I have limited emotional energy reserves with a side of three children – I have to be super careful with my worries, fears, etc.
So, a few years ago I made some pretty massive changes to the way I think about the opinions of others. I’ll invite/encourage you to do the same. But a quick disclaimer:
These are simple steps, and I promise that they’ll make perfect sense to you, but they’re not easy. Turns out I had become a bit addicted to the things that kept me chained to my perception of how others thought about me. Little about what follows was a quick, easy, “change of mind” kind of thing.
Insecure About Something That Never Mattered
I’ve been worrying about this for a long time – millions of hours spent sweating over my mistakes and shortcomings – how others might be talking about me, or laughing.
My habit began in middle school. I was a “dork,” surrounded by other kids who loved to poke fun about the way I looked, or something stupid I did. I had no idea how to handle it, so I agreed with them, and accepted their labels.
Like so many in our culture, I entered adulthood believing that I was only good if others thought I was good. If someone hated me, or laughed at me, that meant I was bad, and it hurt. The opinions of other people began to matter way more than they should have.
Having lived like that for most of my life, I can now declare with the utmost confidence that the negative opinions of others don’t matter. Worrying about them doesn’t “work.” It doesn’t do anything but bad things. Read more