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We hear so much about how important passion is to be successful today. Follow your dreams, live your passion, do what matters. Just look at any social media platform today and you’ll be swamped with quotes and info-graphics about the importance of demonstrating and living your passion. All good stuff but what about when being passionate is interpreted as you being, tense, anxious, overly driven and volatile by those who are important to your business success.

Let’s explore for a moment from your own perspective about being passionate, about doing the right thing and getting things done. You’re driven, have a strong desire to do a really great job, provide an excellent experience such as fantastic customer service. There are never enough hours in the day to get it right and often it’s easier to do it yourself than spend time explaining something, only to then have to correct the work – does that sound familiar?

It can be very draining having to do it all yourself, feeling like you’re “boiling the ocean” but that’s who you are. There’s something driving you and to even reinforce the approach you’ve been recognised and rewarded for the results you’ve achieved, doing things that others can’t. All great intentions but a high personal toll at times.

Now let’s have a look at how that may seem from the perspective of others. Everyone loves your drive, high energy and “get it done” attitude. Often, you’re the go to person, to get the tough stuff done but…………………………at what cost?

There are days when you’re tough to work with; high expectations, standards that mere mortals can almost reach, the need to keep pushing all the time, little allowance to learn, grow or make mistakes and then there’s the times when you can’t keep it in any more and you snap and tell us what you really think and it’s never good.

Let’s face it, you get stuff done but you can leave a trail of damage behind you and at times you’re just too high maintenance.

Wow, how did we get from passionate and driven to hard to manage and high maintenance? Here’s some clues to see if you fall into the high-risk category in the eyes of others. 

Do you feel?

  • Overwhelmed because you’re the only one who can do it right?
  • You are chasing your tail trying to do an above and beyond job for your customers?
  • Totally frustrated because those around you don’t get it and can’t seem to deliver on time or to your standards?
  • Anxious because you can’t make a mistake, you must get it right every time?
  • Worried that you never have enough time to slow down and take everyone with you?

If you said “yes” to three or more of the above statements then you are probably in danger of being viewed by others as; moody, temperamental and hard to please. The big message here is that others don’t understand the reason why you are doing what you’re doing. They can only assess what they think is going on and how it’s impacting them.

Here’s four tips on how to stay passionate and manage the perceptions of your passion

  1. Be realistic about your expectations of yourself and others
  2. Stop taking on too much and feeling like you must do it all yourself
  3. Create “space” to allow for mistakes and setbacks
  4. Slow down, explain, engage and take others with you

The reason behind your passion, drive and high standards are solely insights for you, the rest of us are trying to make sense of your outward behaviour and our perceptions may not always be favourable.

How do you manage your passion, so it doesn’t derail for your reputation?