"What other people think of me is none of my business."
"Life is too short to waste time on speculating what other people think about you.
"If they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you."
"What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself."
Heard these before? All the time right! Yes, living life on your own terms is what all of us should aim for. After all true happiness lies within us and not outside. Happiness dependent on the approval of others, being a people pleaser at the cost of your own peace of mind is surely not the way to go.
However, what strikes me as a little selfish and egocentric is the fact that all these quotes say that your bliss may just be at the cost of someone else and their happiness. Time and time again I read about not caring about what other people think of you or I’ve heard the statement “just be yourself” so much. It sounds like a remarkable thing to do but what in the world does it really mean?
What if living on your own terms signifies, never compromising, never bothering about how hurtful you are, never being empathetic, or in plain simple words, what if you are a jerk? What if you never care about other people’s feelings because you need to be yourself? What if your tag line says “that’s how I am folks, take it or leave it”?
Does that really sound right? Aren’t all relationships supposed to be full of compromises, caring for each other’s’ emotional states and being there for the other at all cost? So, if all you care for is yourself, when and how do you take time out to care for others and pay attention to their needs and challenges. Doesn’t your family need you, don’t your friends expect something in return, and doesn’t your boss want you to work in a certain way? Are all these expectations wrong? But what if you are just “you” and are never there for anyone in your life?
Thinking about all this made me realise that if “being you” is hurting others and making them sad it’s time to take a good look at what you are up to in life and make some changes. Be yourself, live life on your own terms but not at the cost of your own or other’s peace of mind.
Your true self is who you really are when you let go of all of the stories, labels, and judgements that you have placed upon yourself. It is who you naturally are without the façades and pretensions. I read somewhere discovering your real self is to get in touch with your inner child, having fun, playing with your kids like a kid, and following your intuition. But most importantly it is about becoming aware about your thoughts and the quality of your thinking and getting rid of your negativity. Allow yourself to sit quietly for just five to ten minutes and observe your thoughts.
“We have so many unconscious beliefs that we have taken on over the years that were probably handed down to us from somebody else, and that we believed to be who we are. Becoming more aware of the quality of your thoughts, letting go of the old beliefs, and becoming more present can help in revealing your true nature.”
Therefore get inspired by the lovely thoughts out there, be yourself, don’t hide behind a façade, don’t conceal the real you but remember to be empathetic, kind, considerate and compromising above all else.
“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”