For sometime now, many years actually, I’ve been pretty open to the Lord teaching me new things. I invite Him regularly to "show me myself and Himself" so I can become more like Him and less like me. Years ago now, I learned my top emotional need is for approval, affirmation, or words of encouragement. I have always known I enjoy being the center of attention, don’t mind speaking in public, prefer leading to following, etc. I’ve never put together what I’m going to share with you next, what I saw for the first time yesterday morning. If the need for approval, affirmation is one of my top ones that category also includes being accepted, respected and feeling like a valued part of a team or group. The opposite of all the above mentioned would be disapproval or a milder version blending in as a faceless entity in a group. Some harsher opposites would be rejection, criticism, or being devalued or undervalued. If any of the latter feelings creep into a person like me who value greatly the prior there are two options. One is a faith option and the second is motivated by fear. I’ve learned and taught in other settings when motivated by fear we guarantee the feared result will be the outcome. So here is the lesson I learned this week, unfortunately, after the fact! So, I’m in a training with a group of peers and really people higher up the food chain for our company and another. I’ve read widely over the years on leadership, leadership development and I’ve got very strong feelings about more effective ways of selling because in my own head I think I’m very aware of emotional intelligence and what people like and don’t like. So in this open forum session where input is invited, I’ve got PLENTY. As I offer my "insightful comments" on a very regular basis in the training, I sense the trainer is getting a little frustrated with me but in my mind my stock is rising. I’m thinking other’s are thinking "this guy is pretty sharp where has he gotten all this information/wisdom." I stayed pretty energized and engaged for two solid days of training and I honestly left thinking, "I wonder why the other people don’t seem overly passionate about what they are doing." "Why wasn’t there more engagement in the seminar." "Maybe I’m just one of the sharper people in the room." "Maybe because of all my studies, I KNOW MORE and have more to add." When I had the "KNOW MORE," thought that is where the light bulb began to flicker on. "I wonder if I came across as a know-it-all rather than a genius to the others." So, I did an internet search on "know-it-alls" and pardon the expression, holy crap, there I was!!!! The articles went on to say how this behavior is caused by one who isn’t sure of their standing or desires a better standing in a group and attempts to gain it for themselves through becoming the expert! So, when I’m motivated by fear, I’m fearing others won’t ever get to know all I know, where I’ve been what I’ve accomplished. Therefore, I will never have the chance to become the respected and valued member of the team. But my fear based behavior guarantees that undesired outcome will be true. Others may say, "he seems to know alot but he is a pain in the ass!" Trainers will say, "I hope that know-it-all guy isn’t in this class!" So, the remedy is this. Keep learning, keep enjoying engagement with what I do, but, surrender all the concern about what others think about me, or what others know about me to the Lord. Practice silence or at the minimum restraint. Let faith motivate my behavior. Let my character and work ethic and the way I treat others be what endears me to the team, rather than self-promotion or an attempt at self-advancement. Rest in who God made me to be and the gifts He has given me and use them to the best of my ability and trust Him to bring the affirmation and approval and acceptance and respect in His time and His ways. Tough lesson but I’m glad I got a look at it and could see what was really going on! My apologies to all the people who have endured this behavior in various settings!!