"What other people think about you is none of your business"
That is one of those statements that has stuck with me for a long time. In theory. I can't remember where I read it but it was eye-opening "sort-of". Or at least it was meant to be. Seeing as my biggest fault was always thinking how every one else would or would not perceive me. My life has pretty much been spend wondering how my actions will affect everyone but myself. What if I say something that will hurt them? What if? What if? What if?
But never has that statement been more clear than it is now. I didn't realise how much other people's opinion of me had defined me until very recently. I'm doing this life coaching class thing and we were seated in this small group and the leader chose everyone...but me! Usually it never bothered me. But this day, it bugged me. Immensely. I expected it. I knew it would happen. I realised even I, chose myself last. I always let everyone pass before me. Like I didn't deserve happiness until everyone else was happy. If everyone else was happy first, who was thinking about me? Was this who I was. Was I that girl who was blending so much with the background, that no one saw her?
What other people have concluded about me, eventually made me make the same conclusions about myself that they did. If they thought I was incompetent, I suddenly started feeling incompetent, if someone thought I had bad hair, I subconsciously started thinking my hair was bad. What the world thought about me, I began to think about myself. When did I stop hearing my own voice?
I realised I had stopped listening to myself and started listening to the world. It felt like I had been ding it my whole life. I stopped believing in who I was and started believing what the world made me. I accepted the labels they gave me and wore them shamefully but faithfully. The world exploited it because I didn't believe enough in myself to fight back. Was the love for myself so little that I didn't care at all for my own opinion? That I didn't believe I deserved better than last place?
As I thought of this and myself, I wondered about the millions of others who walked around with the burden of labels. Mine are essentially small labels but they are people who walk around believing other labels: "Bastard", "Whore", "Doormat", "Bitch". And they forever go on believing that who the world said was who they really are. That they would never change.
But blocking out the voices is easier said then done. And learning to listen to myself first is harder than putting words on paper. Much harder than typing away for a few minutes on a keyboard. That my failures and weaknesses are what make me unique, not what make me broken. So what if I don't get chosen to participate by a total stranger, so what if I don't get picked for the job, or I loose the business opportunity. So what if I have to scream louder than everyone else to be heard? So what if I am not the prettiest, brightest or with the nicest a*se? So what?
In this world, like my mother keeps saying, there will always be someone better, prettier, taller, funnier than you. But.....BUT..... there shall only be one you. One you who can do what you do and be who you are.You have to choose yourself first. Not because you are selfish but because if you let the world continually define who you are, at some point, you won't even know who you are. Eventually you will stop choosing yourself. Eventually, even the world will stop choosing you. The world can go on without you.
So today, I choose to define myself, for myself. The world can continue to think what it may. As they say, everyone has a right to an opinion. My opinion of myself today, ranks highest. I choose me.