Here’s a moment of truth: You’re meeting a new group of people. You do the usual drill, going through introductions. Most of the time, we give a quick summary of our LinkedIn profile – our roles, the companies where we worked, maybe sneaking in something about where we went to school.

As we go around the circle, it’s so easy to have this question start to play in the back of our minds: “What am I achieving? How does it measure up with these people?“ The question belies a deep belief that says, “I am my resume.”

Constantly asking “What am I achieving?” will lead us to a dead end if we let our lives be shaped by it. We think we’re sharing our background. Really, we’re trying to prove to others and ourselves that we matter. We don’t just want to fit in. We want to impress others. To dazzle them.

I’ve seen leaders who are destroying themselves by trying to be impressive. They drive themselves to the edge of exhaustion and beyond. They get tense and cranky. They’re never satisfied, much less at peace. And they make everyone around them nuts as they grind away at proving they’re the best.

Deep down, their drive covers up a deep insecurity. That’s because there’s almost no way to win this game. There’s always someone who is more impressive, more accomplished, with a better pedigree.

If you believe you are your resume, your work won’t be a joy. It will be a burden.

We need you engaged, safe and sane in a crazy world. You aren’t your resume. Turn toward making a contribution to all around you. We’re counting on it.

Be bright