Monday, 15 March 2021

Lesson 4 - So What?

Most of us fall into one of three categories.  They are : those who worry about what other people think of them, those who don't care what other people think of them and those who pretend not to care about what others think of them. The chances are good that you who are now reading this, fall into the first category as most people care what other people think of them.  In fact, most of us do so for most of our lives.  Even children from as young as two years old start to be sensitive to what other people think of them.

So our role models for today's lesson will be babies under two years old.  These little creatures are still exempt from these worries.  They take life as it is presented to them.  They do not care to express their happiness or their dissatisfaction. They enjoy all the wonders and joys the world has to offer.  A face covered with ice-cream is of no importance to them.  It only mattered that it was nice and that they had fun while eating it. They could not care less about what they are wearing or where they are living.  They respond to all of life with unblemished hearts.

However, the older children get, the more they become aware of how the world responds to them, and the more they care about firstly, their parents and their families opinion, and later also about what the world think of them.  It gets imprinted on our minds from a very young age.  We become conditioned, and we start to link our own self-esteem to the approval of others. In itself there is nothing wrong about being aware of other people's opinions or what the norms are that society expects us to live by.  However, when we get consumed by the opinions of others and we start to sacrifice our own needs and happiness because we are afraid we might be ridiculed or rejected, then we have a real problem at hand.

Steve Jobs said: "Don't let the noise of other people's opinions drown your inner voice." So, how do we stop caring about what other people think of us?

Firstly, accept the fact that whatever they think about you comes from their own frame of reference.  It has nothing to do with you. Their opinions have been formed by their own likes and dislikes, expectations and judgements.  In a room full of people there will always be those who like you, those who dislike you and those who are totally indifferent, and the only thing they have in common is that it has nothing to do with who you are.  Accept the fact that you will never be able to please everybody.

Secondly, take a look at your own thoughts.  How important do you think you are in the life of the person whose thoughts you are worried about.  Are you the center of their lives?  Does their world revolve around you and what you are doing, wearing or saying?  Chances are that you are not as important to them as you imagine you are.  Chances are very good that they are so occupied with what is happening in their own lives that they spare you nothing but a momentary thought. So why worry what others are thinking about you if you are not high on their list of thought subjects?

The next point is very important.  Remember that your business is your business.  It has nothing to do with anybody else.  This life is yours to life however you choose to do.  They have no right to judge you or to demand that you do things their way.  So whatever their opinion, it is theirs to keep and it has nothing to do with you.  Just live your life as you choose.  Wear what you want, go where you want and do as you see fit according to your moral compass, circumstances and abilities.  You do not have to give an explanation to anybody nor defend your choices to anybody.  How you live your life is nobody's business.  Never make any choice with the purpose of pleasing anybody else.  You have this one life, make it the best one you can for yourself.

Next, become your own greatest fan.  Learn to love yourself, embrace yourself for the unique person you are.  Celebrate the things which make you YOU!  Focus on the things which make you happy and your own goals. Follow your heart.  Be true to who you are, and make the choices which are best for yourself and those who really matter in your life.

Surround yourself with people who are on your team.  They are the ones who really have your best interests at heart.  They are the only ones who matter.  They will support you and your dreams.  You can count on their advice and guidance, but they will never judge you.  They will allow you to make your own choices and still love you no matter what.  Treasure them, because they are few and far between.

As many people as there are, so many opinions are out there.  You will always find more people ready to criticize or judge you than there will be people who cheer you on.  People will always have their two cents worth to say, or they will gossip about you behind your back.  So what?  Let them, feel sorry for them that they have so little of interest happening in their own lives that they have to resort to making you so important in theirs.  So what?  Live you life, dance, sing, paint in bold strokes, eat ice-cream with your whole face, walk barefoot and dream your dreams.  Those who love you will not mind, and those who mind never did matter!


No comments:

Post a Comment