The will to interact and communicate is in the essence of the human being. Indeed, we often want to go to the most fancy or popular places to be surrounded by people. The presence of others reassures us, it is in our primary nature: we want to be with people and unconsciously, we want everyone to like us. But, do we really need to please everyone to be happy?
4 Ways to Let Go of the Need for Validation
Just because a diamond is not admired doesn’t mean it doesn’t shine.
Once, my yoga teacher told me an amazing story that completely changed my life. This tale was about a lion, a cheetah and, a frog. They were all together in a forest in front of a huge and luxurious tree. They decided to have a competition. The deal was that the first one who could reach the top of the tree would win the challenge.
Naturally, the lion, the king of the animals, decided to go first. Everybody screamed encouragements at him and also made fun of him. The lion failed. Then, the clever and athletic cheetah tried to climb the beautiful tree. Every animal started to applaud, encourage and also make bad jokes about the potential failure of the cheetah. The cheetah failed.
Finally, the frog decided to climb the tree. The crowd continued to encourage and mock at the same time. The frog reached the top of the tree with a sincere and humble smile. Amazed, the cheetah asked the duck, who was the best friend of the frog, how she could do it. The duck answered: “she is deaf.”
Things have the importance we give them.
What does this story reveal about life? In fact, it reveals that if you care too much about others’ opinion, then you have more chances to fail. Indeed, sometimes you can be surrounded by mean people who want to see you fail. This can be the case if you are working in a very competitive field, for example. In that case, giving too much importance to what people say they think about you can be very destructive. Actually, it will put so much pressure on your shoulders that you will fail.
It is not about becoming egotistical: kindness is the key.
Don’t give too much importance to what people think is different from ignoring constructive criticism. Indeed, some people want to make us better, to help us grow. We can’t ignore the beautiful people that we have the chance to have in our lives. The important thing is to know who is good for us and who is not. This can be a very hard exercise but with time and benevolence, the truth will appear naturally. In fact, when you want to please everybody, the risk is that you will hide your true self to show a personality that will be loved for sure.
What you need to remember is that if you are not yourself with people, the connections you create will be superficial and fragile. As a matter of fact, one day you will have to take off your mask. People will realize that you lied to them by being a person you are not and you will lose them. On the contrary, if you show your true self to people, first you manifest self-respect and then you will create strong friendships. Once again, it is not about crushing others, it is about expressing your true self with kindness to show people who you really are.
Be your own home.
Epictetus once said: “Never depend on the admiration of others. […] Personal merit cannot be derived from an external source.” Indeed, imagine you are a house made of bricks and every brick represents the people you give importance to. Then, every time someone will disappoint you, a part of your house falls down. On the contrary, if every brick is made with a piece of yourself, then the house is unshakeable and indestructible. Loving yourself is the point zero. Considering yourself is the second level. Accepting compliments and constructive criticism should be at another level. Finally, surrounding yourself with people who sincerely want to help you be the better version of yourself should be the ultimate level of self-confidence and self-love.
Also by Victoria: Animal Lithotherapy—A Fun & Colorful Way To Keep Your Pets Healthy
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Photo: Shelby Townsend via Flickr; vasili f via Flickr