Truth is, I used to spend way too much time worrying about what other people think of me. I almost drove myself insane trying to calculate my next move based on how I thought other people would react to it. Trying to be a mind-reader, I was always in my feelings when people didn’t react to me the way I felt like they should. I boxed myself in trying to impress people who really weren’t my people. I was limiting myself trying to be loved by everyone, not realizing that I’m not meant for everyone. Coming to terms with the fact that I couldn’t make people like me no matter how smart, beautiful, kind, and giving I am was a tough pill to swallow. It was hard to accept the fact that there will be people who will dislike me, without ever taking the time to get to know me, and there is nothing that I can do about it. However, once I realized why I was so focused on what other people think and where my need to prove my worth to others was stemming from, I made the choice to acknowledge it, heal from it, and stop it from negatively affecting my life.
I love my parents. I appreciate them for providing for me a home, making sure that I was well-kept, educated, and fed. I’m thankful for the time my mom took to pack my lunches, do my hair, transport me to and from school, and attend my chorus recitals. I’m thankful that my father was committed to providing for his family and introduced me to God and faith. I’m grateful for the ways my parents have financially supported me and my dreams. However, me and my parents have never had an emotionally close relationship. Growing up, I don’t remember very many hugs or “I love you’s”. I don’t remember them pouring into me emotionally, talking to me about real life things, and affirming my self-worth. I never felt comfortable going to them to talk about things that I was experiencing from boys to bullying. Financially, they were the perfect parents, they took care of all of my physical needs. Emotionally, they couldn’t give me what they never received themselves. As a child, I didn’t see or appreciate how financially blessed I was. I could only see that I had no one to talk to. I felt like I was alone in figuring life out and dealing with my problems and that had major affects on my self-esteem. As an adult, I now know that my father lost both his parents at a young age and pretty much raised himself. Much like me, my mother grew up in a household where there wasn’t much conversation or parental guidance on real life matters. I totally get how they ended up becoming the parents they are, but I still wish they had made the choice to end the generational cycle instead of contributing to its continuation. Thankfully, I am fully aware of its affects so it stops with me.
I now realize that my extreme focus on other people’s thoughts and acceptance was me trying to fill a void due to the lack of love and attention that I felt growing up. The discouragement and depression I used to feel when it seemed like I was being left out, ignored, or overlooked by others was triggered by my childhood pain. My desire for approval and acceptance wasn’t real, but influenced by my past circumstances. I had to make the choice to no longer allow my past to have a negative hold on me and cause me to sabotage my present and future. To do that, I had to accept the past for what is was, acknowledge how it affected me, forgive my parents and my bullies, shift my mindset, and intentionally improve my habits. It wasn’t an overnight transformation, but practice made perfect. You see, once I learned to love myself, affirm myself, and celebrate myself, I stopped seeking validation from others. Once I started doing only the things that made me happy and could confidently look in the mirror every day and say that I am proud of my actions, I stopped worrying about what people think about me. I learned that when you’re truly happy with yourself and what you do, other people’s thoughts become less important. I found myself, defined my own self-worth, and turned my pain into power. Today, I walk in my truth accepting that everyone doesn’t have to like or agree with it for me to be happy and successful. Because I am unapologetically and unwaveringly true to myself, I now send out the kind of vibes that attract those who love me for me. The result is no longer feeling left out, overlooked, unappreciated, unloved, or unworthy. I no longer feel the need to overthink about what people think, make assumptions about people’s reactions, take it personally when people don’t like me, or make moves based on people’s opinions because I have changed the narrative of my story. I freed myself of that burden and I am a happier, healthier woman because of it. Because I made the choice to acknowledge my self-harming behavior and fix it, when I am blessed to become a mother, I will be able to give my child what they need so that they don’t have to go through life imprisoned by other people’s thoughts and opinions.
Every single day, we all make choices. We make the choice to allow our experiences to make us bitter or better. Despite where you’ve been or what you’ve been through, it is never too late to change your direction and rewrite the way your story ends. Need assistance with overcoming your past and turning your pain into power? Need help with being accountable for your actions to manifest a life you can be proud of? Connect with me through my coaching program.