Are You a Significant Person?

Everyone wants and needs to feel worthwhile. They need to feel as if they somehow matter.

Of course, everyone does matter. Everyone is significant. Everyone is special and brings value into the world. The problem is, sometimes we forget just how significant we are.

The world at times beats us up. We work and live around people who may sometimes take us for granted. Worse, they may sometimes tell us that we are insignificant, that we don’t matter. They may try to bring us down, they may injure our morale as a way of making themselves feel superior. 

They make our little shortcomings seem insurmountable and treat us as a failure. 

As a leader you must realize that your people live in the same world you do. You should take steps to ensure your people’s need for significance is fed. You must go out of your way to make certain they know that they matter and because they may have doubts, you must tell them why they matter.

Telling them that they matter is good, showing them that they matter is better. As a leader I’d bet that you would be quick to say that your people are your organization’s greatest asset. 

When was the last time you went further then just saying it and actually showed it? 

Leaders get busy and they forget the absolute importance of engaged team members. They get busy and figure that their people “just know” how important they are. Even people who have high self-confidence need to hear they are valuable once in a while. They need confirmation that other people see their value and significance. They need to know, without a doubt, that they are not being taken for granted. 

Authentic leaders are intentional in feeding their team members’ need for significance. They are careful to never go too long without verbalizing how important each individual is to the organization. They periodically put that importance on display so everyone can see their individual significance.

What have you, as an authentic leader, done recently to ensure your people have no doubts about their value? The key word in that question is “recently;” your kind words in 2011 hold no water today. 

Helping your people feel worthwhile is an ongoing and unending process. If you’ve fallen short in this vital aspect of leadership then the sooner you start the better!

Why YOU Matter!

There are few things in life that you absolutely must know. I suppose even those few things could be debated. The few things we must know vary by person as well. Your occupation or profession will also partially determine what you need to know too. Where you live might make a difference along with how long you live. 

What you need to know is at least a little different than what I need to know or what the person who lives down the street needs to know. But there is one thing that every single living human being needs to know.

They matter!

YOU matter!

There is absolutely no way you could ever stop mattering. Even if you allow someone to convince you that you are somehow inferior to other people YOU still matter. YOU matter whether you believe it or not, so believe it! 

Because YOU matter, never let someone tell YOU that you don’t. People, anyone, that would tell you that YOU don’t matter clearly do not have your best interests in mind. Ignore them. Those kind of people will likely always be part of your life but it is solely your choice as to whether you listen to them or not. Always remember this: NEVER be one of those people who think or say that YOU don’t matter. Some days you may need to remind yourself often that YOU are amazing and that no matter what happens in your life YOU matter!

The world needs YOU and it needs YOU to be just as YOU are. Even if you’re an identical twin there is only one YOU. No one else can be truly be identical to YOU so don’t rob the world of YOU by trying to be someone or something you’re not. Just be the very best YOU possible. 

Don’t believe that you’re just “good enough” or only “average” because you’re not only the best YOU, you’re the only YOU. Out of billions of people already born and yet to be born there is only one of YOU and that ought to prove just how special YOU are and how much YOU matter. 

Because YOU matter YOU can accomplish great things. You’ve been given a life that allows you the opportunity to make a difference in the world. As long as you can draw a breath you have the opportunity to use your amazing life to make a difference in the life of someone else. YOU do!

Maybe helping other people know how much they matter is the difference you’ll make. It’s a worthwhile difference to make and YOU can do that.

It’s only a question of whether or not YOU will! So answer the question today by telling, and maybe even showing, someone how much they matter to YOU!

How to Avoid Being a Doormat in Life

doormatA couple of things you need to know before we begin this post: YOU are special. You were made in the image of a God who loves you. There is nothing you have done, nothing you are doing and nothing you will do that He can’t and won’t forgive.

YOU are that special! He loves you that much! While you may desire more love than He gives, His love is all that you really NEED.

God’s love for you is unquestioned, the real question is whether or not you love yourself enough to avoid being a doormat.

Just so we’re clear; don’t mistake being in love with yourself for loving yourself. There are few things in life more destructive than being in love with yourself and even fewer things more healthy than loving yourself. When you’re “in” love with yourself it becomes very difficult to love someone else. When you love yourself you become free to give the best of yourself to those who matter most. This may sound selfish but here’s what I believe: it’s nearly impossible to fully love another person if we don’t first fully love ourselves.

A good healthy love for yourself allows you to stand up for yourself without tearing other people down. When you love yourself, when you hold firm to the belief, the fact really, that you are indeed special; you become almost immune to the darts of hostility and the arrows of insults hurled at you from the people who would have you be their doormat.

When you begin to doubt the simply irrefutable fact that YOU matter, then you may also begin to believe the negative things that other people think and say about you. You feel a need to respond and human nature dictates that the response will be defensive and often, combative.

That’s how fights start and it’s a fight you’ll likely never win. You’ll never win because you’re fighting with the wrong person. Before you can prove your worth to someone else you must prove it to yourself. The great thing is that when you’ve proved it to yourself you’ll have much less need to prove it to anyone else.

When you’re certain that you matter your response can be much more measured and self-confident. It’s more measured because when you know that you matter you also know that the other person matters too. The other side of that is when you know that you matter you tend to spend much less time with people who act as if you don’t. You just don’t, and shouldn’t, allow them in your life.

So, how do you remain certain, in the endless daily battles that make up life, that you are indeed special? Well, Margaret Thatcher said that “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

Remaining certain that you are indeed special can be a battle in itself and may require an almost daily personal affirmation; “stuff” and sadly, some people, may cause you to doubt it.

Don’t! Don’t doubt it for a second. Remember, He loves you that much!

That’s a bit about the emotional side of avoiding the “doormat complex.” Now let’s get down to the technical side of it.

When people know they matter they are more likely to stand up for themselves. The opposite of standing up could be considered “laying down” and hey, if you’re down there already you just might make a pretty good doormat.

When you allow people to take you for granted, in your work or personal life, you risk being seen as a doormat. To avoid this risk you must speak up to stay up.

Successful people know that they don’t have to tear someone else down to keep themselves up. To avoid seeming rude or condescending, avoid comparisons that make it “you verses them.” This is a fine line and “tone” will make all the difference here. Don’t tell them what they do wrong, let them know what you do right.

Don’t feel the need to defend yourself or your position, instead ask the other person questions that will make them support their statements. Questions like “why do you say that,” “why do you feel that way” and “can you give me a SPECIFIC example to support what you’re saying” work very well here.

YOU matter and you deserve answers to those questions. Regardless of their answers, the mere act of asking these questions keeps you off the floor and out of the “doormat danger zone.”

There will be times when you may choose to accept their answers, there may be times where you need to ask additional questions to help them see the error of their thoughts.

Either way, YOU are now in control. It’s your life, it’s your choice. Every choice you make will make a difference in the quality of your life, consider your options and choose wisely.