Catching up with friends is an extremely important part of my life. A while ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. We talked about everything under the sun, but one focus of our conversation was how often others’ opinions have dictated how we portray ourselves.
More times than not, we take the others’ opinions to heart.
Our tendency to rely on others for validation or criticism is a routine part of our lives. Whether your editor chose not to publish you, your family disagrees with the way you raise your kids, friends have strong opinions on how you spend your free time or how your body looks, or a guy didn’t want to date you, you’re so used to relying on others’ opinions of you that you can’t form your own. Most of us take criticism to heart, including myself. More times than I can count, I have stayed up late wide awake, thinking about how someone criticized the way I do something I love. In those moments, I realized that other people (and my reliance on them) hit my confidence hard.
But the truth is that only you get to decide that you are worthy.
The truth is, the woman who didn’t like your article might have been having a bad day.The guy who didn’t want to date you is missing out, and you will find another who will love you for all you are. The people who think that you’re raising your children wrong don’t know how hard you’re trying (and succeeding).
Others’ words should never define your worth.
Whenever you start to let others’ opinions sneak into your mind and affect your self-esteem, remember that you get to decide what makes you beautiful. You have the power to see your worth, choose whose opinions matter, and decide how you react.
Listening to yourself first is one of the hardest but best things to do. But once you realize that everyone has opinions, but they’re not all worth your time, you can decide that others’ opinions won’t dictate how you see yourself. Once you realize your self-worth and learn to trust your feelings again, you will discover what a beautiful gift it is.