Worried about what other people think of you?
Well, here’s the first thing to keep in mind: opinions from other people are more a reflection of themselves than of you... But if that’s not enough to get you to stop paying attention to them, then keep reading.
Here’s a little known reality: there is only one opinion about you that holds any significance and any weight. Yours. Your opinion of yourself is the only opinion about you that matters. Criticism from other people only hurts us when we decide to believe it, thus adopt it as our own opinion and say it to ourselves. No one really has the ability to reject you, except you… But be careful, this doesn’t mean you’re safe yet. Your own judgement and rejection can hurt more than anything else in the world. Self-hatred, self-loathing, self-criticism – these are the most damaging arrows you can ever be hit with. In fact, leaders in mental health have stated that harsh, hurtful, critical words we say to our self on a daily basis is one of the single biggest causes of depression.
So the power lies with you, not anyone else, but you. You yourself have the power to either break yourself, or choose to make yourself great. It’s all down to the words you use. You see, self-praise is one the fastest and most effective ways to build your self-esteem. How does it work? Surprisingly, your mind doesn’t question the words you say to yourself, but it so often questions praise from others, because, they must have an agenda, right? But praise from yourself? ‘Well,’ -your mind thinks -‘that must be… true… because what possible reason would I have for lying to myself?’
What’s more, every thought you think literally creates a physical and chemical reaction in your body – thoughts have tangible power. Let's take a brief look at some science. A thought is a form of energy, and quantum physics has revealed to us that everything is energy (as opposed to the old-style Newtonian physics which treats everything as purely physical matter). You are energy, I am energy, everything in the universe is energy. So if a thought is made of the same stuff as you and me, then of course thoughts have the ability to create real, physical, quantifiable effects on us.
Moreover, we are energetically connected to everything and everything is connected to us. Science has even shown that thoughts and feelings influence physical matter. For example, one brilliant set of experiments by Glen Rein, Ph.D. showed, with statistically significant results, that people holding an intention (thinking a thought) whilst purposefully feeling positive emotions actually changed the conformation (shape) of DNA! So we are connected to everything, and we are also constantly emitting our unique energy signature (pattern) which carries information to everything. Taken together, you can understand how the energy that is our thoughts and feelings do in truth affect our world –affect our reality. So our thoughts and emotions really are extraordinarily important. The concept of thinking empowering thoughts, giving self-praise and feeling good about yourself isn’t just a “nice idea”, it’s a hugely powerful one with significant effects.
And the best part is, once you’ve gotten used to praising yourself and building yourself up, you’ll begin to realise and truly accept that you are, in truth, perfectly enough - good enough, smart enough...everything enough. Not perfect, but perfectly enough. And I’d like to add that that’s not up for debate – there is no human on Earth that is not enough; no human that is not worthy of self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, and self-love. That is a permanent truth. Guilt and self-hatred do not right wrongs, cannot change the past, and certainly won’t do your present or future any good -nor that of those around you. You see, we're not defined by our job, our finances, our achievements, our body, or our age. We are all human, and as a human we're all, at the very core, enough.
Once you’ve come to that realisation and you learn to accept yourself unconditionally, this brings the added benefit of becoming quite bulletproof to criticisms. When you know that you’re good enough exactly as you are, then the opinions of others can’t touch you, and that’s a great thing. How much happier would you be if you knew you were already good enough just as you are? What would you be doing if you weren't worried about what others thought?
On the flip side, if the only opinion of yourself that matters is your own, it follows that your opinion of others is not of high importance. The only opinion of someone else that matters is their own. So in light of this, I encourage you to let your opinions of others dissolve; because they’re simply unnecessary. The best way to be with someone is to be in the present, allowing them to be who they are in that moment, being open to them without pre-made judgements or opinions. I guarantee you’ll have a different experience with people if you stop thinking about their past and focus on their present.
In summary, the opinion of you that most effects your life is your own, so choose a good one –it affects you in ways you can’t even imagine. If you can hold your space as a positive, compassionate one, your reality will reflect that positivity and compassion back into your life. When your opinion of yourself is a good one, when you know you're enough exactly as you are no matter what you do, nothing anyone else says has power over you anymore -you've taken that power back. When you decide to make your thoughts great, your life becomes amazing. And be compassionate to others as well as yourself… after all, we’re all connected!
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