Your Opinion is the One That Counts!
Many of us go through life wondering what others think of us. We think we care too, which is actually funny because I can tell you with confidence, you don't. In fact it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because it always, and I repeat, always goes back to how you feel about yourself. Think of one of those days when you catch yourself in the mirror, and think something along the lines of, "Wow, I'm a mess today." My guess is you have all had one of those days at some point. On the same day, you run into someone you know, and they say to you something like, "You look great!" Which direction do your thoughts go? Do you agree with them, or do you think, clearly they either need glasses, or they are lying to you? My hunch is that you go down the path of thinking they obviously don't have any idea what they are talking about. If someone tells you that you look thin, do you say "thanks" and really accept the compliment, or does your mind automatically shift to thinking, "Ugh, I feel so fat today"?
I know that some days when I'm not feeling so great about myself, I just want to hide, and pray that I don't run into anyone I know. If someone pays me a compliment on one of those days, my inclination is to make sure they know how tired I am and that I know I'm a mess. It's like pointing out a pimple on your face to someone in order to make sure they know that you know it's there. Of course, we wouldn't want the other person to think we look presentable when clearly we don't!
On the flip side, if someone pays you a compliment and you agree, you will most likely accept the compliment and feel good. If you complete a project at work, and think you worked your hardest, and did a great job, you will agree and feel proud when your boss acknowledges it. Or, if you feel attractive one day, and someone tells you how great you look, you'll agree, and therefore feel happy. This is exactly what I mean when I say your opinion is the only one that really matters! We sometimes think we need compliments to feel good, but you actually need to feel good in order to really believe compliments.
Most people only fully accept compliments if they agree with it. Why in the world would people blatantly lie to you though? Do you think people don't have anything better to do with their time, and have some sort of master plan to try and make you feel good about yourself? Once again, it all goes back to you and the thoughts you have about yourself.
Try and notice where your mind goes the next time someone says something nice to you. If it automatically goes to the negative, try and think about the fact that maybe this other person really means what they are saying…just maybe you do look great today! Maybe you did do a great job! Maybe you are an amazing friend! Maybe you are inspiring!
It takes some awareness and some practice to start recognizing the good in yourself, especially if you have spent a lifetime putting yourself down. I sometimes have my clients make a list of the things they like about themselves, things that they are proud of, or things that make them happy. Writing things out, and actually seeing your list is very powerful. A good place to start if you can't come up with much, is listing the nice things that others say about you that you might normally brush off. My hunch is you are way more amazing than you give yourself credit for, and I know that with a little bit of effort you can start believing that too!!
Mine always counts! - George Akerley - Mar 23rd 2014
Melanie, thanks for that post. I agree with you on all counts - there are days we look at ourselves in the mirror and get repulsed by what we see. On the other hand, we can often look in the mirror immediately after getting out of the shower, and gaze at the entirety of us and exclaim - what a hottie!
Dipping out of the shower naked, we can see all that imperfection, yes; but we can also see the beauty of our bodies. For us men, we can admire the sleek nature of our legs, take in fully our genitalia in full glory - OH ain't it beautiful!! and consider our primal faces, whether shaven or not.
For ladies, again the sleek nature of their legs is most welcoming, but the fullness and shapeliness of the breasts are to beheld in awe, as well as the genitalia - shaved or not.
We might not present ourselves to ourselves too well when hopping out of bed at first, but after a scrub and cleansing, we look awfully good, and I salute all those who take advantage of viewing their bodies in their full splendor and enjoying it.