We tell children over and over to be themselves, embrace uniqueness and not to worry what other people think. At the same time we share those words, we ourselves are conforming to the socially acceptable norms that surround us. Our focus is more on whether people will accept us and like us than most of us care to admit.
What damage is all of this causing us?
Why can’t we just take our own advice and be our weird little selves?
Here’s a small bomb of truth for you…
It is none of your business what other people think of you.
And furthermore, you are most likely assuming some of those judgments. Seriously, think through the last time you felt judged by someone. Did they actually say something to you or did you just FEEL judged?
Stop and think about the judgments you assume people are thinking. Is it at all possible that you are just taking an insecurity you have about yourself and passing it off as judgment from someone else?
Let’s dive one layer deeper into the silent judgments of others. Sometimes we feel that another person is unhappy with us or angry based on an assumption we have in our head.
We don’t know the whole story so we create our own ending.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Did that woman give a look or a whisper to her friend? Chances are you are not even on her radar. Most people are so overwhelmed in their own worlds that they don’t even have the time to be bothered passing judgment on you.
Remember that friend who didn’t text you back after you asked for a favor? You immediately jumped to the conclusion that she was annoyed with you for asking for yet another favor. You built an entire narrative around why she didn’t even return your text. Later you find out her phone died and she’d be more than happy to help you out. Now, you feel guilty for assuming otherwise. Or maybe you breathe a sigh of relief that the “worst case scenario” didn’t play itself out.
The Judgment We Face
Unfortunately, there will be times in your life that others will pass judgment on you. They will belittle you or tear you down. Know that the majority of those comments were said out of jealousy, fear, or insecurities. The rest, well there are just some bad humans out there.
Let those critiques better you. Perhaps you can learn from this person what you could do differently to not offend or bother someone in a similar situation. Or maybethe lesson you learn is grace and forgiveness. Letting the moment pass and not letting it tear you down or bring you pain. You and only you are in control of how something makes you feel.
Be Who You Are
There is no one else that you can be that is better than you. You were born and designed to be exactly who you are with the thoughts, uniqueness, and actions that you possess naturally.
See the challenge to be your best self as one that pushes you to pursue every adventure that touches your heart and brings you joy. Follow an unconventional path that may in fact make others nervous. Do so with strength and confidence.
Overall, trying to fit yourself into the box of what is normal or acceptable to others around you will not be you at your best. As so succinctly stated…
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
Treat others how you would like to be treated, and be a good human.