Identify Your Significance
To feel significant, you must be fearless in the pursuit of what matters most to you.
I recently read Tony Robbins’ new book MONEY Master The Game. Tony talks a ton about money, but he also talks about the six needs of human beings: certainty, variety, significance, connection/love, growth, and contribution. I’ll let you explore the other five, but today I want to focus on significance.
From the time we were tiny-little-baby humans, we have craved significance. It’s an innate trait of human beings. We yearn for the feeling of acceptance and importance.
Note: I’m fairly certain it’s a trait of all living things, but I can’t speak for the platypuses and narwhals of the world.
What happens when we post something on Facebook? We watch the likes and comments add up, and with each one we feel more significant. Share something interesting or witty on Twitter? We secretly hope for RTs and favorites galore. If you get tons of email every day, you must be significant! It seems nearly 100% of the Internet was built around encouraging our need to feel valued and validated.
Tony Robbins asks a great question on this:
What’s the root of each our different cravings for significance?
I’ll start with myself. I was often the new kid in school and never felt like I fit in. When I started IWearYourShirt it was—at its core—a way for me to fill that void of acceptance. If IWYS got popular, then I would be popular, and therefore significant!
The only problem? I wasn’t addressing the main issue of my lack of feeling accepted.
Even though I was able to grow a following, gain notoriety in the media, and make money, that original void still existed. If anything, obtaining success just put a glossy new finish over the top of a rusty old problem. Without actually addressing my desire to feel like I fit in, no amount of followers, likes, or money would ever make me feel significant.
So how did overcome my own issue of significance? I wrote a book about it.
It may sound weird, but through the process of writing my book I was able to tackle some core personal issues (with the help of my authoring coach Lizzie and my girlfriend Caroline). There were stories from my childhood I was holding onto. There were feelings of failure I hadn’t shared before. Writing and becoming more vulnerable (read: not trying to always show my perfect self) helped me understand that I didn’t need any outside influences to prove to myself that I was significant. I just had to have an honest conversation with myself, and let go of things from my past.
I don’t know about you, but I hate being introspective. It’s never easy and I often have to swallow my pride. But truthfully, writing about my personal issues was incredibly cathartic. There are plenty of things I didn’t include in my final manuscript, but just writing them down and analyzing them helped me.
I’m sure many of you can relate to feeling like there’s much more to life than your current state of affairs (your job, your relationships, your friendships, your finances). I felt the exact same way. I still do.
You could quit your job, but you’d probably just get another one that would leave you equally unfilled. You could end a relationship, but you’d probably rebound into another unsuccessful one. You could change so many aspects of your life, but if you don’t get to the root of the issue, you’ll never truly make progress.
Listen, I know this topic is more touchy-feely than I normally share. But you know what? I’m a better action-taker in all aspects of my life right now because I worked through these personal issues. I have more clarity of mind and I put way less pressure on myself.
I encourage you to sit down and really think about your life. Do you feel important? Do you feel valued? If not, then dive into your past and see what’s holding you back from feeling significant.
You matter. You are important. But if you don’t believe it for yourself, no amount of compliments or digital pats on the back will help you.
Take some time for yourself today. Be honest with yourself. Peel back a couple protective layers and work through your tough issues. What better time than right now?
You are significant and so am I.