One of the worst feelings is to be dissatisfied with yourself because of an opinion someone else professed about you. Opinions are always buzzing around. You may not even realize it, but every intonation of your voice when speaking about something, every little micro-expression that someone picks up gives off an opinion. Sometimes you may not even be thinking anything near what the person is picking up, but a person is constantly forming conclusions based on what is happening around her.
It can drive a person crazy to always be noticing negative points of view in regards to herself. And many times, those negative opinions exist only in the person's head. For instance, someone might not comment on a post and the writer might then worry that it means the person didn't like the post, or thought the post was stupid. (This is just an example, of course :P). Another example: someone might express displeasure with herself and the listener might not know what to respond. The lack of response does not mean the listener agrees with the worrier's worry, but the worrier might take it as affirmation of what she is worried about.
So many times, people worry about what other people think of them to the point where they assume people think the worst. But the truth is, the person's opinion you should care about more than anyone else's in the world is your own. If there was a totem pole of opinions, yours should be at the top.
That is why I decided to share one of my philosophies of life. It's not an especially novel philosophy, but it's one I find people need reminding of anyway. It's called the "I'm not letting other people define who I am" philosophy. With it comes an understanding that you are who you are, not who other people say that you are. No one has any right to make you feel like someone who you're not.
There are two quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt that I love:
1. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
2. Friendship with one's self is all-important, for without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
About a year ago, I wrote a post on SerandEz about choice that I still love. Everyone has different abilities and, more importantly, different goals and paths in life. What works for one person may not work for another. Each human being approaches every situation a little bit differently. If we didn't have such different points of view, our world would not be able to run. So how can we judge others against ourselves? And on the flip side, how can you judge yourself against others? There is no single frame of reference with which to judge everyone by. You can only judge yourself against yourself, and you shouldn't really be judging others at all.
I don't know who said it, but there's a quote out there that goes:
"Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind, but in the end the race is only with yourself."
There's no reason to let other people make you feel badly about yourself, just like it's foolish to let others praise you into thinking you're better than you actually are. Self-knowledge is the most important kind of wisdom there is, for once you know yourself, you have the groundwork with which to face everyone else.
One of the most important things anyone has said to me are two simple sentences:
"Be yourself" and "Have fun."
Hand in hand, what better approach is there to life? Know yourself and be that person. And never forget to have fun, for I don't believe we were put on this earth to feel miserable. I know the only times I feel miserable about myself are when I let other people influence how I feel about myself.
So have a good night and I hope you all wake up tomorrow ready to be who you really are. And have fun doing it. :)