Being happy and remaining happy when going after your dreams is difficult. Most people spend half of their lives trying to find happiness and hold on to it as tightly as they can, but it often slips through their fingers.
One of the main reasons people fail to keep steady happiness comes from tying their happiness to people, places, or things. The opinions of others become something they rely on for feeling self-worth, and negative opinions can stop them in their track.
It’s time to learn more about how to take back your self-worth.
Wanting People to Like You
Think about your own life. Have you ever wanted the approval of a parent or mentor figure? Have you wanted a crush to like you, or your friends to be impressed by you?
On the other side, have you feared doing something embarrassing in front of them?
Imagine that you are back in school. You’re being picked on by people who are calling you out for the way that you look and act. This has been going on for some time. Perhaps these people are part of the cool kids, or simply just people who are mean enough for you to fear this treatment.
This is one example of tying your own happiness to other people. The words and actions of these bullies directly impacts how you feel, right? Most of us have experienced this sort of treatment before, and that’s okay.
We aren’t suggesting you should blame yourslf, or saying that you should accept bad behaviour, but consider how your self-worth was tied to others in school. One thing that becomes very clear in self-development is that we can’t change others, but have to look to ourselves to change our lives.
What we’re suggesting here is to take a look at the meaning you’ve associated with bullies and judgmental people. We’re encouraging you to look inwards at the power you give to other people by allowing them affect your happiness. In this sense, reacting to bullies and putting weight on their words, on what they think, can only damage you.
To clarify, we aren’t talking about physical violence, or more extreme forms of manipulation. If you’re experiencing those issues, please seek out some help from relevant authorities, such as the police in the case of violence, or from peers, family, and mental health workers in the case of extreme manipulation.
This article is exploring judgmental people in your life; certainly mean and uncomfortable to experience, but not dangerous. We’re going to probe deeper into the meaning we can give such people.
Giving Away the Power of Meaning
Have you ever asked yourself:
Do the words of some negative people really need to hurt so much? How much do they really know about me? Am I giving more weight to what they think of me, rather than what I think of me?
Think about whether this sort of thing might be happening in your current life. Are there bullies or negative people that you’re afraid of crossing? If there are, then you may need to consider whether you’re giving up your power, and in the process becoming enslaved to what others think of you.
However, there are more people we give the power over our own happiness to than just bullies.
Think back to school again. Have you ever wanted to impress a teacher? What about a group of friends? What happened if you weren’t able to do something they liked? Did it affect your self-worth and self-esteem?
The power here comes from your reaction; not just from how you react with your words and actions, but from how you react emotionally. It often feels like we have no control over our emotions, but this isn’t true. What we think and choose to focus on can impact how we feel about certain situations.
The truth of the matter is: the things that people say about you only negatively affect you if you allow them to become real to you. No one has the power to hurt you unless you let them.
You have to accept their words and judgments before they can actually impact you.
Ultimately you are allowing yourself to care about what the other person thinks. If someone calls you a bad name, it only matters if you care what that person thinks. The same thing occurs if you are chasing your dreams to be an actor or author, as an example, but find yourself afraid to put yourself out there.
Ask yourself: am I living my life by the standards of others?
Am I focused on what everyone else thinks of me, rather than what I think of me?
Does it really matter if they think these things about me? Do I have a centre of self-worth that goes beyond that?
If you have experienced this sort of thing before, spend some time exploring why you care about pleasing other people. You might find a deeper need to develop your self-worth.
If you have experienced this before, beware the resentment and grudges you can cultivate over time towards those who judged and mistreated you. Not only does this go nowhere, but the worst part about holding this anger inside at someone who wronged you is that, without realising it, you torture yourself by reliving the event.
The unfortunate thing is that the person themselves is likely out living their life. They often don’t care how angry or hurt you. And as we have discussed so far, for you to gain control of your happiness, you’ll need to do the same thing.
You’ll need to let go and forgive, not only them but also yourself, so that you can change the meaning you’ve given to these events and these people in your life. In other words, you’ll need to stop attributing your self-worth and happiness to whether others like you, support you, or think highly of you.
If you can focus on yourself as a source of self-love and respect, knowing who you are at heart, it won’t matter what others think of you. Words will bounce off you. Your happiness will be tied to you, and you alone.
If you want to develop this further, check out Dream Life Mastery, run by Steve G. Jones, certified hypnotherapist. There you’ll learn more about how to alter the meaning you’ve given to negative people and events in your life.
We like to think our content here is useful and practical, but if you’re looking to make the most of our content by taking it further, we couldn’t recommend anything better, so be sure to check them out.
He also offers a fantastic range of FREE hypnosis CDs, designed to help cement poitive thoughts and feelings into your mind, and to help undo past decisions that have been negatively affecting your life since childhood. These tracks cover finances, anxiety, weight loss, happiness and overall success, so there’s something for everyone.
Now, back to judgmental people and the meaning you give.
We want to leave you with a succint set of tips that will help tie everything we’ve talked about together. These tips are simple, but very effective, if you want to take control of your happiness:
- Don’t tie your happiness to anyone. Instead, turn to yourself for self-love and respect. The more you remind yourself to look inwards rather than outwards, the easier it gets.
- Don’t wait for anyone to inspire you to start chasing your dreams. It isn’t about pleasing others. It’s about doing what you love and creating the life you dream of.
- Remind yourself that what people say about you isn’t necessarily accurate. It’s only a representation of what they think about you. Take constructive criticism onboard, but turn inwards for a more accurate reflection.
- Continue being the best you can be even when you have been wronged. Try to let the thoughts and opinions of others deflect off of your shield. Only you can slow yourself down.
- Forgive the people who have wronged you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create boundaries and stand up for yourself, but carrying around the resentment will only fester within you and poison all of your pursuits.
- Take your self-development further. We all have the habit of learning some new skills for creating a better life, only for those skills to be forgotten without further practice and development.
- Finally, spend some time to create a sense of mindfulness, so that you’re aware of how you’re feeling when people are judging you. Awareness is a powerful first step, and often merely being aware of the thoughts and emotions can cause them to lose their power.