Next time you’re stressed out about how to make a favorable impression, heed the wisdom Chris Hadfield shared in his 2013 National Bestseller An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth:
"In any new situation, whether it involves an elevator or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways: As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems. Or a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn’t tip the balance one way or the other. Or you’ll be seen as a plus one: someone who actively adds value.
Everyone wants to be a plus one, of course. But proclaiming your plus-oneness at the outset almost guarantees you’ll be perceived as a minus one, regardless of the skills you bring to the table or how you actually perform."
This reminds me of something Melvin, a mentor who’s become a big brother to me, always says: “You have nothing to prove, just something to share.”
When you approach your work and life from that perspective, there’s less pressure to convince people of your plus-oneness. Instead, you can fix your focus on producing meaningful work that only plus ones can create.