Free people are free from impressing others

The best way to analyze another person is to search for overcompensation

To notice their excessive and exaggerated attempts to overcome feelings of inferiority, guilt, or inadequacy by asking the following question. 

What is the impression that this individual takes the greatest trouble to convey to me? 

The answer, then, is the very thing that person fears most about themselves. That’s why they do what they do. 

My temperament, for example, is that of an attention getting, audience demanding, approval seeking, applause dependent artist. Which has served me well over the years. This unconscious formula for success has shaped every aspect of my life and propelled my career trajectory in many interesting and profitable directions. 

But it all stems from the fear that I have to be spectacular to be safe in this world. That’s the story I tell myself. That I simply must be funny and interesting and insightful at all times, otherwise I’m not a good person and will be rejected and die alone. And that if I fail to satiate my compulsive and superficial desire to impress some invisible jury, the astonishing fertility of my creative genius will go unwitnessed. 

It’s bloody exhausting. The lifelong project of trying to be likeable, constantly on the lookout for any evidence that I’m not adored, that takes a significant amount of psychic energy. 

And for what? Most people probably aren’t even thinking about me enough to judge me anyway. They’re too buried in their own story. 

My mentor was right. Free people are free from impressing others. 

I don’t have to transform myself to find the love I can never lose. If I don’t completely sacrifice myself for others, I’m still a caring, giving and honest person. And even if everyone I meet doesn’t know of my many benevolences and achievements, they will still think I’m valuable for a variety of other reasons. 

I finally understand this liberation as a form of generosity in my relationship with myself.


Who would you be without the thought that you need to make an impression?


For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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