Be yourself because no one else really cares that much
BY JAY HILL
Too often, we give too much credit to other people’s opinions.
As social animals, we humans have a natural tendency to give other people’s opinions far too much weight. We can become overly concerned by what others believe, think, or say about us and our life choices.
It’s so easy to forget that most people place themselves at the center of their mental universes and are much more likely to be paying attention to their own lives than whatever you are doing. This is a liberating thought because it frees us up from caring so much about what others think. We can start to put our focus back on living an authentic life that reflects our true self.
Once you truly appreciate the value of being yourself, you will find that life becomes much simpler and less stressful. You will no longer be trying to please everyone around you and burning up precious energy on those whose opinions really do not count for much anyway.
The power of being yourself
Those of us who relish being our true selves know the power of letting go and valuing who we really are. Everyone has their own set of unique gifts and talents to bring to the world, and to pretend to be something we are not is to deny our own status as a valuable, irreplaceable human being. When you compromise yourself in the name of pleasing other people, you are setting yourself up to fail. We can never fully know what other people want or expect from us, and even if we did, dedicating your life to meeting their expectations and avoiding their criticism is a recipe for exhaustion and depression. People can change and withdraw their affection or approval on a whim, so if you have built your self-esteem on the opinions of others, then you are in a precarious position.
Standing up for what you believe in and showing your true face to the world can also act as an inspiration to others. Too many people have been taught to devalue who they are, to take any and all criticism personally, and to feel extremely disturbed by any negative comments they receive. When you show through your behavior and attitude that self-love and self-acceptance is a viable alternative, this may encourage them to handle criticism differently. You can be a great inspiration to someone simply by being yourself and not caring what others think.
Even if you are met with criticism, you don’t have to care
When you truly let go of what other people think, an odd thing happens. Ironically, people are drawn towards those who are unafraid to be themselves, which means that when you stop caring about other people’s opinions, you may end up becoming more popular than ever before! At the same time, being yourself can also attract plenty of criticism.
The simplest and most effective way of dealing with criticism is recognize it as the opinion of one person, to remind yourself that you do not have to accept their views as fact, to shrug, move past it, and get on with your day. After all, other people are under no obligation to like or approve of you, just as you are under no obligation to take their comments on board.
The only person you have to worry about pleasing is yourself. Stay true to who you are, stand up for what you believe in, and in time even the most mean-spirited comments will lose their sting. Remember that there are few people more beautiful and content than those who feel free to be themselves.
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