Raise your hand if you ever, even just a little, worry about other people's opinions of you?
Do you ever wonder how you were perceived by a stranger or colleague? Or did my clothes send the wrong signal? Or did my speech come across wrong? Or did my personal opinion clash with those around me? Or is someone badmouthing me to someone else? Is that person judging me or my partner's behavior? Seriously think about it, do you worry about people’s opinion of you?
Oh wait, is that all of you?
Yep. Yeah it is.
And you know why? Because we have been conditioned from a young age to find part of our self worth in other people’s opinions of us. We look to magazines, social media, our parents, our friends, our partners, our colleagues- everyone filters into who and what we should be. We are never 100% sure of exactly who we are without someone chiming in.
Now think about that on a deeper level. Did your parents ask you to get good grades to justify your worth? Or did you ever alter things about yourself to be accepted by friends in grade school? There are so many historical reasons that play into why we hold others’ opinions to such high regard. It is ingrained in our brains.
And when people are saying good things about you- dang it feeds good!! How nice is it to be told that you look good, or your haircut is nice or you did great in that meeting or you interviewed well or your food tastes amazing? It makes us swell with joy. Gracias people for that encouragement.
But on the reverse side, when we hear words that speak to the critic inside of us- woah! No thank you. Especially if it comes from people whose opinions we value- it hurts. Like a dagger through the heart, it burns.
And isn’t it always easier to believe the bad before the good?
But here is the thing. Read these words and believe them: no one determines your worth, except you. No one.
Sounds super simple, right? It’s not.
You have the choice of who or what or what opinions you give power to. If you want to give power to other people’s opinions- do you! But it will never serve you.
Today I urge you to find your worth inside of you. Introspectively evaluate your shared words, how you treat people, how you treat yourself, how you make people feel after you walk away, how you’re serving the world. Let your inner and honest judge be the determination of your worth.
And if you’re not happy with that self evaluation, find the power to change it. But do not allow others to be the voice inside of you. You cannot control other people's opinions of you (and you will be judged constantly) but you can deny those trivial perspectives access.
It is not easy. But it is doable. It takes practice. To silence the opinions of others and focus purely on what you know to be true requires perseverance and truly honoring the goodness inside of you. But it will pay off in the long run. Start today. Silence the outside world. Find your true self worth. Do you.