There is an epidemic in our culture that is sucking the life out us. It prays on our perfectionist tendencies and creates a desperate need to people please and gain approval and value from others. We get set up to believe that they only path to happiness and success is in gaining the attention, accolades and validation of others.
While the Internet has connected the world in a powerful and amazing way, it has also created an environment in which we can easily be tempted to gauge our self worth based on likes, re-tweets, downloads, views and subscribers. There’s no faster way to mental hell than constantly seeking approval from other people, especially people we don’t even know and putting our faith solely in numbers.
One of the most dangerous aspects of allowing our self-worth to be determined by the opinions and comments of others is that we are susceptible to the deep pain of shame, self-blame and other forms of super negative self-talk that come from believing that when others are shocked, disappointed, let down, angry and otherwise unkind to us, then it must be true and deserved by us.
When we cultivate a healthy sense of self worth from within, when we love ourselves for who we really are and are able to accept all that we are and all that we are not, we have a natural filter through which we can run the garbage the world is sure to throw our way.
Not caring what others think is not the same as reckless behavior that could be destructive to us and others and it doesn’t me we don’t care for others. It simply means that when someone says something with a “should” either directly or implied and tries to make us wrong for the choices we make, we get to pause, filter and decide for ourselves if we want to accept this as true for us or not.
And a result of no longer measuring our worth or choosing our path based on others, means we get suddenly free to creatively express the authentic truth inside us that is dying to be unleashed. We experience joy, passion and a renewed sense of boundless energy. We’re not spending all our time and energy on trying to be something or someone that we are not. We’re not wasting our precious life force on keeping the mask and armor on.
Ask yourself, “Do I have a fear of not being liked?” “Do I get defensive when others are critical of me or express disappointment with me?” “Do I make myself wrong, when really it’s my behavior that needs correcting?” Be gentle with yourself and be willing to really be honest.
Awareness is often the first step to setting ourselves free. Yoga is fabulous tool as well.