Today is my day to chill. It’s the one day in the week I have scheduled where I do not work toward any of my goals and just unwind after the week. I will pick back up with working out and practicing my spinning tomorrow. The thought for today, therefore, is a little more personal. I want to take some time to talk about social dynamics.
I received some criticism today for being egotistical. Interestingly enough, this feedback was received in the context of a group exercise in which each group member was being evaluated. My evaluations were great, but my peer feedback seemed to indicate that I thought I was too cool for school. Here’s the rub. Through my professional experience, I have found that some of the greatest detriments to good results are stressing too much and procastinating. Therefore, my approach to this exercise was one of finishing my work ahead of time and not stressing about the presentation I had to give, which comes largely from my confidence in my public speaking skills. The rest of the members of my group, however, did not take the same approach. They worked frantically while overly concerning themselves with irrelevant minute details. When asked why I did not seem as concerned, I simply responded by saying that I was ready to go. I maintained this confidence throughout the preparation period because the truth of the matter was that I had it covered. This experience was the inspiration for today’s thought.
Thought of the Day
We concern ourselves far too much with others’ evaluations and end up being detrimental to our own success as a result. It is no wonder that the members of my group who stumbled the most during the presentation were the ones who had prepared most neurotically beforehand. The evaluators perceived my attitude as confidence, and because my presentation was good, that perception was backed up. On the other hand, those that saw my relaxed process perceived it as arrogant. I suspect the reason for this is a projection of their own fears and anxieties. They were reminded of all those group projects where they ended up doing all the work because the other group members didn’t do their part. They were concerned at their own inability to have the confidence that I did.
The reason I say all these things is because I have never perceived anyone I have met as arrogant. It’s an interesting phenomena that we encourage people to be successful, and yet we discourage being proud of it. If someone is confident in their abilities, and those abilities back up that confidence, then more power to them. The trouble occurs when your perception of yourself exceeds what you can actually do. I am tremendously self aware. I know where my strengths and weaknesses lie. If you asked me to play basketball, I would not act like I was the best, simply because I’m not. But, if you asked me to write you a speech or present one, I would likely refuse anyone else’s advice because I have yet to meet a better public speaker than me. Miscperceptions occur because of a lack of awareness.
So for you readers, take some time to actually know and understand yourselves and the people around you. This will prevent you from projecting your fears and anxieties onto others. It will help you identify what you can improve, and it will help you better identify what others can improve. Sharpen your perceptions.