29 May Who Cares What They Say!
‘Rob, you are a bit of an idiot!’, said the random comment on a video I recorded and placed somewhere on the internet.
That’s when it hit me. That’s exactly when I clearly understood the difference between caring about what other people think about me and what I think about me. I have always urged my clients to be the authors of their own identities and let their opinions be the only one that matters. Many people fear not being liked and judgement such as this can take the wind out of people’s sails for a day or two or even longer in some cases.
We get a sense of ourselves initially in the social hierarchy and as children, we can be very sensitive to criticism and unfortunately take on psychological wounds when judgements come about from our peers.
Some of us are more resilient than others and will come back sooner and overcome that adversity but some of us take these attacks worse and the pain can be intense and can leave some withdrawing altogether out of fear of attacks.
Some young people will choose to be very selective with the people they hang out with our of fear that they will be mocked and attacked and this pattern can create a sense of deep loneliness.
These early wound creations can be damaging depending on the meaning we attach to the story we have told ourselves and some people’s meaning creation centres are very elaborate at attaching really despairing meanings which can cast doubt on all aspects of life and in some cases people can end up so desperate that they commit suicide.
How does one become less fearful of what way others judge us or how to care less about what other people think about us?
The biggest key here is about what we are thinking about ourselves. The reason that comments from others can hurt us is that we have not achieved certainty for ourselves or done enough work within ourselves to be the primary narrator of what can legitimately be considered as true or real for us.
In other words, if someone calls us a name and it hurts us, it means that we might have a blind spot where we might have a lack of awareness about our own character that we are not in control of the narrative about ourselves. When such a comment is made, we are not sure enough within ourselves or confident enough about ourselves to be able to dismiss it.
I have found that when people take a step back from such an incident where a judgement or a comment has caused triggering of some internal emotion, usually what emerges is the fact that they have noticed that they are not where they want to be in a specific area of life and have a sensitivity to comments from others about it and its usually because they have not put enough effort into achieving that thing.
Are you getting deeper in your self-knowledge, challenging your comfort zones and engaging in growth? Are you tapped into other people’s worlds, which many people do to avoid their own? Or maybe you are heavily involved in a digital world online where you spend a lot of your energy.
Whichever the case might be, if any of these things is the case for you and you have been ignoring what matters most to you, the issue of external judgements and what others think about us comes to the surface. Others’ opinions of you have more power because the ground you stand upon is already shaky.
It is our responsibility to make the ground we stand upon as firm as it can be. We do this by knowing ourselves, our values, what is important to us and what we are willing to stand for and pursue in our lives.
When a strangers perception supersedes our own opinion of ourselves and we make it matter more than our own, that is a clear sign of a lack of self-knowledge. Why would anyone who knows themselves deeply, feeling assured of who they are in the world allow anyone else to write the reality of who they are?
The reality is that they don’t. When we are living in congruence with our values and our purpose, it doesn’t matter if outsiders disapprove because that validation is internally derived. If the activities that you are pursuing in life are being done to gain the validation of people outside of yourself and not really getting you excited internally, that strategy will likely burn itself out quickly and prove unsustainable.
The only person you should be living for is you! Your values and hierarchies of what is important can only be known through your self-exploration. Successful people master this self-exploration and get very clear on what they want to achieve and tend to pursue the things they get motivated by. In doing that, they’re rarely ever interested in those outside their circle of interest and the thought that people are saying things which can be perceived as negative judgments just don’t matter to them.
Lean into your own definition and let people be free to think what they want about you!
Because really, who cares what they say!
I have created a remedy for this problem in the form of a Free 5 Day Challenge to help you catapult your journey towards mapping a better vision for what mastery in your life might look like and I encourage you to check it out and start changing your story today.