When we’re aware of what brings us down, we can let it go and watch ourselves rise up.
The energy outside affects the energy inside. People who complain all the time, people who blame you for their problems, people who bring you down, people who laugh at your dreams, people absorbed in their own worlds, people who always take and never give, these are all toxic people, if they do it consistently. People who do not add any love or joy to your life aren’t worth keeping. It isn’t selfish to cut them out, take a break, or limit the time you see them.
Other people’s opinions
We’re haunted by other people’s words, opinions and thoughts. Maybe we want to please someone. Maybe we think someone knows better. Maybe we feel we don’t have a choice. But if we’re never listening to our own heart, we’ll never feel truly satisfied, content or excited about life. We’ll add water to the seeds of regret, bitterness and misery. Do what makes you happy; even if it doesn’t always work out, at least you’re following your own path.
Self-limiting and self-doubt
Many of us struggle with low self-confidence. In fact, we could probably argue that it’s nowadays a part of life, at one stage or another. We’re afraid of failure. We punish ourselves for mistakes. We think we’re not good enough or bright enough or beautiful enough. But it’s all in our head. You are good enough. You have to find that belief, that faith, that courage buried inside and see how much your outlook changes.
Trying to fit in
Finding someone to talk about is an ancient pastime; we often gossip to fit in, to connect with a group of people and exclude someone else. On the flip side, we’re afraid to be that person who is excluded. We compare ourselves to others, always trying to erase the things that make us different. We focus on what’s ‘wrong’ with ourselves and what we don’t have. Trying to fit in breeds self-doubt and self-loathing, which leads to negativity. Instead try embracing and loving yourself and doing the same for others.
(Image: created myself)
Don’t give forgiveness because it’s the right thing to do. Rather because it’s the most liberating thing to do. When you forgive someone or yourself, you wash your body of grudges, judgement and hate. Forgive just as much for yourself as for others. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Give people a second chance. Even when that person is you. Nobody is perfect. And so that isn’t something we shouldn’t hold against each other or ourselves. Practice forgiveness and moving on.
Giving doesn’t demand great sacrifice, great spending, or great selflessness. We can give thanks or praise, we can lend a hand or an ear, and we can take others into account when we make speak or act. We can put ourselves in others shoes, we can give another the benefit of the doubt, we can respect each other, we can share knowledge and wisdom. Don’t underestimate your power to give to others. And don’t underestimate the power giving holds to make the world a better place.
You have a quiet fierceness inside. It can whisper, it can roar. Don’t drown it out with arrogance or doubt. Believe in your inner worth, inner confidence, inner ability. Nothing will take you further than belief in yourself. Nobody will take you further than you. Roar from within.
Being positive doesn’t mean staying positive. We all have negative moments, moments when we doubt ourselves, when we make mistakes, when someone lets us down, and so on. Being positive is how you bounce back from those moments. It’s about not letting those moments slip into weeks and months and years. It’s about talking to yourself, putting faith in yourself, and loving yourself despite those moments. Life is more than those moments. Once you figure that out, positivity will flow naturally through your veins.
Some people are going to say that your ideas are stupid. Don’t listen to them. People ridiculed the idea that the earth revolved around the sun. The truth is, people tend to put down things they don’t understand or put down things that contradict their way of thinking. Don’t let that stop you from pursuing your ideas. We won’t ever move forward if we don’t think differently. Show those doubters, non-believers and haters. Switch on a lightbulb in the darkness they’re trying to shut you in.
The first step is always the hardest step. Our passion and energy become clouded with anticipation and doubt. What if we don’t make it? And if we do, will it be worth it? The truth is, we won’t know until we take that first step and keep going. That’s the most exciting part – we don’t know what will happen. And that’s the reason we should take the first step. Because no matter what happens, no matter how unpaved the way is or treacherous the road is, everything will work out. It will be worth it if we try. It will be worth it in ways we can’t possibly imagine as we contemplate taking the first step. As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.
A lot hinges on our relationships and interactions with people around us: our energy, motivation, direction, choices, perspectives. That’s why it’s important we build solid, positive, fruitful and invigorating relationships around us. And cut our ties to those who take away from our life:
- The overlookers – we shouldn’t ever be made to feel worthless by those close to us. We shouldn’t ever be consistently ignored, excluded and belittled. We shouldn’t be constantly taken for granted. Although our self-worth should foremost come from within ourselves, relationships with others should nonetheless make us feel valued and appreciated.
- The nay-sayers – those around us shouldn’t distract us from where we want to go, with doubts, negativity, or self-importance. Our loved ones should encourage and push us forward, no matter how much they do not understand or agree with our choices. No matter how much they wish they could do the same too. Those close to us should want us to thrive.
- The game-changers – people who try to mould us into someone else or who won’t accept us for who we are will eventually be suffocating. And we shouldn’t have to change our very core principles and qualities for other people. We all have flaws and we should be able to embrace them, not escape them. We should be around people who love us for who we are.
Artists have been mocked. Actors, actresses and models have been labelled. Innovators have been doubted. Writers have been rejected. Musicians have been dropped. Anyone who works differently is outed. As she begun auditioning, Meryl Streep was told she was “ugly”. Now she is widely thought of as one of the greatest actresses of her time. In his role as a contributor for the San Francisco Examiner, Rudyard Kipling was fired for not knowing “how to use the English language”. Now he continues to be known as a successful writer.
We can’t stop what people say about us. But we can choose what we listen to. Some people are ignorant, insecure and envious. Others are kind, passionate and encouraging. Absorb the positive energy and brush off the rest. You, and you alone, know what you’re capable of. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Just believe in yourself and show them.
Look again. Our first glance is always clouded. With preconceptions and misconceptions, with doubt and fear, with insecurity and defeat. But if we look again, we might catch a new perspective, a new possibility, a new answer. We tend to rule ourselves out before we even give ourselves chance. Have a little faith in yourself. And have another look. You can do it.