Your attempts at self-improvement, or any form of success, will always be weakened if part of your motivation is to be seen by others in some particular way.
You can only become your most disciplined, most focused, most powerful when you can do whatever is the most appropriate for you, and to allow everyone to form whatever opinion about you they wish.
In this post I’m going to share with you some ideas on how to free yourself from worry about how anyone sees you, and I’ll go by category, so starting with parents, then peers, then love interests.
Reclaim your authority from your parents.
Our parents were the first people we ever knew. They were our teachers; everything came from them. Everything they said was gospel truth. They kept us safe and gave us what we needed to continue surviving. In the beginning, our trust in them was complete.
What’s interesting is that over the years, as we grow up, we become increasingly aware that our parents are just people, like us. When they seemed so knowing and certain, they were just winging it. We know this now, BUT there’s a part of us that is still plugged into this feeling that our parents know more than we do.
If we want to do something, but our parents say (or imply) that it’s a bad idea… then we feel insecure! We have doubt.
Maybe we’ll do it anyway despite the doubt, or maybe we’ll try to convince them what we’re doing is right.
But here is your invitation now: Reclaim your authority from your parents. You are (I presume) an adult now. You’re a grown-up. You know what’s good for you, you know what to do, you know what you need. And if you need advice/guidance/council then you know where to get that too.
Give up on ever getting them to fully understand you. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But it doesn’t matter. You’re not here to live your life for them. You’re not here to finish what they started. Your life belongs entirely to you.
You don’t owe your parents anything. I put that in bold because it’s something that a lot of parents tell their kids and it’s not fair. They say “I worked so hard and sacrificed everything for you!” It’s like, no, you made your own choices and I’m going to make mine. You can be grateful for what they did without feeling like you owe them anything.
You might be in one of two situations:
You’re holding yourself back from pursuing an important accomplishment because of how this might affect how your friends and acquaintances see you, or
You’re launching into some kind of project in the hopes that if you accomplish it, then it will affect how your friends and acquaintances see you.
Let it be known that in either case, there is nothing valuable about someone’s opinion of you. Opinions in general are essentially valueless. Suppose you have $10.00 USD and I have 100 opinions, do you want to trade? No way! So why are you arranging your entire life so that you can get good opinions?
Here might be one reason:
You don’t trust your own authority. You think you might be a good person, a lovable, respectable person, but you don’t trust your own opinion. So you do everything that you can to get other people to see you this way so that you can finally see yourself this way. Do you see? Ludicrous! It’s like “If this person thinks I’m smart, then I must be smart.” … Why does his opinion count more than your own?
Reclaim your authority. You alone get to say what you are, no one else. However, you see yourself is how others will come to see you. You might think that if a whole bunch of people like you, then you’ll finally love yourself. Doesn’t work that way. People only will start to love you when you teach them how – by loving yourself first.
This begins by deciding once and for all that you DO deserve love. (And you do, tons of it.)
If you’re trying to accomplish something enormous so people will like you, you won’t achieve flow, you won’t enjoy it, it will be a grind, and the results will be unremarkable. If you’re NOT accomplishing something important to you because you’re afraid peoples’ opinions of you will change… then please let them.
Let people form whatever opinion they want about you. I confess that as I write this, there’s a little part of me that is concerned about YOUR opinion of me. I would prefer if you had a good one. But that’s not going to stop me from posting this, because I feel a strong urge to present this message to you and anyone else who might need it.
The more you let people form whatever opinions they want, the more true you can be to yourself. When you’re true to yourself, everything flows much better and success comes to you much more easily – as well as higher quality friends and acquaintances.
We are romantically attracted to people who express the truth of who they are.
So I recommend that you express the truth of who you are.
Any attempt to be someone else; any attempt to change who you are so that someone will like you, will not succeed. Even if it succeeded for a minute or an hour, it would eventually collapse on itself.
We are romantically attracted to people who have learned how to treasure, appreciate, and express themselves. That’s literally what a high self-esteem is. Are you trying to get people to fall in love with you – or at least want to have sex with you – so that you can finally value yourself?
Are you willing to cut that nonsense out now? Romance yourself! Find someone attractive in the mirror! Know what a high-value catch you are, and know it down into your bones. Know what a prize you are when you enter into someone’s life.
– Let your own opinions of yourself be the most important opinions.
– Hold a high opinion of yourself.
– Speak to yourself in the words that you most want to be called.
– Appreciate and love yourself.
– Trust that you truly do know what you’re doing.
– Stop wasting your energy trying to influence how others see you.