How do you manage to separate yourself from what others think? (or rather, what you imagine they think or will think?) I feel like I’m still just starting to get to know myself and I’m having a really hard time not giving too much importance to other people’s opinions. I’m super sensitive and always filled with doubt — one comment from someone about my work or me in general can ruin my whole day, and other people’s success, even when it’s well-deserved, always reminds me of what I lack or what I haven’t accomplished. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you so much, and I hope you have a wonderful year.
I know, I’m the same. But unlike you, I am no longer at the beginning of my journey, and I think I can help…
Knowing yourself takes a lifetime. I don’t mean that to discourage you, but just to tell you that life is like a giant beautiful messy experiment at trying to be yourself.
As far as loving yourself, it is an exercise. It’s not something that you attain, it is something you practice and cultivate. Love is a verb, remember?
So here are a few ideas for you.
– Anytime you feel even the slightest pang of suffering, whether it is feeling hurt by someone’s words, or feeling jealous; explore the pain. Write. Describe exactly how you feel and where you feel it. Don’t reject the feeling, don’t stuff it deep down. Make friends with it. It is telling you something. Emotions are often a great pointer towards what we want and who we are, if we make sure to examine them.
– Shift the way you think about people. Do you feel critical, sarcastic, unforgiving with others? Usually if you think about people that way it is because that is the way you think of yourself. Try to see the beauty in others, it will help you see the beauty in you.
– Remember that whatever people think about you is a projection of their fears, their dreams and their disappointments. Most of the time, you have nothing to do with any of this.
– Have integrity. Do you, all the time. Bag your dog’s poop even when no one is watching. Be chic with yourself. Make your rules and stick to them. That’s how you create a strong backbone. These rules might change over time, but if you live in a world of ever shifting rules, then you are the prey of everyone’s ideas, values and opinions.
– Create a safe space, and let it be completely independent from any other moving thing in your life (work, relationships, social media…). It can be a place where you sit and meditate. It can be reading a book, it can be seeing a therapist, it can be cooking. Just remember it must be safe, accessible, and when you’re there, you’re the real you.
– Sounds so boring BUT, meditate. Find your way to it, it’s the best exercise to learn to detach yourself from the window of life. If you’re glued to it 100% of the time like a kid to a candy store, engaged in the flow constantly, at some point, you stop being able to differentiate what is important (living according to your truth) and what is not important (a mean comment on Instagram).
To finish, remember that you can’t control what people think about you. The only thing you can control is what you think about yourself. So get to work and be patient. It comes slowly but once you’re there, all simple and happy and living for yourself, you won’t even think about what other people think – you’ll have such better things to do!