When I was a kid, I was one of those people that stayed pretty much to myself and often walked with my head down. I was always concerned about what people thought of me. I thought that everyone had to like me or I was a failure. That’s a pretty tall order for a kid, much less an adult. As you can imagine, the pressure that it puts on a person can often be an unbearable burden.
Going through life trying to please everyone, often at the expense of your own personal happiness, is tough. Caring about every little thing people say about us and taking it to heart is even tougher. For some reason, we allow people to have this hold on us and we give them the power to continue their actions. That is until we learn to take that power away from them and then amazing things start to happen.
If we only knew this as adolescents, growing up would have been a whole lot easier. If we knew that people who treat other people badly only do so because of the insecurities they have within themselves, we could have at least started to understand. If we knew that the only reason people said the things they did to bring us down was to lift themselves up, it would have made it easier. When we carry this never ending cycle into our adulthood without addressing it we only exacerbate the problem.
It was probably well into my forties before I finally got it. I started to understand that the only way what people said about me mattered was when I gave them the power for it to matter. I learned that only I could give them that power and unless I took it away the cycle would repeat itself over and over. When I took a deep look inside and evaluated the people in my life that were contributors and started to “prune them from my garden”, only then did I realize that I had all the power to make a difference.
Unfortunately, it is human nature to tear people down when we are doing well and they aren’t. People seem to have a hard time celebrating others success when things aren’t so right in their own lives. Unhappy people don’t like happy people. Unsuccessful people don’t like successful people. They will say whatever they can to make them feel a little better about themselves.
The beauty comes in when we learn that what they say does not matter and has absolutely no effect on our lives as a whole. How successful we are, how happy we are, how content we are with our lives can only be derived by us and no one else. We have the absolute power to determine the course of our life. Once we learn that, believe me I know first hand it is a hard lesson to learn, our life becomes very different and what they say really does not matter.
Have a great weekend and remember to be the reason someone smiles.