Think about significance.
Your deepest needs and fears originate way down in your subconscious mind, in the primitive parts of your brain. They include the need to be significant - the need to be important, and the fear of not mattering.
EVERYONE needs to feel that they matter.
You (and everyone else) are not consciously aware that your need to matter is controlling your behavior. When you are defensive, you are not aware that’s why. When you are angry and needing to be right (feeling as if the other person doesn’t understand that you are right), you are not aware of your need to matter, to have the other person recognize you are right, to be important.
When you are craving praise, hating criticism, feeling very defensive, you are not consciously aware of your need to be important. Think about that. When you feel hurt, you are not consciously aware of your need to matter. Yet that’s what is driving the emotion and your reactions/behavior.
You can learn and become more aware.
You can look for your deep-seated need to matter when you feel hurt, defensive, wronged, not listened-to. You can be quiet and think about your deep primitive instincts. You can know that it is true for every one.
You can look for opportunities to love and help others. As you do, you will feel the love, the significance you crave. As you do, you’ll realize how much you matter.
Compliment that Walmart clerk on doing a great job! Sincerely thank the people who help you - at the office, at your home, out and about in your world.
Let the other driver into the traffic land when it is safe. Pick up an item that has fallen to the floor in Target and put it back on the shelf, as you are shopping.
And the easiest and most rewarding might be - to SMILE at every single person you encounter today! It gives them love.
Significance is achieved by leaving the world better than you found it. People who feel their lives really matter are the happiest people of all!
Dr Chris Baker
America's most-trusted teacher of orthodontic continuing education, Dr. Chris Baker has practiced and taught for more than 30 years, and is a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools. She is a pediatric dentist, author, blogger, dental practice consultant, and mentor. Dr. Chris is also Past President and Senior Instructor of the American Orthodontic Society. She is based in Texas, USA, but lectures around the world.
Text and images
© 2022 Dr Chris Baker