To care about what others think of you and to care about what you think of yourself is a tightrope act. The independence in me wants to say…“forget about their opinions and live your own life”, but that isn’t a reality. We deal with people’s perceptions of us on a daily basis, but I am a firm believer in filtering certain perceptions into the mind and some into the trash where it belongs.
There is some value in people’s perception about you. But who? right? who matters enough and knows you well enough that you can CONSIDER (not buy into yet) their perspective— ONLY after you have already checked-in with your own integrity (see previous post).
Checking-in with yourself is crucial for both finding your voice and strengthening your esteem.
…but remember that YOU get to decide who matters, who genuinely has your best interest in mind, knows you well enough and has an opinion that you truly value—make a mental list.
I’ve worked with high school students for 9 years as both a career advisor and a mentor, and a common trend in conversation circles back to how they are consumed with gaining acceptance from peers. It is then I ask, but what do you think about yourself? Who do you think you are? What have you told yourself lately? Is what you think about yourself important to you?
At this point, their mind is processing and wondering what exactly do they think. I ask them to become a bit more mindful of what they say to themselves in the morning when they first wake up, when they look into the mirror and when they endure both small and large failures or victories through out the day. I also ask my students to consider the idea of someone saying these statements to them–would you be hurt or uplifted?
Needless to say, before anyone can start building their own lifestyle… some self-work is greatly needed in order to live the life that you deserve. Please understand that what you think of yourself is the most powerful thought there is—you indeed matter.
-Prof. Monica Stockhausen
Have something to add NerdyGirl? I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below!