On my Facebook page, I recently asked what you’d like to see in my next Real Talk post and I truly appreciate all the feedback I’ve received. I love that we can have a conversation about important topics on a place like social media, where needless to say there is a lot of not-so-helpful advice bouncing around. One such topic is how others define us, and its harmful effects. It’s hard to live our best lives when “best” is defined by someone else but luckily, it doesn’t need to be this way.
It’s actually pretty empowering when you think about it – YOU are in control. That means that your happiness is independent of what another person thinks. If someone doesn’t reciprocate your feelings or take you seriously, it doesn’t make you any less good or worthy. What a relief to know that you can be anything you want, regardless of negative opinions and snap judgments, right?
When you make the decision not to let other people have this power to say who you are or who you should become you open the door to be able to do things according to your own beliefs. You can take your convictions and values and let those shape your identity rather than another person’s validation or approval. It’s natural to seek this approval from others – we all want to be liked, after all – but when you find that these opinions aren’t the ultimate decider, it’s very freeing.
Of course, people will always voice their opinions. Often times, the opinions that matter most to us come from those closest to us – like family and friends who think they have our best interests in mind. We value the opinions of these people and often seek out their advice. But remember that ultimately, the kind of mother, daughter, wife, friend… the list goes on… that you are, depends on you and your actions, not someone else and their comments.
If you stick to your values and stay true to the identity that you define, you will be able to focus on what’s important, and in the end be happier. You’ll be more confident when making decisions; you’ll feel less uncertain of the future. It doesn’t mean you don’t value what those people say, but it means you don’t let them make or break you.
Ultimately – judgment isn’t left up to any of us, anyway! I hope this inspires someone to let go of someone else’s definition of them today.