Every single one of us has the need to be loved, respected, and admired. We want to have friends, we want to have partners. We want to be accepted for who we are, quirks and all. We want others to like us. We want others to think the best of us. No matter what life we have inherited since birth, it is our responsibility to be accountable for what we do, what we say, and what we think. No-one can make you mean, no-one can make you rude, no-one can make you sad, no-one can make you mad. Those choices are all up to you! However, there are events and things that will happen to us that cause us to feel mean, or rude, or sad, or mad. It’s how we learn how to cope when we are hurt that will set the course of our life. We need to learn how to deal with negative thoughts, and quickly kick them to the curb. We need to quit the desire for revenge and forgive instead. We need to learn that there is nothing that can ruin our lives. If you believe your life is ruined, you will live defeated until the day you die. We need to take control of our thoughts, and learn how to stop the negative self-talk. We need to make the decision that we will no longer compare ourselves to anyone else, and most importantly? We all need to stop worrying about what others think of us.
WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
What others think and say about us is none of our business. If we make it our business, we will be offended for the rest of our lives. Speculating about what others even MIGHT think about us will destroy us faster than anything. These really are thoughts you need to chuck out of your head right NOW! Even if someone doesn’t like you, and says something negative about you to someone else, let your light shine bright, and keep your head up!
PEOPLE ARE NOT THINKING OF YOU, ACTUALLY
What we need to realize is that most people are not even thinking of us at all, they have enough going on in their own lives, so what a waste of time to be spent worrying when we have so much more positive things we could be focusing on. I suffered for over a year, continually fretting and thinking that the whole world was talking about me and my divorce from my first husband. It was paralyzing, and I was so depressed that I had to go on anti-depressants because I couldn’t cope with everyday living. I was also taking sleeping pills, because I could not fall asleep due to the stress. When your emotions run out of control, it really messes with your whole body, so it’s important for our mental health to take charge of our thoughts, and fix the ones that are broken and making us sick. Once I realized that honestly, no-one was talking about me, (okay, maybe one nasty person!) I was finally able to come off both sets of pills, and actually sleep. Only I was living my life, and only I was responsible for my thoughts. Only I could take charge of myself and fix it. Pills don’t fix anything, they are only a temporary crutch. What we need to do is take charge of our thought life, and positively affirm ourselves DAILY!
POSITIVE DAILY AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations are important. And what is an affirmation? It is the action, or process of affirming something, or being affirmed. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you overcome negative or self-sabotaging thoughts about yourself. When you repeat your affirmations and believe in them, you will start making more positive changes. Self- affirmations can also help to lessen stress. Have an objective look into your thought patterns, and see where you need to change. Then make some positive affirmations about yourself, and say them daily. Put your list on the bathroom mirror and read it daily when you brush your teeth! Whatever works for you – do it. Here are a list of some positive affirmations that might help you:
I choose to forgive daily those who hurt me
I forgive myself for my mistakes
My mistakes do not define me
I am beautiful
I have the power to change myself
I have the courage I need to succeed
I can do anything
I am full of motivation
I set goals and I achieve them
I am in control of my behavior
I am confident in my abilities
I am an amazing person
I choose my positive attitude daily
I choose happiness
I am enough
COMPARING YOURSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE IS HARMFUL
Because we are all so different, we should not ever compare ourselves to someone else. Sadly, we do on a regular basis, and it is so damaging to our self-esteem. What inspires you, what motivates you, and what you like to do can be totally opposite of your friends and family. I have a friend (actually 3 friends) who love baking and cooking. They LOVE IT! And I’m using capitals here people! They love to cook for family, for friends, and they are always trying all sorts of different recipes. Gulp. I personally hate baking and cooking. (My definition of BAKING: desserts, My definition of COOKING: meals) . I can bake, and I enjoyed doing it growing up (cookies, banana bread, squares, bars) but do I enjoy it now? No. Do I like cooking meals? No. So, when I hear about all the awesome things they make and the desserts they try, and I see some pictures on Facebook or Instagram, I have to admit sometimes I feel insecure, and think that I should at least make more effort. STOP IT DONNA! No, it’s not healthy to beat myself up about something I don’t like to do! I cook for my family, and will do the OCCASIONAL baking, but it’s not something I am willing to spend my time on. I’d rather sit at my piano and compose music, and guess what – that’s perfectly okay! I’m not sure how I managed to have a son who loves cooking, but it’s great. He tries new recipes all the time, and my hubby and I enjoy those benefits, oh yes we do. But whatever you do, don’t try to keep up with, or compare yourself to someone else who has different likes and talents from you. We don’t all need to love cooking and baking!
DON’T JUDGE OTHERS
It’s so important to stop judging others. Why do we do it? Because somehow we get smug, and caught up in our own self-righteousness that what we are right, and everyone else is wrong. Politics come to mind. Religion comes to mind. Parenting comes to mind. Driving comes to mind. Smoking comes to mind. Drinking comes to mind. Yup, we all pretty much are set in our ways by now (adults) about what we think about these things. What is important is that we learn how to respect our friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers who might do things a little differently, or believe in something different. We do NOT have the right to judge. We have a right to our opinion, but we don’t need to post it online and try to shame people because they don’t see eye to eye with us. I know someone who attacks people, and calls them names if they disagree with him. That is not healthy. I know someone who used to bully me at work and tried to make me feel guilty for putting my son in daycare, and not staying home with him. I endured snarky comments for over a year. The funny thing is though – five years later when she herself had children, she was back to work within 6 months. You shouldn’t judge someone else, especially if you haven’t been through that situation. I mentioned before that I failed in this – I really judged people for getting a divorce. I was smug, and had a terrible attitude. Well guess what. I ended up divorced. That smugness hit me full force in the face. I felt like an idiot. So – my advice to you is – don’t be an idiot. Stop judging people if they are working moms, or non-birthday party moms, or if they smoke, or if they drink, or if they go to church, or if they like Stephen Harper. Stop the judging! You wouldn’t want to be ridiculed and made fun of for your beliefs, so don’t do it to someone else. Remember, it’s the golden rule: Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done Unto You.
