I read a quote recently by philosopher Vernon Howard, who stated “A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” That’s it! Need we say more? You must ask yourself why it matters. We don’t mean to press the insensitive button, but many of us care too much what people think.
Realistically speaking, the majority of us were raised to believe that feeling important and accepted is a nice experience, therefore we learned to do and say things to make others like us. To stand apart from the crowd was risky and to be singled out from the crowd because you were different is cruel, so we learned to care too much what people think of us!
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” ~Oscar Wilde
We all want to feel important and so we crave the positive attention of others, this is one of our basic needs. Therefore, we are paralyzed in our profession, and personal development to the pressure to please family, friends, colleagues, society, and social communities. Not everyone can run down the street naked or rock the most outrageous #OOTD but a bit of freedom to do as you like is beyond refreshing and also healthy to your mind, body and soul. This doesn’t mean that you should start to treat people badly, step on them or use them in any way, but simply to make a conscious decision to not put so much care into what others may or may not think of you.
1 You cannot control what people think of you as everyone has their own judgments and opinions.
2 Most people don’t care about what you do as much as we think. Therefore, your fear of disapproval from them is an illusion.
3 It’s your party and you should do what you want to. Trust in your own instinct and believe in your own judgement.
4 You don’t need anyone’s approval; as long as it is legal and ethical, go for it.
5 Find your authentic voice – it may take time, but this is the voice that knows you and is unafraid to just be and do you.
So who are you? Are you the person you want to be or the one that others said you should be? Who do you enjoy spending the most time with? How do you spend your leisure time and what do you enjoy about it or do you? What does your authentic voice say about your job or relationships? Do you pretend to care about things you don’t just to have an opinion? How do you dress on the weekends or when you feel your split personality shining through?
Personally, I spent many years in this spectrum as a girl from a traditional southern home and community, most of my 20’s were spent doing what I thought was acceptable and part of the status quo. I never really questioned it, although I knew the real me was in hiding, until life took a turn and I was left trying to “find myself” at 31. Nevertheless, as a believer that all things happen for a reason, I wouldn’t trade anything for the life lessons I received. But today, I try not to let others dictate my actions, successes, and life experiences and I stopped worrying what people thought of me…I simply do what makes sense and live for me!