How to Get Rave Reviews without Narcissism

Many consider The Great Gatsby the great American novel because it effectively casts a myopic eye on a psychological self-consciousness and narcissism that still plagues our culture.

A story of material wealth eventually buckling under the weight of emotional assumption, Jay Gatsby pushes his image to grandiose proportions in an effort to gain the simple reassurances only love can realize. The orchestration Gatsby undertakes to win such attention is alarming – and familiar…

Everyone knows a Gatsby

“Great Gatsbys” exist everywhere: Ardently associating with something popular or someone successful, these “old sports” appear larger-than-life as they weave their accomplishments into conversations or design encounters to secure some form of endorsement – because they need endorsing.

Gatsby’s are not alone in their need to stand out

In today’s world, “extra-ordinary” is commonly sanctioned: Athletes use anything to surpass performance limits: Magazines airbrush images to perfection: Scripted reality rules television…

It is easy to understand why many of us stumble down the troubling path of proving our worth in order to feel worthy: Attempting to be great, as if who we are is not enough by default – unlit candles that must glow with firecracker intensity or risk being deemed substandard.

Are you a Gatsby?

Take a moment to assess your level of self-consciousness:

  1. In social situations, what is more concerning: How you’re coming across or whether you’re having a good time?
  2. Do you think by losing 10 pounds or making six-figures you’ll be better accepted by others?
  3. Do you put on a public face only to go home to peer naked and trembling into your private reflection?

Remember: Jay Gatsby died unfulfilled and looking into the distance

This month, lets set down our self-judgments and happily face what’s in front of us with gusto and genuineness.

Maybe it’s time we stopped our posturing and proving and, instead, wrapped our arms around the experience of being where we’re at and who we are…

…Now that’s a novel idea.