DO NOT GO ON A GUILT TRIP
Guilt trips are too costly! No, not money, but the cost to your mental health. We often put ourselves on a guilt trip because we start comparing ourselves to others. We can also have others try to put a guilt trip on us to try to manipulate us to do what they want. I was compared to my older sister my whole life. My mom would always say to me, “why can’t you be more like your sister?” Sigh. My older sister Debbie was an amazing straight A student, and I was barely getting by with C’s. I resented her for years due to always being compared to her. I wasn’t like her at all, and I’m still not – and that’s OKAY! My mom apologized to me when I was 25 for a lot of things she did to damage my self-esteem when I was young, and of course I forgave her. It’s important that we don’t compare ourselves to others, and put ourselves on our own guilt trip. We shouldn’t compare our children either. They are not robots, and can’t possibly be the same, or act the same. Even twins are 100% different. As parents we can demand manners, and that our children follow the same house rules, but we can’t demand that they be the same or act the same. How one child might react will not be the same as how child number 2, or 3 will react. Allow them to be different, and whatever you do – don’t show favoritism! There is nothing that speaks louder than “I don’t like you as much as I like your sister/brother”. Yikes. My childhood was not pleasant nor fair, but I’m not writing that to gain sympathy. I’m writing it as an example, because parents can often do so much damage without realizing it. Parents are not perfect, they never will be. Broken relationships, abuse, divorce, all of these can have an effect on parents. Hurting people hurt others, whether it’s a peer, a spouse, or a child. Try to be fair, and try your best. But whatever you do, try not to beat yourself up over guilt, and don’t try to make your kids feel guilty to try to correct behaviour. If you mess up, own it, apologize, ask forgiveness, and carry on. Don’t stay stuck in the “could haves, should haves, and would haves.” It’s a terrible place to live.
DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is their own projection of their life, and their reality. When you can learn not to take things personally, you will become immune to the opinion and reaction of others, and so will not be a victim of needless suffering. For example – if you are in a line up in the cafeteria, and the person at the till is rude to you, it wasn’t personal. They were probably having a bad day that you know nothing about, but you were the one where they snapped. Ouch! It hurts, but realizing that their reaction was because of their OWN day and NOT yours, you will be able to shrug it off instead of getting angry, or worse, getting hurt. Don’t let resentment start to build when others around you are having a bad day. Let them have their bad day, and you carry on with your own.
ACHIEVE INNER PEACE
Yes, you CAN achieve inner peace! How? By not allowing the past to control you. By not allowing hurts to consume you. By not allowing people to control your emotions. You need to be strong, and in control of your mind. You also need to be able to forgive. Because if you can’t let go of a hurtful situation, then you cannot have inner peace. Forgiveness is the key people. If you need to learn how to forgive, click here. If you want to know why we struggle so much with forgiveness, click here.
We don’t have to react badly every time someone offends us, or cuts us off, or calls us a name. We can choose to rise above their bad behavior, and let it go. That means you need to forgive, otherwise you’ll keep thinking about it, and bringing it up over and over to all your friends. This is not healthy. We will have peace when we finally learn how to let go, and realize that other people no longer control us with their moods, or their actions. What a relief huh!
WE ALL NEED SELF COMPASSION
We need to give ourselves a break with self-compassion. We need to stop the negative self-talk. We need to be able to love ourselves and forgive ourselves, or we won’t be able to love others. For some, it’s easy, for others who were abused growing up, it’s a lot harder. We feel we don’t measure up. Hurting kids grow up to be hurting adults who get married and have children that get hurt, because there is no love to give. We need to overcome our insecurities that get bigger when we continually compare ourselves to someone else. We need to respect ourselves, and treat ourselves as if we were our OWN best friend.
PEOPLE WILL LOVE YOU OR HATE YOU
This is important to remember. Just be you. There will always be someone out there that doesn’t like you. Some people won’t like you because your strengths reminds them of their weaknesses. It could be because you remind them of someone they hate, or perhaps they are just jealous of you. Maybe you are most successful or have more money, so again, jealousy. Maybe you are skinnier, and have a certain hair colour or style that is flattering and they do not. Maybe you are married to someone that they would like to be married to. The list is endless. People can have more than you, and still be jealous. Some are intimidated by you, so will talk bad about you in hopes that others won’t like you or find you appealing. People who can’t stand to see the success of others will never experience their own, and if you are successful, you will always have a target on your back. I say rise above! Remember, you can build an empire out of all the bricks that are thrown at you! Again, don’t take things personally, and realize that not everyone is going to like you. They don’t matter or factor in your life, so let it go. If it’s a family member, then you can choose to lessen your contact with them. Don’t let a toxic, jealous, nasty family member into your inner circle. Family is family, we can’t choose family, but we can choose how much we interact. (Think Meagan Markle’s dad)
AN IMPORTANT REMINDER:
Don’t worry about what others think of you!