Once, many years ago, a friend of mine called me “obnoxious” because I always like to be doing things. I didn’t want to just stay home… I wanted to take road trips, go to conventions, and I always had some volunteering or service project that I was involved in.
She said it was obnoxious that I “always needed something to look forward to” as if I was never content and let me know that she believed she was far more “grounded” than I was.
It hurt my feelings. I felt judged for being an adventurer, and I felt rejected by her because she never cared enough to get involved in any of my projects, or even to ask about them.
The worst part of it all, was that I constantly questioned myself instead of looking at the source of the criticism. And that is common.
Criticism or judgment comes our way and we think “What’s wrong with ME” instead of asking ourselves “What’s wrong in this person’s life that they need to criticize me?”
I lived like a prisoner to the opinion of other people for far too long and I didn’t speak up because I was afraid of hearing “I don’t want to be your friend anymore!”
I let people who would insult me have power over me! That’s just crazy!
So I learned to be brave enough to live life my way. I hope you will too!
Here are a few tips to be brave enough to live life your way:
1 Keep it real. Let’s face it, if someone is willing to dump you because you have an opinion, then they don’t deserve to be in your life anyway! Upgrade your tribe!
2 Embrace your supporters! You DO have someone in your life that is always supportive…. embrace them, thank them, and invite them to the celebration of YOU!
3 Realize that judgment is nothing more than an opinion. And do you want to live by the opinion of someone else, especially if he’s a jerk? No way!
4 Try it! Action will always make you feel brave! Over-thinking or prolonged planning will only hold you back from taking that first step!
5 Be aware and accepting! It’s OK to be afraid of doing, being, or trying… don’t beat yourself up! Admit you are afraid, accept that fear is normal, and go for it while you are still afraid!
6 Nobody ever died from judgment or rejection! Allow yourself to feel sad, hurt, embarrassed or whatever and then move on!
A friend (a real friend) once said to me, “I admire you, You are always so brave, you don’t care what other people think!” I thought about that statement for a long time and responded… “I care what you think, but I no longer care what some people think. We only have limited, precious time on earth and I won’t squander that time on people that don’t appreciate me as I am.”
I honor who you are, and I hope you will honor YOU as well!
Love and Inspiration,
Heather Paris inspires people all over the world to create happier lives through talks, workshops, blog posts, and her book, Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness. For more information about transforming your relationship, family, or your life, contact Heather today!