Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Put your own-self worth in what you think of yourself, not in what other people "might" think of you.
There are many of us who let other people decide how we feel every day, as they use our insecurities against us to make us feel less than human. And those stinging, toxic, horrifyingly life-altering emotions effect us from the moment we wake up until we close our eyes to sleep at night. Heck, even then, some of us still have nightmares about those insecurities. We never catch a break.
We so often worry how the way we act around other people might lead them to perceive us. How we might be outcasted should we choose to dress the way we want to, that if we make the wrong joke, our friends might look at us differently. We refrain from enjoying ourselves to the fullest extent because we worry what other people are going to think.
And for what?
Nearly one-hundred-percent of the time, we worry people are thinking things of us that never actually cross their minds. I call these "assumed perceptions."
If you take a sociology class, one of the things they teach you is that your reality is based off of the perceptions you THINK other people have of you. So that means that, based off of some social anxiety or stress or insecurities you might have, YOU are the one controlling your reality of what people "supposedly" think of you. These are the assumed perceptions that we often let control our lives.
Think about that. Think about how many times you have stopped yourself from enjoying your life, from doing what you wanted to do because you worried what other people were going to think of you. Why should we live our lives like that? Why should YOU live your life that? Afraid of what people think? Why would you keep yourself from being really, truly happy, for a perception you think people have of you that doesn’t even exist?
Have you ever seen someone do something, maybe they danced to a song in a Walmart, said something so crazy and so funny and it made everyone around you burst into laughter, maybe they had the guts to get up and speak in front of an audience, and you wish you had that courage.
And you want that. You look at them and think “I wish I could do that.” Now think if the roles were reversed. You might have anxiety to get up and speak on stage, to dance to the Party Rock Anthem in Walmart, to make the joke you KNOW is going to make people crack up. Yet here you are, envying the person who does it? Don't you think that means that might just be what everyone could be thinking of you if you did those things you always wanted to do? That if you finally sang in the car like you always wanted to, the people around you would say, "Wow, I wish I was as laid back and care-free as you. Look at you just enjoying your life."
You see, these things are interconnected. When you finally set aside the opinions of the world, when you decide it's time to control what other people's perceptions are of you, it means you get to TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. You'll be happy when you wake up, you won't focus on your insecurities because you'll just be happy to be alive. You won't stop yourself from doing the things that bring you the purest joy of your life. The assumed perceptions that controlled you will become a thing of the past.
Sidebar-- think about this: When you're on your death bed, surrounded by people you love, content with the life you've lived, do you really you're going to be thinking, "Man, I had a great life, but I wonder what that one guy at Walmart who saw me shuffle-dancing in aisle six thought of me?"
It’s time to stop putting your self worth and your confidence in other people. Do what you want to do because you want to do it. What a sad life we would all live if we always stopped ourselves from doing things that make us happy because we worried what someone else would think because of all of these "assumed perceptions." We'd all be pretty dull people.
And you know, there’s that saying: Do what you want to do, nobody is judging you.
I prefer this one: You're probably judging yourself much harder than anybody else is going to, so do what you want to and stop letting you keep yourself from the life you want to live.