I’m currently traveling on a plane, sitting in the middle seat between two people I don’t know. I have, of course, formed an opinion about them, but I don’t really “know” them. That’s what we do, right?
We make judgments and form opinions. It comes naturally, but those opinions say more about me than they do about these two strangers.
Which leads me to today’s topic:
What if you let go of the belief that other people’s opinions of you, good or bad, are your truth?
I absolutely love this topic as, when it comes down to it, I have this crazy belief that detaching from other people’s opinions just might be one of the top five remedies to creating world peace. I’m not joking J
So, my friend, do you believe other people truly know you? Does everyone in your life see you exactly the same way? How about your mom, your co-worker, your significant other, your child, your neighbor?
I’m going to answer for you, “No.”
Each of these people has done what I did on the plane, they formed an opinion of who you are to them…who they think you are. They place their good or bad judgment on you, based solely on how they have experienced you. These ideas are theirs — their thoughts, their opinions, their judgments. Some of them may be on target, but the way they see you is filtered through their ego and their values. Even if they’re not aware of it, they consciously or unconsciously compare everything to their prior experiences, their culture, gender, age, relationship to you, and many other factors.
If that’s true (and it totally is, 100%, without a doubt…you are now hypnotized), then that means how other people see you has very little to do with you and has everything to do with them.
If they like you, they probably feel good and “likeable” when they’re in your presence. If they dislike you, they don’t feel good in your presence, or they’re avoiding your presence. Either way, you take on the belief that you have something to do with how they feel.
Here’s two examples of how this can play out:
1. Jimmy says I’m awesome, “Jeepers…thanks Jimmy!” I own it. I’m awesome. Why? Because Jimmy said I am. Actually, I think Jimmy’s pretty cool too!
2. Jenny thinks I’m a jerk. That’s gotta be why she keeps avoiding me and looks so uncomfortable around me. “Screw you, Jenny!” I get defensive. I decide that Jenny must be a jerk. “If Jenny really knew me, she would think I’m awesome.”
So, I accept that Jimmy thinks I’m cool but reject that Jenny seems to think I’m a jerk. What’s the real difference between the two of them? Pretty much nothing, because both have nothing to do with me… both are someone else’s opinion…both are their projection.
When I own the belief that another person’s opinion of me is THE truth, I can get stuck in the belief that their truth is my truth.
I’ve given my power away because of someone else’s judgment. When I can let others have their opinion, and don’t take it on as my truth, I do a service to them and to myself. I honor them, opinion and all, and I have an awareness that, how other people see me has more to do with who they are…not necessarily who I am.
Okay, here’s the bottom line, the take-away, the meat and potatoes:
If you look to get your self-esteem from anywhere other than within your heart and your connection to a higher power (the universe, the design team, your God (your call), you have fallen into the trap of losing yourself.
Welcome to the human race. Notice it, have self-compassion for seeking those things from others, and then start looking for areas that you might have some hidden fear or shame. Because, at the end of the day, not one person on this planet can reject, judge, ignore, or dislike you any more than you may already be doing to yourself.
So, what if maybe, just maybe, we can quit believing that any other person’s opinion of us is our truth?
When people judge you for being awesome, thank them, and know that what they really are telling you is that they feel good about themselves when they’re with you. And when you’re thinking they judge you as a jerk, acknowledge their experience of you and have an awareness that something about you triggers something within them, some past person or experience, that they struggle with. Either way, it’s an open-door to self-exploration. Ask yourself, “What is it that they see in me?” “Do they really know me?” Easy answer– “Nope.”