We often discount others’ perceptions of us. Our whole lives, we are told it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as we are happy or comfortable with ourselves. But I think we tell ourselves (and our children and our friends) that when there is someone who thinks negatively of us. Because it hurts to hear that other people think of you in a negative light and yes, you want to forget that.
But what we don’t tell each other enough is that what other people think of us really does matter. It’s just different people. We should care what the people who love us think about us. How they see us matters. How they see us is probably the truest version of who we are.
This has become especially true for me lately. In times when I’m struggling with who I am, what I want and who I want to be… it’s the people who love me and know me that I’ve turned to. And in doing that, I’ve often gotten a huge confidence boost.
You now the saying that you are your own worst critic? Yeah, that is dead-on for me. I’ve struggled with my self-image and self-confidence for much of my life, and often beat myself up for the little things.
But I’ve been trying lately to see myself in a new way. The way the people who love me see me.
When I see myself that way, I see that:
- “You are not, by any definition of the word, a failure.”
- “I am proud of you.”
- “You are an inspiration.”
- “You are so brave.”
- “Our lives are brighter, happier, and so much more fun because of you.”
- “You’re the best around!”
- “I wish you the best of the best. … Keep following what makes you happy, everything will come easier from here.”
- “You are such a rockstar. … You are incredible.”
- “…it takes a very strong woman to hold my attention. I am proud to call you one of those women.”
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of support from the people in my life lately. And the kind words they have thrown my way, whether they knew I needed them or not, have been perfect.
I am seeing myself in a new way, and I think it’s important to keep those thoughts in mind as often as possible. I’ve re-read the card my coworkers gave me at my goodbye party on Friday at least 20 times, and I get chills and choke up every time. The genuine words they had for me have inspired me to keep my chin up.
When things get hard, I’ve got my inspiration right there.
So I encourage you to do the same whenever you can. If things are looking rough, if you’re not feeling confident in yourself or proud of who you are, try to take the time to see yourself the way your friends, family and coworkers do. It’s probably a safe bet that it’ll be an instant mood-changer and a good source of inspiration
for the future. When you see the beauty in yourself, things will get a little bit easier. And you’ll feel like you can take on anything.
“You got to see yourself like I do
See yourself from my point of view
No one else can get through
Until you see yourself like somebody that loves you”
-See Yourself by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers