I must have been, if not THE, one of the most self-conscious, introverted children in high school. Wait! Self-Conscious/Introverted. Are they the same thing? I spent all of my teen years and half of my adult life caring about what others thought about me, always seeking approval where there wasn’t any. Jumping through hoops to fit in. Looking back on it all, it took a lot of energy worrying about what everyone thought about the many aspects of my life, whether it was my personal life or my career path it was debilitating trying to keep everyone happy.
Society is like a circus, we either perform or we get shut out. That is until you realise that those people that we are so willing to walk a tightrope for are themselves walking their own tightrope. At that point, you wake to the reality that you have to start to think about what’s best for you and move away from the circus.
Conformity is our nature, so changing the mindset of NOT taking things personally, like any other change you make in your life, is a daily practice of self control, self-love and personal growth. Don’t be disappointed if you failed the first time. It still takes me time to remember that other people’s opinion of me is not who I am nor does it depict my character.
©Etta D. Richards