Stop allowing the opinions of others to influence your self-worth and happiness.
It’s cliche advice, I know. But when you reflect on the last week of your life, can you honestly say you haven’t struggled in this pursuit? Human nature is conditioned to search for the approval of others. We look to those around us to inform right and wrong; to encourage or discourage specific actions.
The issue is further exacerbated when we surround ourselves with a tribe of people with which we positively identify. People we want to continue connecting with moving forward. No longer are we allowing any and all opinions to alter our state of being, now we are on a team, and the team must act in alignment with each other.
Pride then becomes more a matter of fitting in than standing out.
Personal values are disregarded in favor of approval from others. We undermine our individuality and struggle to understand why we’re never truly satisfied with the direction of our lives.
We are left waiting for the guidance of others, when we could be leading ourselves.
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” (Marcus Aurelius)
Today, I hope that you live with your values at the forefront. Consider these questions…
What do you care about?
Who do you care about?
How are you able to serve a greater purpose?
Your answers to these questions are what make you unique - individual and purposeful in a way that only you can understand.
No one else sees the world like you do. Others don’t understand your mission and vision, so why should they have the power to influence your thoughts, emotions, and actions? Feedback is everywhere. Opinions are in a sense, free, but when we consider the toll that they take on our mind and body, it seems they come at quite the cost.
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” (Charles Bukowski)
As with all things, you can only become calloused to the opinions of others by doing the reps. Practice mindfulness around feedback. Notice how you feel when you value the opinions of others more than that of yourself. Begin to focus more on who you are not your progress in becoming more like someone else.
Through trial-and-error we become conditioned to living the life that we’re meant to live. We don’t need to replicate what we see in others; we need to magnify what we see in ourselves.
“If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.” (Claude McKay)
Individuality is not a selfish pursuit. Caring less about the opinions of others is not egotistical or self-conceited. Quite the opposite. Service to others can only occur if you become attuned to your capacity to serve. Lowering the volume of opinions that surround you is the only way to focus on who you are and what you are here to do.
To do anything worth doing, you must understand what makes you, you.
Note to Self: You are the only one who can manifest your life’s purpose. Silence the noise and get to work.