You Can Be Your Own Worse Enemy
Some years ago, I was invited to speak at a conference with the largest audience I had ever faced. It was a big step up for me, anyway. Legendary speakers were giving talks, and I feared I would not measure up. I was nervous. I mean, really really really nervous.
I sat in the second roll beside a lady putting on shade of white top (see the attached picture) waiting for my turn, worrying about how people would see me. I thought about how to look impressive and get approval from the audience. My heart was pounding and my lips quivered. My mind fixed on me, me, me. I tell you, I was miserable!
Then, I began reading Rick Warren’s book – The Purpose Driven Life. He spoke about the happiness in wishing others well. In a twinkle of an eye, wave of relief and calming swept through me as I recognized that the kindest thing I could do for myself was to stop obsessing about “me” and instead try to be helpful to others.
So, I gave my talk, and stayed focused on what could be useful to people rather than how I was coming across. I felt much more relaxed and at peace and received a standing ovation and applauses from the audience. I laughed to myself at the ironies: to get approval, stop seeking it; to take care of yourself, take care of others.
I tell you, this principle holds in everyday life, not just in conferences, seminars, conventions, summits or workshops.
Whether you are trying to get hundreds of likes on your social media timelines or hoping to connect with someone, sometimes it can seem like your happiness depends on other people in today’s society. But there are ways to stop seeking approval of others.
The key is to begin with addressing your own thought process. Rather than seeking approval from external influences, try to find true happiness by developing a more stable relationship within yourself.
You are setting yourself for a nervous breakdown or a heart attack if you continue to wait for people’s approval.
To me, it is exhausting trying to be everything to everyone. But more to the point, it is unsustainable!
Eventually the psyche just collapses in on itself, like a sinkhole of muck, pressured by the weight of trying to figure out who other people want you to be. To be truly happy, you must honour the truth of you.
Don’t feel much pressure to fit in. Never! Try as much as you can to get close to as many people that has the same vision and mindset with you. I have good friends and family; and if I don’t fit in somewhere else, I fit in at home.
Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy by having negative thoughts about yourself. But quashing these is key to recognizing your own worth.