You won’t find your worth entirely in someone else — you find it in yourself, and then you will attract those who are worthy of your energy.
Sometimes we try to show the world we are flawless in hopes that we will be liked and accepted by everyone, but we can’t please everyone and we shouldn’t try. The beauty of us lies in our vulnerability, our complex emotions, and our authentic imperfections. When we embrace who we are and decide to be authentic, instead of who we think others want us to be, we open ourselves up to real relationships, real happiness, and real success.
There’s no need to put on an act every day this year. There’s no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. You have nothing to continuously prove. And if you catch yourself doing so, remind yourself…
1. It’s imperative to honor your own boundaries.
When you run into someone who discredits you, disrespects you, or treats you poorly for no apparent reason at all, don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval. And be sure not to leave any space in your heart to hate them. Simply give yourself some healthy space and let karma deal with the things they say and do, because any bit of time you spend on these people will be wasted, and any bit of hate and aggravation in your heart will only hurt you in the end.
Truth be told, some people will always tell you what you did wrong, and then hesitate to compliment you for what you did right. Don’t be one of them, and don’t allow these people to constantly drain your energy and joy. Remember that distancing yourself from people who give you negative vibes or unhealthy energy is self-care. Stepping back from situations where you feel unappreciated or disrespected is self-care. Choose to honor your feelings and boundaries, respectfully.
2. The people worth impressing want you to be yourself.
In the long run it’s better to be loathed for who you are than loved for who you are not. In fact, the relationships that often work well in the long run are the ones that make you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself, and without preventing you from outgrowing the person you used to be. So let others take you as you are, or not at all. Speak your truth even if your voice shakes!
By being true to yourself, you put something breathtaking into the world that was not there before. You are stunning when your passion and strength shines through as you follow your own path — when you aren’t distracted by the opinions of others. You are powerful when you let your mistakes educate you, and your confidence builds from firsthand experiences — when you know you can fall down, pick yourself up, and move forward without asking for anyone else’s permission.
Bottom line: Don’t change just so people will like you; keep learning, growing, and nurturing your best self, and pretty soon the RIGHT people will love the REAL you.
3. YOU are the primary person who can change your life.
In every situation you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is you. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to recognize that regardless of what has happened up to this point in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation, or to change the way you think about it. Don’t let the opinions of others interfere with this prevailing truth.
What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends primarily on what you choose to do with your time and energy. So stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Just keep doing your thing. The only people that will fault you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.
4. Society’s common measurements of worth are worthless.
When you find yourself trapped between what moves you and what society tells you is right for you, always travel the route that makes you feel alive, unless you want everyone to be happy, except you. Seriously, no matter where life takes you, big cities or small towns, you will inevitably come across others who think they know what’s best for you — people who think they’re better than you — people who think happiness, success and beauty mean the same things to everyone…
They’ll try to measure your worth based on what you have, instead of who you are. But you know better than that — material things don’t matter. Don’t just chase the money. Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive. Go for the things of greater value — the things money can’t buy. What matters is having strength of character, an honest heart, and a sense of self-worth. If you’re lucky enough to have any of these things, never sell them. Never sell yourself short! (Note: Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the Self-Love and Simplicity chapters of “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently”.)
5. Life isn’t a race.
Everyone wants to get there first and shout, “Look at me! Look at me!” But the truth is, most of your happiness and growth occurs while you’re moving, not while you’re standing at the finish line. So remind yourself as often as necessary that you are not behind. You are where you need to be. Don’t judge or berate yourself for how long your journey is taking. We all need our own time to travel our own distance.
And don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember that you can’t lift a thousand pounds all at once, yet you can easily lift one pound a thousand times. Small, repeated efforts will get you there…
Work hard. Rest well. Learn to disconnect. Engage in self-care. In the marathon of life, the key is learning to be mindful and pace yourself.
6. The path to most great things passes through failure.
You are an ever-changing work in progress. You don’t have to always be right, you just have to not be too worried about being wrong. Screwing up is part of the process. Not getting approval, or not even looking the part sometimes, is the only way forward. If you try too hard to impress everyone with your “perfection,” you will stunt your growth! You will spend all your time faking it and looking a certain way, instead of growing up and living a certain way.
Truly, it’s impossible to live without failing sometimes, unless you live so cautiously that you aren’t really living at all — you’re merely existing. And if you’re too afraid of failing in front of others, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful in your own eyes. You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how messy your journey is, so long as you do not stop taking small steps forward. In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that make gradual progress. And YOU can be one of them.
Now is the time — it’s your turn!
Yes, it’s your turn to stop waiting for approval from everyone this year, because you don’t need a standing ovation or a bestseller or a promotion or a million bucks. You are enough right now! You have nothing to prove. Care less about who you are to others and more about who you are to yourself. I promise you will have less heartaches and disappointments the minute you stop seeking from others the validation only YOU can give yourself.
But before you go, please leave Marc and me a comment below and let us know what you think of this essay. Your feedback is important to us. 🙂
Which one of the points above resonated the most today?
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Photo by: Lali Masriera