I often find myself intimidated by other people. I realize I make all sorts of assumptions about what they think about me, most of which leave me feeling intimidated and inadequate in some way. I can tell that those assumptions keep me from building relationships with people. Could you give me some advice on overcoming this?
Intimidation and assumptions are caused by your own fears about not being good enough.
Principle: Fear is the root cause of most problems.
You must stop doubting your value. You must stop comparing yourself to other people. You are an incomparable being!
You are intrinsically and extrinsically different from everyone else on the planet; you are on a different journey and here to learn different lessons. There is no level where comparing yourself with others makes sense. It would be like comparing a strawberry, a grape, a peach and a cantaloupe to see which is better. The truth is, they are each perfect in their own way.
You are also a one of a kind. There will never be another YOU. This makes you irreplaceable and your value absolute. Remember, nothing anyone thinks about you can change your value.
Principle: Assumptions about what other people think of you are usually unfounded.
We all have a tendency to create stories that put us “below” or make us judged by other people. When you create these stories, you are usually projecting your own fears and insecurities about yourself onto these people.
Most of the time they aren’t thinking about you at all.
Principle: We have a tendency to see other people as different from us. We tend to see others as either better than us or worse than us.
Your subconscious mind sees everyone in terms of good guys and bad guys. It will see some people as the bad guys (worse than you) so you can feel like the good guy (superior). Others your mind will see as the good guys (better than you) so you can experience self-pity drama about how “less than” or bad you are.
Neither of these is ever accurate.
The truth is, we are all the same. We are all amazing, irreplaceable, scared, struggling human beings in process. No one is less than or better than anyone else. We all have good intentions and good hearts, and we all behave badly on occasion, too.
There may be some people who are actually “bad,” but they are the exception to the rule. Most people are doing the best they can with what they know and want to be good.
When it comes to our value as human beings, we are all the same. We cannot cast stones at anyone else, nor should we put anyone "above" us. You must choose to step back and see yourself and the situation without “good guy/bad guy” drama. This more accurate perspective is a choice you can make.
Whenever you experience intimidation, run through the following three truths:
You can only be in one of two places in any moment. You are either in fear and worried about getting love and validation, or you are in trust about your value and able to give love and validation to others.
When I say to focus on love, I am not talking about being a doormat and giving this person whatever they want. You can handle yourself with strength and confidence and show them you value them as a human being at the same time. Choose to focus on making them feel validated instead of worrying about your value. This is a (love-based) giving energy instead of a fearful one.
Make the decision to set aside your fears and focus on caring about this person who intimidates you. Focus on edifying them: Ask questions and listen to them and let them feel God’s love for them through you.
It will change the experience.
You can do this.
“A man who is intimate with God is not intimidated by man.” -Leonard Ravenhill
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.