This post originally appeared on mydailyvibe.com.
When it comes to your life, the opinion of others should matter very little. I am not talking about your friends and family, yes their opinion matter very much, but others who have no importance in your reality -- like your social peers and others like them. They are inconsequential to the overall scope of your life, and yet you secretly strive for approval and validation at the cost of your own.
Your opinion is king. Your opinion of yourself is all that matters. And this opinion will either propel you forward in life or hold you back.
Bear in mind that in social settings no one is being real. It's all an act. Outer appearances are masks; rarely do we get what we see. Real connections never grow and flourish under such pretenses. This kind of socializing leave many of us unsatisfied and therefore we begin to crave more, something deeper, more real. In other words, we want to be ourselves and talk about things that matter and engage with people in a way that uplifts and inspires us. But sadly, such people are rare, just as you are.
So how can we change all this?
Start by being real -- Allowing your true self to emerge and connect with people on a more genuine level helps them in turn do the same with you. There is openness and honesty in the interaction, a reciprocal exchange that feeds both parties. This kind of socializing feels good. At the end of the day this is what we all want -- the joy of true and meaningful connections.
Next, take stock of your decisions -- Are they congruent with who you are or are they the result of other people's opinion. Practice your resolve to not be swayed by external pressure and learn to take nothing personally. When we are bothered by outer criticisms and insults, it influences our behavior and then we in fact cede our power to others. Don't look to others for guidance on how to behave. Don't look for approval. If you don't need approval, you won't have a reason to try to impress people or be impressed by them.
And finally, be authentic in every situation -- Have the courage to reveal the real you. Be willing to be judged, and then not take it to heart. Why? Because its great for your self-esteem and for developing a thick skin. As you express your best self, congruent with who and what you are, others will think highly of you and the few who don't -- don't matter anyway. If all this is a bit scary, then start small. Rather than not caring at all what others think, start by just caring a little less. No one outside your inner circle should get a vote or pass judgment or have influence on how you live your life. Their opinion is not your reality.
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