay strong.
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