A fear of what other people think of us can hold us back so much in life and as you are probably now aware from last week’s blog https://www.louiselloyd.life/self-acceptance-and-inner-peace/ seeking anyone else’s approval is really us seeking our own approval, and we really can be our own worst enemy.
Our need to be accepted or liked by others can often get in the way of us being truly authentic to who we really are. We can end up compromising who we are just because we know other people might not understand us or like the real us. When we do this we create a world around us that doesn’t really fit, which can lead to life feeling unfulfilling.
One of the reasons that we hold back from being the real us is that we fear the consequences of doing so. We fear that our life, and those in it might start to fall away. The irony is that the only people and things that will fall away are those that are not a fit for us anyway. We just need to be brave enough to let them go.
Until I had a tsunami of fear surface when my husband left me I had no idea just how much I feared what people thought about me, or that underneath it all was the fear of what and who I would lose if I was the real me. I had no idea just how much I had compromised on who I was or from doing things I loved. It has been an absolute blessing for me that it surfaced because it has given way to a deeper understanding of just how much I held back from being my true self. All stemming from a lack of self acceptance and ultimately, self love. Looking back in my life this was evident in so many everyday scenarios that I failed to see at the time.
There are countless ways that we hold ourselves back in life all for fear of what other people might think of who we truly are. This takes up so much of our time and effort, and means that ultimately we are living our life for someone else’s preferences. If we let this fear of other people’s opinions take preference over our own then before long we don’t really know who we are. We all know that trying to keep everyone else happy is impossible and yet we often don’t recognise when we have slipped into the habit of doing just that. We fail to notice when we are saying yes but meaning no, or saying no but meaning yes!
Whilst it is good to hear the opinions of others it is also good to hear your own. It can take time to quieten down outside opinions and noise, particularly in the world of social media. Taking time to shut all of that out and listen to your own inner self is time well spent.
The reality is that any opinion from anyone else can only come through the lens of their own life experience and that may or may not have benefit to you and your life experience. If only we realised that us seeking their approval is really us seeking our own approval. Once we find self approval and therefore self acceptance, we are infinitely more relaxed in our relationships with all others, and in everything we do.
Over the years I know I compromised on who I really was just so that I could fit in a bit more with those around me. Whilst we all need to make a few compromises here and there they should still be in alignment with our values and true self. We shouldn’t betray who we are in our heart. Looking back I can see I have done that many times, with many people, and in many situations.
How about you?
I have recently renewed my commitment to me being me. I have renewed my commitment to inner reflection and to allowing that to guide me above all else. I have turned down volume of the influences, opinions and noise from the outer world. I have renewed my commitment to accepting that my choices are often very different to ‘the norm’ and most importantly I have accepted that that is more than ok.