“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinions than our own.”
When I first read this Stoic quote it really got me thinking. Why are we like this? Why do we value the opinion of others over our own? No-one understands your values and what is in your heart more than you and yet a negative opinion can fill you full of self doubt and question your very being. Even when it’s the opinion of someone you don’t particularly like or a stranger! But how can we stop letting these negative opinions in? Well you’ll be pleased to know there are a few strategies you can use. If the negativity is coming from someone you do not respect then treat it like a barking dog or a screaming toddler. You wouldn’t let this upset you days after the event you so why let this meaningless noise? If it is made by someone you do respect then take time to reflect and see if there is anything you can learn from it, then let it go. If we receive one negative comment for every hundred positive comments, we tend to focus on the negative one. But we can choose to let it go and see it for what it is. Does it have any true worth? Is it really going to impact your life in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. And it was very likely made by someone dealing with their own insecurities, projecting their feelings of low self worth so do not let them bring you down, instead rise above, you never know, you may even be a positive influence on them. There are plenty of people out there who love you for who you are and see good things in you that you may not even be aware of. Why not give one of these people a call? No matter what good you do, how hard you work or what you achieve, you can not control what others think of you so don’t waste your time and energy trying.
All we can do as we navigate through life is to be true to our values. Focus on doing what is right, that is all you can judge yourself on. And if you could have done something better then take a moment to reflect and consider how you could grow from this.
“If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”
It’s never too late to value the great person you have become, it’s never too soon either. And as Dr Sues said ‘Those that matter don’t mind, those that mind don’t matter’.