I can’t remember when I first heard this quote or who said it, but it surprised me. My first thought was “Why wouldn’t I care about what other people think of me?” After reflecting on it for a while I understood. When we think enough of ourselves, and approve of ourselves and we like ourselves, it doesn’t really matter what other people think of us, we’re good! The opposite is also true. As long as were looking for outside approval, we’ll never be “good enough” because we can’t please everyone or control what they think. Wouldn’t it feel better to be self-approved?

When we’re “self-approved” we no longer need to do things that would make other people happy at our expense to gain their approval. We also stop telling ourselves “we should” do certain things that we really don’t want to do just so that others will be pleased with our behavior and approve of us. Instead, making choices that leave us feeling good becomes more important because our own happiness matters. We have become a priority to ourselves!

Here’s something I learned. Whenever we wonder what someone thinks about something we’ve said or done, it’s really our own self that questions it! It’s not about what another person thinks. It’s a reflection of our own doubt or judgment. Think about it for a minute. When we feel good or confident about something we’ve done, we’re not usually wondering what someone else thinks. When we’re unsure about something we’ve said or done, we tend to wonder what other people think (of us).

The truth is we’re always doing the best we can in every moment. What we said or did may not have turned out exactly the way we wanted, but instead of seeking approval from others, what about checking in with yourself? How did it leave you feeling? If it didn’t feel good to you, you can change your choice next time. Because guess what, “next time” is coming soon. Each time I make a choice that leaves me feeling a little uneasy, I find it helpful to ask myself, “(next time) what can I do differently so that when this is over, I feel good about how I handled it?” It’s one small step that can leave you feeling better NOW.

With love, Jackie

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