I know what if feels to walk around life feeling the weight of other people's opinions on your shoulders. I know that discomfort you feel in your belly when walking up to a boss, a client or a loved one, to face the fact that they will maybe not like what they see.
And that's why today, I'm bringing the best of news to you. Whatever those people think, is none of your business. It's not your responsibility to control, but more than that, you can't do it. You just don't have the power to do it.
Should you care?
And see, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, ''so, should I not care? How can I not care? What they think matters''. And this is what I have to tell you. Whether you care or not, is not the root of the problem. The fact that you care, is a consequence of thinking that you can change it, and that it's your responsibility to change it. The idea that you have to do everything in your power to make sure that they think nice things about you, is what makes you use up all your mental energy in thinking what you can do to change it. To make it better.
But my love, it's not up to you. That's their choice to make. And the view of other people on you, is something that you will never have control on. Even when you think that you know exactly what someone else thinks about you, you truly don't. You perceive something which is maybe not too far from reality. But you have no control over all the experiences and beliefs that make other people perceive the world, and perceive you, in the way they do.
Stay strong in your values
The best that you can do, is to stay strong in your values and in what you believe in. And I know that sometimes this is hard, because you feel that bringing up your true self, exactly they way it is, will create friction in the environment that you're in. But does hiding who you are, in the hopes of being liked and approved by someone who's mind you can't control, any easier? How has that worked out for you? I bet it's not easy at all.
The worst thing we do to ourselves
Seeing yourself through the eyes of people that don't see the best in you, is one of the most painful things there is. We fall into the illusion that we are what they see in us. And if they judge us or reject us, we believe that we are no more than imperfect beings, that are lacking way too much to even classify as descent people.
We fall into the illusion that we are unworthy of anything good. We're unworthy of love, of respect, of joy, of laughter, of enjoyment, of fulfilment. We can only see what we lack, based on our recent rejection. And we truly believe that such lack, is everything that we are. For a moment, we forget everything else that we are. For a moment, everything that we have achieved, all that we have grown, everyone that we have helped, all of our good intentions, disappear. And this moment can last 1 minute, as it can last years. Sometimes, this moment lasts a lifetime.
It's not true
But I'll say this again: it's an illusion. It's not true. You're not what specific people perceive you as. You're not who your boss thinks you are, and you're also not what your family thinks you are. Everyone around you sees you in a different way. They see different sides of you. They see different colours of you. They either fall in love with different layers of you, or walk away because they see nothing meaningful in you. And the point, remains the same: You're none of that.
So who am I?
So you may be wondering. Then what the heck am I? How can I define who I am? And I'm here to tell you, that this question, is what makes this life so magical. Because every day, every minute, every second, you can be whatever you choose to be.
There's people that truly see the best in us. They see our potential, our light, our enthusiasm, our willingness to try, to grow, to succeed. But the best part, is that they believe in us more than we believe in ourselves. And then there's those people that don't see any of that. Those people that never seem to be satisfied with any of the things that we do. Those people that make us feel like we were mad to think that our ideas could make a difference.
Try this with me
Now let me ask you to take 1 minute to do a mental exercise with me in this moment.
Picture what your life would feel like, everyday, if you saw yourself through the eyes of people that see nothing but lack in you? How do you feel? How do you perform? How do you feel in the morning? It feels heavy, doesn't it?
Now, picture what your life would feel like, if you saw yourself through the eyes of people that see nothing but beauty and greatness in you. How do you feel? How do you perform? How do you feel in the morning? Don't you feel motivated to try? to test? to explore?
What truly matters
The truth is, that everyday, we get to choose how we see ourselves, despite of how others see us. And more important than that, this perception that we have of ourselves, lives within ourselves each and everyday. We wake up with it, we work with it, we eat with it, we shower with it, and we go to bed with it. It's alive and bombarding thoughts through our body, every minute of every day of our lives.
So what matters most? What other people think of you, or what you think of yourself?
And then, what can you control? What other people think of you, or what you think of yourself?
Isn't it beautiful that what matters the most, is the same thing that you can control? Doesn't that mean that what other people think of you is none of your business?
You're allowed to care
You're allowed to care about the people around you. You're allowed to try to make them happy. You're allowed to find a healthy balance between what you think of yourself and what you think they think of you. Don't feel bad because you care. You're human and you're empathetic. That's a quality that you have, it's not a fault of yours.
But please remember. What other people think of you, is not your problem to solve. That's what they think. It's their right to choose what they believe. And whether their beliefs make them feel bitter or not, that's their choice. It's their responsibility. You have no control over it. So take that heavy bag of opinions off your shoulder, and hand it over. You're carrying things that don't belong to you. And you don't have to do that. You're allowed to release.