What you create, the problems you solve, what you know, your rich experience, and your wins are very important to you. But these things only matter to others when you find ways to see inside the bubble that holds their identity and learn about who they are.
A tiny narcissist lives inside you. Me, too. When it’s tiny, it’s just enough to give your identity shape and create a permeable membrane with your identity on the inside and everything else on the outside. Thank Tiny for making the space that contains protects what makes you you. When Tiny grows, you’re in trouble (and it’s not so great for those around you).
Even when Tiny stays tiny, it can trick you into believing people care more about you than they actually do. Tiny can trick you into failing to connect what matters to you to what matters to other people. Tiny helps us care about the things that matter to us and who we are. Sometimes that inward focus gets in the way of connecting what matters to us to what matters to others. Keeping in mind ways nobody cares about you can help stop your little friend from being your little frenemy.
Nobody cares what you create.
People only care about how what you create gives them meaningful ways to feel, explore, act, or learn. What emotions might people feel when interacting with your creation? What might your creation enable someone to do or do better? What might someone learn because they used or interacted with your creation?
Nobody cares about the problems you solve.
People only care about how you solve their problems. How do your problems or challenges connect to what others face? How do you know? How are you letting people know you’re working on a shared problem? How are you inviting people to solve with you?
Nobody cares what you know.
People only care about the knowledge you share in stories that connect to what matters to them. How are you sharing what you know? How are you learning what people want and need to understand? How are you telling coherent stories? How are you making sure those stories reach the right people?
Nobody cares about your experience.
People only care about their journey and how yours might supply guidance and bridges over challenges. How are you translating your journey into lessons? How are you listening for challenges people face? How are you making the lessons in your journey part of conversations and what you create?
Nobody cares if you win.
People only care when your wins help them win. How are you connecting your goals to what other people are seeking to accomplish? How are you looking for shared outcomes? How are you making your progress visible? How are you making it easy for others to benefit?
Play with these questions. The questions will also help you get more of the outcomes that Tiny believes with all its heart that the world owes you for being the walking, talking center of the universe. Use the Ask Like a Designer Thinking Tool for this article to keep Tiny under control.
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