Someone said something good about me and the thoughts that went through my head went like this:
Is that what other people think? Other people don’t think that. They’re probably comparing me to people and how much I’m not like them and how they could do better than me.
So right there my thoughts aren’t helpful. They are destructive. They turned straight to worrying about what people were thinking instead of accepting the kind words.
I’ve always been quick to assume I know what people are thinking, but I’m realising that most of the time I’m probably assuming the wrong thing and believing lies.
And the times when I don’t know what people are thinking, I fret and try to work it out. I get incredibly agitated whenever I can’t figure out what people are thinking. It’s as if I use people’s thoughts about me as signposts to tell me who I am and what to do, and I’m lost without them. Whoa! That was a true statement!
I spend so much of my time trying to accommodate people’s thoughts about me. I’ve got to stop. I’ve got to stop caring what people think and letting their thoughts affect my thoughts, beliefs, behaviour, identity, and worth.
When I had a self-hosted blog, I was always looking for approval. I’d advertise my blog on Facebook and ask for feedback. I wanted likes and comments to tell me that I was on the right track.
I don’t feel the need to do that with this blog because I’m not looking for approval anymore. I’m not looking to be liked. All I’m looking to do is express myself, to be honest about my journey, and share my truth. The likes and comments are nice, but they don’t determine my worth or the worth of my writing.
I’m learning how to not worry about approval in real life too. I’m becoming aware of my how my thoughts work and remembering not to believe my assumptions. One, because I probably get people’s thoughts wrong, and two, because even if I get them right, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t need their good thoughts about me. I’m allowed to fail, to get things wrong, to not know what I’m doing, to be lost. Because it’s reality. It’s me.
As soon as I think about what people think, I lose myself. I stress about how to look good and I try to be impressive. But when I’m not worried what people are thinking, I’m free to be me.
I cannot let people affect me. I can’t lose myself. I need to let go of worrying, comparing, and impressing.
My identity is not a perfectionist, a people-pleaser and a performer. These are just things I have used to protect myself from hurt, rejection, and disapproval. I don’t need these defence mechanisms anymore.
My identity is independent of what people think of me.