Our very first glimpse at ourselves are given to us by those we love (our care takers) and sometimes even strangers. They are the mirrors that allow us an answer to the life altering question of “Who am I”, before we are able to analyze our own thoughts, feels, and judgments. (Remember the term mirrors) As we ran around care free and sponge like our mother may have frequently told us how pretty we were and our grandparents may have been proud of how smart we were, the lady in the store may have told your mother how beautiful your eyes were. These are the moments that shaped our perceptions.
Although I’d be a fool not to apply all that I’ve learned so far while pursuing a degree in psychology I am speaking mainly from personal experience. Sometimes we are more mentally vulnerable than other times. That doesn’t mean we’re weak minded it just means certain situations and events make us obviously more vulnerable than we would normally be. *Fun Fact For ya* Fear, Loss, and Love are the leading causes of chronic “Heart On Your Sleeve” syndrome.:
- Fear: When we’re chartering undiscovered territory we’re more open to opinion due to our lack of personal experience and desire for improvement.
- Loss: When we lose someone, regardless of whether it be by passing away or the ending of a relationship, we innately look to fill a void and stop the pain and are understandably more open to words of encouragement, suggestions on how to move on etc.
- Love: And we all know being in love with someone makes you more vulnerable in every aspect this of course includes but isn’t limited to their opinions. We could get 1,000 compliments a day but our day doesn’t start until they say ” God, you’re beautiful”.
Is that a bad thing? Not in my opinion but that’s probably a bit bias. I have always been a lover of love so heart ache came almost as frequently as the butterflies did lol. Which means I spent a majority of my life vulnerable…….
I said alllllll that to say-we all have the tendency of over valuing people’s opinions. Whether it’s the people who are closest to us like our family and friends, our idols, the media etc. we keep our ear to ground for assessments, assumptions, impressions, and suggestions. The thing is maybe we shouldn’t. I mean isn’t it hard enough dealing with our own criticisms? Can you/should you rely on what someone else thinks to make decisions that determine moves which will shape the rest of your life? I think not!
Yes, it is nice and sometimes vital to have an outside opinion on things but it important to focus on your purpose OR if you’re not sure what that is yet….finding & creating your purpose. A job so important belongs in no one’s hands but yours. It’s all too easy to fall in a discouraging “What they think” state; Am I good enough? Did I do well? Do they like me? Am I pretty enough? Do they think I can do it? Will they support me? While I doubt if anyone can say they haven’t had these thoughts, we can all agree they bring about somewhat of a doubting complex and can be a murderer of self confidence.
How do you avoid the opinions of others and everyone has them? You can’t. I too wish life had a
mute, skip, fast forward button remote control, but something tells me we’ll never be as lucky as Adam Sandler was in that movie Click. No remote but we have options.
A). Choose your mirrors wisely…….. Being vulnerable is inevitable and I think (personally) it’s a beautiful thing. It’s only a weakness if you allow it to be by denying it. The goal is to get to know yourself in such a way that you can recognize feelings and locate causes or triggers with ease. Sometimes things happen suddenly and can’t be predicted, other times our feelings are just plain confusing, but getting to know who you are will allow you to choose the right mirror(s) or people we trust to truly reflect us with love and without bias. A.K.A people who have shown and proven that they have our best interest at heart and will keep it real regardless of the situation.
B. Don’t think the mirror position is a permanent position in all cases. Mirror licences can be revoked without warning nor explanation. This does not mean get shady and stop talking to those who don’t tell you what you want to hear. That’s why you took the time to appoint people to be in that position, because you trust them and believe that they are coming from a good place. BUT if you’re mirror is green, dirty and/or damaged it’s time to put it out on the curb……
And last but not least C)
If it’s not coming from a beyond valid source (someone who is or has been where you’re trying to go NOT where you are now), your trusty mirror, or an opinion of your own: #PAYIT That’s right, let it go. Learning to value your own opinion and finding the place where everyone else’s belong is key to being and staying happy. Notice I didn’t say except all the good and deny the bad. Just pay it.
Your self perception is one of your most valuable possessions you’ll ever own. It’s the silhouette of everything you are and all that you will allow yourself to become. People’s opinions can often come from a negative or dishonest place and dilute and dampen how you see you. If you don’t feel strong, beautiful, powerful, desirable, respectful, responsible, and all the other things you desire to be and think you are… your moves will reflect that. How will you fulfill your purpose and be the best you that you can be if you are moving in fear and uncertainty? Why give people that power? No one deserves that right regardless of mirror status, income, job title or position.
Protect your purpose and find a place for the opinions