Many people tend to play small in their personal and professional lives because they don’t really believe they have anything unique to offer. They look at others with admiration and respect but they disconsider themselves to be capable of something similar or even greater. What keeps them stuck is that they forget it’s only themselves they need to impress.
If you try to look up the word “impressivity” on Google or in the dictionary, you won’t find it. You will, however, be prompted with definitions of “impressive” about gaining admiration through abilities or skills. As the Cambridge Dictionary puts it, being impressive means “causing someone to feel admiration or respect”. I would add to it that someone is yourself.
Our self-esteem and beliefs about ourselves and our identity impact the way we show up and the way we live our lives. If you still find it difficult to believe you are impressive, play this game with me and by the time you finish reading the article I might have convinced you to embrace your impressivity. I’ve broken it down into ten steps which can be navigated and repeated over and over again, there is never too much impressivity.
I say this all the time and I will keep saying it until it becomes a rule: the first step to any shift is awareness. Because once you recognize what is going on, you can do something about it. Forget about blissful ignorance, that is just fear of looking closely at our thoughts and feelings. It can be scary to acknowledge the negativity that goes on in our minds, the judgements, the limiting beliefs, the guilt, anger and so on. But once you become aware of it and accept it, you are one step closer to shifting it and therefore one step closer to your impressivity.
2. Letting go
Bringing these negative stories and beliefs into your awareness will support you in releasing what no longer serves you. And if you feel you’re having trouble letting go of some emotions, dig deeper, see what is going on one layer beyond. Only with awareness, you will be able to release what you are holding on to and perhaps don’t even want to admit it to yourself.
This is where most people encounter resistance. The feeling of guilt can be so overwhelming and so deeply rooted, that multiple layers may need to be peeled off. Look at all the times you say “I’m sorry”. and forgive yourself first. We are all doing the best we can and even in the circumstances when we end up hurting someone by saying or doing something wrong, we need to be aware, accept it and forgive ourselves for being only human and then proceeding out of love to make things right, not from a place of guilt to get redemption for validation.
4. Speak your truth
There is no better and simpler way of living your impressivity than being authentic. Your impressivity and your uniqueness come from being who you truly are. Your authentic self. And your authentic self-speaks their truth and makes a stand for what they believe in. It may be challenging when your truth is not the other person’s truth, but you owe it to yourself and to your core impressivity to say it. Say it with kindness and compassion if need be, but speak it out loud. With every opinion you refuse to share, your self-esteem takes a punch.
One of my biggest lessons so far has been that we are all work in progress. There is no point in our lives when we get to scream “Eureka, I don’t need to learn anything anymore”. We grow, we change, we develop, we learn. At least it is our duty to do so. Committing to your continued growth and inner work is the best promise you can make to yourself every single morning and you will then be able to step into your impressivity more and more with every lesson learned.
6. Return inwards
We sometimes have a tendency to run away from ourselves, to find distractions in order to avoid confronting our own feelings. Don’t run from yourself if you want to grow and embrace your superpowers. Go inwards, explore, your inner world is a garden of flowers, not a spooky tunnel.
7. Listen to your intuition
This comes with practice. It counts on tuning into the present moment and learning to master the communication with your own body. Your energy will guide you only if you clear the space behind the noise to actually listen to it. You know those times when you say “I just have this feeling in my gut”? Listen to it, it’s kind of impressive the kind of things it leads us to.
There are times (and I’ve been there too) when we go inwards and we get stuck. We just dig and dig and forget to come out and take a breath of fresh air. We lock our hearts in isolation and forget to open the gates to allow flow, love, abundance, joy back into our lives. Living your impressivity is about being in this constant exchange of giving and receiving, a beautiful natural balance.
Yourself. Others. The ones who support you. The ones who hurt you. We could all use a little bit more love.
10. Be intentional
Perhaps embracing your impressivity at this stage in your life seems counter-intuitive. Perhaps you are going through something and need to go through the previous steps again and again. No matter what, always remember that living in your state of impressivity comes from your intention to do so. When you have bad days (we all have), just be kind with yourself and set your intention to impress yourself with self-love, self-care, forgiveness. Just be intentional and your impressivity will follow.