Has someone ever called you out on a flaw or insecurity you weren’t even aware of? Maybe you were aware of it, but you buried it for so long and kind of forgot it was there. Sometimes hearing the truth can hurt, but more often it’s necessary. When the truth stings deep enough, perhaps it’s a sign that something needs to change.
Last week my boyfriend and I got into a petty disagreement. I can’t remember what it was about, but he said something that bothered me. He looked me in the eye and said, “Your problem is that you care way too much about what people think of you.” For some reason, his words stung.
Is it strange to say I don’t know who I am? And honestly, I don’t think I ever have. I often let the world decide for me. I allowed judgment and opinions get the best of me. I allowed my reputation to define me, and I never once took the intuitive to figure it out on my own. I learn new things about myself every day. I inherit new fears and insecurities regularly and discover new passions along the way. I try my best not to get attached to feelings, thoughts, and people around me. But in an ever-changing world, it’s hard not too.
I am proud of where I am and who I’ve become. But I’m still not where I want to be. Not even close. My problem is that I tend to worry about what others think and I’m too afraid to let myself fail. But I have to find a way to accept my failures and let myself fall when necessary.
I need to find a way to let go of the shame and embrace who I am—the good and bad parts. Maybe its time I was my friend for once and stopped worrying if others like me or not? I need to stop focusing on them and turn my focus toward myself. Because perfectionism is an illusion and worrying about how others perceive me will only lead to more suffering.
I realized his words bothered me because there was some truth behind them. Maybe more than I want to admit. I do care about what others think of me. I mean, don’t we all to some degree? But how do I know if this need for social-validation is ruining me or not?
It’s okay to care about what the world thinks, to an extent. Most of us act one way behind closed doors and behave completely different in public. However, do what makes you happy and don’t let the lives of other’s affect how you live yours.
Love yourself enough to be true to yourself. To shine and embrace who you are. It’s okay to care a little. We all want to feel loved and accepted. But don’t ever live a life that isn’t yours or pretends to be something you’re not.
If you feel like you spend too much time worrying about others: take a step back and ask yourself, does someone else’s opinion directly impact you?
Realize it doesn’t at all, and always remember that the only opinions that matter is your own.