50 RULES OF LIFE
Rule 13: You are not that important. But you are valuable.
Think about a single cell of the human body. We have approximately 1.6 trillion skin cells of which we shed a million every day. Each skin cell is not that important in itself. But each skin cell contributes to the whole—your body. Therefore, each skin cell is valuable.
When we focus too much on our importance, but not enough on our value, problems are often created. Such problems include social anxiety, the stress of over-responsibility, worry, and conflict with others. The difference between importance and value is focus. When we are concerned about others' focus on us, we create a false sense of importance.
Some people are stressed by the demands they perceive from others. For instance, for those with social anxiety, believing they are the focus of others' attention creates anxiety because they believe attention leads to criticism. However, recognizing they are not that important helps to provide perspective. Other people are not paying as much attention to them as they fear. And even if they are paying attention, it is usually just a momentary interest. If it is more, it may not be negative, but often is neutral or could be positive. Understanding this helps people with social anxiety reduce their anxiety.
Other people are stressed because they take on too much responsibility. Often believing that a task will only get done properly if they do it, they find it difficult to delegate and rely on others. Although, they may not always view themselves as “important,” others may perceive them as overbearing or arrogant. For this person, it may be necessary to recognize that part of their value can be helping others to take responsibility as well and be valued as contributors.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe they are important and “should” be the center of attention. These individuals believe somehow they are better than others and expect recognition and/or devotion from others. For them, understanding that no one is more important than anyone else reduces conflict and resentment.
Each person is valuable. Each person contributes to the overall functioning of the society. However, no one person is that important.
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