Intimidation can occur from comparing ourselves to someone we admire. And contrary to the more apparent meaning, "intimidation" doesn't always translate to a fear for personal safety. Instead, intimidation could happen because someone possesses characteristics that you wish to embody as well. There's a positive spin to feeling intimidation. Insecurities can act as a doorway: pinpointing a set of attributes in others you wish to possess yourself. A roadmap, if you will, and roadmaps are helpful.
Almost Everyone is Intimidated by Someone
It's a practical realization to be in the presence of someone "pretty great" and begin to question what the heck you're doing with your life. For illustration, take any 12 step program (AA, Codependents Anon, etc.)— realization often is the first step to bettering yourself. So if you feel intimidated, an ah-ha moment could be right around the corner. Push past the insecurities yiy
But also recognize, no one's life is perfect; there also isn't a deadline to get life "right." Don't let feelings of inadequacy become an excuse to play it safe.
Wanting the best for yourself is normal. Not many want to spend their lives in survival mode, made bitter by others' success. It's exhausting. So, embracing the presence of an intimidating person doesn't mean welcoming feelings of envy and resentment. Use your uneasiness as a cue to do some introspection work; turn envy into learning and resentment into excitement.
Ask yourself: "what could I learn from this person that incites feelings of resentment or intimidation?"
Allowing Intimidation to Become a Personal Growth Hack
To practice the concept, keep track of your opinions and thoughts while around an intimidating person (someone worthy of your admiration.) Then, ask yourself: "do I find myself comparing certain areas of my life to theirs?" For example, do they own property or pay their bills on time? Then you look at your actions. Consider if you've ever turned off autopay for a bill because you don't know if you'd have enough money to buy groceries. Instead of directing your frustration with YOUR finances at their success, it's maybe time to take ownership.
Besides, if you're making these sorts of comparisons, it means you have a desire for more financial freedom in life than you currently have.
Let us candidly say that we all need a harsh spotlight now and then to see how negative patterns are holding us back from our desired selves. That's why it's a good thing to hang out with people you admire, even if they intimidate you. These sort of people can serve as examples; illuminating pathways to success.
Most transformations require an uncomfortable adjustment period. The faster we tolerate the uncomfortable, the sooner we can stop internalizing its stressors. For instance, maybe you've always wanted to be that person who says what they want the first time. But, on the other hand, you're afraid to speak your mind or be seen as "too much or too vociferous," so you make yourself small.
The first thing you need to realize is how people view you, for the most part, is out of your control. Whether quiet or loud, everyone will form an opinion of you, some will like you, and some won't. It's uncomfortable, but you can't internalize others' opinions of you. If you know someone who always speaks their mind, spend time with them, observe them. What can you learn from them?
You May Become Intimidating
When you decide to stop holding back opinions or objections, you might find people's opinions do change. For example, assertive women are commonly seen as aggressive, but even that's not personal; it's démodé gender ideas. Keep doing you.
At the center of it is this, if people think you're too much, it may be because they see themselves and then you and don't like the comparison. How is that your problem? Exactly, say it with me; it's not.
It's not my problem if people don't like me; it's my problem if I don't like me.
Make that Person Who Intimidates You a Role Model and Mentor
Picking out a mentor from a list of intimidating people may seem like a doozy, but here's a tip to narrow it down, find some who shares a similar life outlook and values as you. Wanting to change isn't going to erase lived experiences. Our pasts craft our values, so it's unlikely we're going to wake up one day and find someone whose values are a stark contrast from ours, and we're able to efficiently emulate them.
Maybe it's an unpopular opinion: parts of you can evolve, but they're not getting replaced. You can't start from scratch. Lived experiences (good or bad) change you, and you build off of them. So when you pick someone to mentor you or be a role model, they need to have similar ground ideas. (Meaning you both share more than a few viewpoints.)
Finally, Turn the Word "Intimidation" to "Admire."
While pivoting your view from "this person's intimidating, to this person would be a good role model," it's vital you have practical expectations for what you hope to learn from them.
If you want to ask someone you admire to mentor you, first know the "ask." What do you want *specifically* from them? Once you know your ask, schedule a time to speak to them.
During the initial meeting, you should clearly describe the sort of guidance you're seeking. (Are you hoping they'll acquaint you with their style of problem-solving? In what ways?)
Next, discuss the structure (How often will you meet?), and set "outside of meeting" communication boundaries to honor their time. Finally, make sure the time spent together is relevant and valuable for both of you.