Do you worry about what other people will think? Are you worried that people won’t agree with your choices? That you’ll ‘rock the boat’ too much if you express what you really think? Or maybe you’re just worried that people won’t like you? Regardless, you are just honoring your insecurities. You are letting other people run your life, even if it’s all in your head.
Do You ‘Like’ Me?
We live in a society where acceptance seems to be everything. I mean, how many people base their likability or success on how many followers or ‘likes’ they have on social media? And acceptance seems to be mainly based on appearances. If you have nice stuff, you are fit, you look good, and you say all the right things – well everyone likes you. But do they really like you, or just the fascade that you are putting on? It’s those who are authentic and real – who go against the grain – who often don’t attract as many ‘likes’. I like to think that’s changing though and people are really starting to honor authentic behavior and individuality. Regardless, we all need to start not only being ourselves, but to stop feeling insecure with that. To allow ourselves to be who we are and love ourselves for who we are as well.
What Do YOU Like?
The first step really is about being true to yourself. To be who you are, to enjoy what you like, to act on what feels right to you without worrying what others will think about it. And if you are so lost in trying to impress people that you don’t really know who you are, you need to step back and figure that out. You can start by noticing the moments of joy in your life. What makes you happy at work, what brings you joy in your relationships, who do you connect with the most and why? And what about your beliefs – are they true for you, and do you really believe, or do you need to do more exploring of that? Are there things you enjoy doing in your free time that are truly fun for you? What do you look forward to and why? These are some first steps to getting to know yourself!
I must admit that sometimes I find myself wanting to click ‘like’ on something on social media, and having a moment of “will anyone judge me for that”? We all do it. We all have a gut reaction on whether or not we agree with something and then go into scrutinizing it and looking at how it might appear. It’s hard to get yourself out of that cycle of analysis. However, the more you can just be honest and true to yourself, the more you will live the life you were meant to live.
Insecurities and Unhappiness
I know people have judged me harshly at different times throughout my life. It’s true for everyone really. Even the most beautiful and successful people. There are always going to be ‘haters’. People who are insecure with themselves and deal with it by lashing out at others. I’ve coached people through this over the years in management. Rather than looking at what they are pointing to, realize that they are unhappy, angry and insecure – and they will often look at someone who ‘has their shit together’ and try and bring them down. They want what you have, and they are frustrated and angry because they don’t know how to get there. So, they will try and find your flaws – or at least your vulnerable places – and lash out. Remember that it is ALWAYS about them and never about you. Don’t engage.
Self-Love is Your Rock
Self-love takes time and work. It’s like peeling an onion. There are often layers of old beliefs, insecurities, worthiness issues, ego, fears, protection, self-doubt, self-sacrifice, self-sabotage, and so much more. We all have different layers, and there is no secret recipe to peeling them off, but you have to start to recognize them and set your intentions to clear them. You need to look for the right resources to do that as well. Start with whatever feels right. It might be a book, a counselor, a healer, or a trusted friend. But always follow your gut.
Insecurities Attract Vultures
There are also many people in the world that will attach themselves to you in some way when they recognize your insecurities and play on them. People that use it to manipulate you, control you, or just bring you down. I’ve cut ties with many people like this because I realized they were playing into my issues. I allowed them into my life because I didn’t see things clearly at the time. I didn’t have enough self-love to recognize what they were doing and that they weren’t good for me.
It all starts with more awareness really. To observe what you are doing to please or impress others, and how you can start to let that go. Maybe take breaks from social media, stop looking at your follower and ‘like’ numbers, or at least don’t think about it. Start to take a healthy break from anything you are doing to impress others. Maybe also make a plan to pay off some of the debts you also may have because of this same pattern of trying to impress people. Whatever you need to do, recognize where you are at with this and why, and start to change it.
Bring Yourself Back to You
Moving toward greater self-love will also pull you out of these patterns of self-sacrifice and putting on a false front. You need to find your true self who follows their own inner compass and gut feelings. Like saying ‘no’ when you really don’t want to do something. And not lying when someone asks you how you feel about it. Or pretending that everything is fine when it’s not. It’s about being authentic, open, vulnerable, honest and true to yourself. No, it doesn’t mean that you lose your compassion or you stop giving to others, but it means you can be honest about it all and how you feel.
So this week start to recognize where you aren’t being true to yourself, where you are putting on a false front, and perhaps doing things to make others happy but not yourself. And maybe take a bit of a break from social media too – especially if you notice yourself going into a pattern of thought about what other people will think, or even judging others (part of our own insecurities). Step back. Notice what you are doing and why. There is no time like today to start to change. Love yourself enough to do that.
A book you might be interested in is The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown.
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