This is the premise of a lecture I gave this month at FIT in a Communication class for Business Executives. I really enjoyed speaking in an academic environment, definitely a first and a thrill for me.
I work at SCB Marketing and I am in the impression business. My company is in the business of impressing different audiences in Brevard County. Our clients and advertisers count on us and our ability to make impressions for them each and everyday. The entire advertising industry relies on the fact that what we see and what impresses us, influences behavior. When we keep our clients “top of mind”, they will be the ones who get your business, when you have a need that they can fulfill.
I theorize that we are far more impressionable than we realize. I theorize that EVERYTHING that we come in contact with, makes an impression upon us, influences us and ultimately takes us places. From the time we are small children, we are constantly assimilating different stimuli and experiences and formulating our values, ideas and aspirations. So, from what we eat, see, think, listen to, associate with……..our parents, friends, work associates. What we read, watch on TV, play on our ipods……..impresses us in some form or fashion.
The degree that we are impressed depends on 2 things: How malleable we are at the time and how much force or impact the stimuli has. So, when we are young, we are very malleable and easily impressed. As we mature, we become less impressionable but still remain more impressionable than we think or care to admit.
Let’s do a small exercise……think about the 3 most painful or difficult things that were ever said to you. Most of us can think of those things rather quickly. Now name the 3 best compliments you have ever received. I guarantee that it will be more difficult for you to come up with the compliments then the slights. We are much more easily impressed by the negative, rather than the positive. Also, we read and assimilate the sub text easily. For instance, your Mom/Dad tell you verbally that they love you but do not come to your school performances or games. The actions of your parents completely belie their words and you will most likely get the impression that you are not loved/ worthy of their time. When the truth is probably that your parents are self absorbed and critically damaged themselves.
My cancer experience was that profound experienced that made me realize, I had the wrong impression about myself. If you look at your actions, who you surround yourself with and your self talk. If it is all negative, you have gotten the wrong impression about you along the way.
So, when do people change? People change when the pain of remaining the same exceeds the pain of change. That is the place I got to shortly after my cancer diagnosis. I was greatly impressed by my losses and the deep impact I felt on every possible level. I knew that, if I did not change things within myself, I was a goner. I would not survive cancer and I would be lost.
Daily focus on healing, correcting negative self talk, surrounding myself with love and support are what pulled me through. I allowed myself to be cared for and blessed by others. That was very difficult for this independent soul, who’s first full sentence was “I’ll do it myself” at age 2. It took multiple levels of programming to give you the wrong impression of yourself, it will take the same to de-program you and learn how to love yourself in a healthy way.
Some practical things to do……….
- get a white board and write positive and affirming things to say to yourself when the negative voices speak.
- Say I am statements daily and repeatedly: I am HEALTHY, I am LOVED, I am WORTHY!!
- Take a personal inventory and list all your positive attributes!
- Ask God to show you how HE sees you!
- Get negative and non affirming people OUT of your life!!
- Do nice things for yourself. Treat yourself as you would your beloved child.
- Nurture your interests and talents. Do things that are good for your soul and make you smile.
- Help someone else overcome an obstacle.
Every person on God’s green earth is loved by GOD! He loved each of us so much that he chose to send his very own Son to atone for when we fall short. God will forgive you of any and all of our shortcomings if we just ask him to. His word should impress you with his love and how he thinks about you!!
New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
New International Version (NIV)