Does what others think of you hinder your ability to think about more important things?
If you measured how much of your thought-life is caught up in what others think of you, you’d come up with a percentage. There’s always a level of effort we put into climbing on the stage of life and performing to gain the approval of others. Sometimes it’s a small amount, other times it consumes us and causes unnecessary relational strain. It’s human nature to want to be valued. But when other’s approval becomes a source of anxiety, insecurity and self-focus; taking away precious mental energy, it’s time to re-think the value of that attention. So rather than refine our performances in life and polish the plastic, our time would be better spent refining the process of being fully ourselves, whatever that looks like. Take the risk, and just be. Climb off the mental jungle gym of circumstantial acting, and exercise the courage to just let “you” flow through. Although you may hit some “you” snags, which you will, you’ll be refining and polishing truth, not a lie, performance or façade. You’ll feel like you’ve lost a ton of emotional baggage, your relationships will be more rewarding and you’ll discover a level of peace you may have thought was gone forever. I once pictured myself lying in my grave, asking: “Was all the fear and distraction I experienced being wrapped in other’s perception of me worth it, and did it add value to my life?” Did all the facades I presented impress anyone or add value to anything? The answer was no and I realized hindsight can be 20/20, even if imagined.
Forget about what people think of you. Be fully yourself today, and see how people respond.
How much time do I spend making an impression vs. making a difference?
Will I take a week or so to test what it would be like to be completely me?