How do you see yourself?

In today’s hyper-connected world, it becomes so easy to get swept away in the opinions of others. Who likes who, who wronged who, who is doing what and so on are all regular topics in our daily interactions. Caring about what others think of you is an arrow to the knee of your happiness.

Most people tend to judge a persons character within seconds of meeting them. We all generalise, form assumptions, create an opinion of people and most often these are inaccurate. Even though we get a sense of the lightening-quick opinion form, nobody knows you like you do. You know your own strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, where you are currently at this moment and why you are in your current state. And hence concerning yourself with other’s incorrect opinion of you is pointless.

Have you ever known someone who is really an amazing person, talented, beautiful, intelligent, but they don’t see it?  No matter what you tell them, they don’t believe it about themselves so they go about their life believing they are not those things while everyone around them is baffled by the obvious.   How you see yourself is more important than how others see you and it will determine your outcomes long before you even get to them.

The real problem with caring what others think of you comes when you are more concerned with their reactions than your own self-assessment; or even worse, you don’t know what you think because you are so eager to please others. In any given situation, it’s important for you to know your own mind. If you don’t, then it’s important to begin spending some time reflecting on your experiences, thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs.

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

Another important aspect which we tend to do is start negative self-talk based on others’ reactions and opinions. Think back, how many times just today have you criticized, judged, scolded, mocked, or been unkind to yourself? Now think about the impact this has on your mood, self-esteem, curiosity, and willingness to take risks, be bold, be brave? And it doesn’t end there. The danger is not just that we start to believe this dialogue, it’s also that since most of the time we don’t even realize we are having it, we are even more susceptible to its power and fallacies.

Loving or hating the life you are living is solely all in your repeated self-talk.

Edward Mbiaka

One way which helped me improve my self-talk is to think of having the same dialogue with your close friend. Can you imagine telling them what you say to yourself? And now think of their reaction and the powerfully negative effect you could have on them. Now realize that this is you speaking to yourself. In this case, you may very well be your own worst enemy.

The ultimate truth is that is absolutely okay – even beneficial – to be aware of and care about others’ reactions to you …so long as you don’t lose sight of yourself. But if you think you do place too much value trying to please others, then it’s time to turn the focus on strengthening your sense of self.

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