Let Freedom Ring
This time of the year is always good for reflection. It’s mid-year and the last 6 months either brought you closer to where you want to be, took you further away, or you were stagnant and stayed in the same place. Regardless, you are where you are and now it’s time for a reset that can catapult you into the second half of the year.
In this month of July, something to consider is what’s holding you back. Even if you have been moving ahead, there’s always room for growth, right? A place that often makes people hesitate, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, is worrying how others perceive you.
Is this an issue for you? For most of us, the answer is yes. How do I know? Just give yourself a tally if you have ever done these:
Said, “I can’t post that because my background is too cluttered” even though it’s a really great picture
Carefully edited a photo for an excessive amount of time so that it’s picture perfect
Rushed around your house cleaning before company comes over
Apologized for “my messy house” when you and your guests both know it’s not messy
Bending over backwards for someone when it inconvenienced you solely so that they would think highly of you
Said you could do something to impress someone (knowing you couldn’t) and then had to learn how to do it when they asked you to (funny story--a friend told a man she liked that she made the best version of a dessert that she never made before...and then he asked her to make it. Yikes!)
Treated your kids differently in front of a certain group of people (somehow your patience magically goes to 100% when you’re with those moms)
And the list goes on and on...sigh.
Reading this list kind of makes me laugh a bit and I can only imagine what you’d add. Most of these are related to social media and the house being disorganized so hello...you clearly see the things I worry about. I’m guilty of it too. But I’m working my way out of it. So join me in that because, well...you can’t please everyone.
Everyone has an opinion about almost everything. You think she’s cool or you don’t. You think he’s cute or he’s not. You think they are great with business or they aren't. She’s super organized or isn’t. And maybe it doesn’t fall along these extremes, but guess what? You think all these things about others without even realizing it. So why would you expect that others wouldn’t have opinions about you too?
Even more than that, why do you even care? Honestly girl. Does it matter if the masses think you’re generous, an expert, a neat freak, or the best baker? While it would be nice for all of this to be true, it’s really just not realistic to believe that everyone will approve of everything you do.
Instead, the question you should be asking is, “What does it mean to me to be [insert whatever characteristic or quality you’re seeking]?” And then go do that. Your thoughts, your body, your emotions, your life, not influenced by others. Life is too short. It’s time for you to take control and live the life that makes YOU happy.
And while you may wish for things to be different about you, I’d caution you to carefully consider whether that’s because you want it for yourself or if you want it because you think that’s what someone else is expecting of you.
Sis, the way I see it, you have two choices. Continue to live under the shackles of other people’s opinions of who you should be or reclaim your freedom and shake that ish off. You only have one life to live and it shouldn’t be based on the acceptance of other people.
So in honor of the 4th of July and in the spirit of freedom, here’s four questions to ask yourself regarding other people’s opinions of you:
Will their opinion have an impact on my day to day?
-Let’s be real...Probably not.
Will anyone care in 5 years?
-9 times out of 10, the answer is no. So chill.
Is what they think any of your business?
-Contrary to popular belief, it’s not. Just like what you think isn’t anyone else’s business
Am I doing my best?
-Now this, the answer for this is probably yes. So give yourself some grace babe!
Free yourself like Fantasia. Scream freedom like Beyonce. Cover yourself in freedom like H.E.R.
However you choose to do it, just go for it. Give up the notion that you have to fall into other’s expectations and just be who you want to be. Might be a good time to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and write down your own triggers for other people’s opinions of you. Grab a match or a lighter. Burn the list (safely). Release it. It’s a new way to DateYourselfGirl!