“Other people’s opinions of you – whether positive or negative – are fleeting. Your opinion of you is the one that needs to take precedence.”
The other day I was walking around my home and heard a familiar sound…the sound of my ankles cracking.
Ever since I can remember I recall my ankles cracking.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that having your ankles crack is a fairly common thing so, I’ve learned to accept it and not let it bother me.
When I was younger though, my ankles cracking did bother me – a lot.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was a freshman in high school and a group of us were sitting in a circle asking our gym teacher questions about our health.
I innocently asked in front of the group – “My ankles crack when I walk – do you know why that is?”
My gym teacher put one hand over the side of his mouth, as if to try to hide what he was saying to the group, but still being loud enough for all my peers to hear him, when he said: “Why don’t you try losing some weight.”
Ugh. “Did he really just have to say that in front of everyone?” I thought quietly to myself.
This gym teacher in particular was someone who had incredible influence over me. He was my gym teacher in second grade and I remember being afraid to do a somersault and he pushed me over and I ended up hurting my back.
Then, I had him again for a short while in middle school, and then throughout my four years in high school.
I wish I could say my relationship with this gym teacher was one of inspiration, encouragement and confidence building.
No. Unfortunately, it was quite the opposite.
Looking back, I can see it clearly that, as a kid, I was forced to have this man’s opinion of me mean more than my own because he was in a position of “authority”.
His opinion of me mattered more than my own. And, his opinion of me, in my young self eyes meant that I was: un-athletic, clumsy, and overweight.
He was always “right” – at least that’s what my younger self was taught to think.
And, this is where we can get trapped in believing we’re less than – not only enduring bullying from our peers, but enduring bullying from people who were placed in positions of authority over us.
However, as an adult this pattern of giving other people’s opinions of you power – must stop.
You must become the authority in your own life and rely on God’s opinion of you. When you learn that opinion and what’s in store for you as far as potential, blessings, and overall joy – you’ll never be the same again.
You wouldn’t believe how the influence of this one teacher effected my perception of me, my athletic abilities, and my overall body image all these years.
However, I’ve swiftly taken the power back from him each time I enter a road race, or go to a daily class at the local CrossFit
And, as my ankles crack as I walk up the gym steps, or cross-over a road race finish line, I realize that gym teacher never knew the Real Me. No, that’s only an honor that I bestow on people who are willing to SEE, and honor Her for who she really is – authentic, fantastic, strong and athletic! ;)
If you tend to allow other people’s opinions of you to outweigh you own, check-out the Worthy Work below to learn how-to begin taking your power back and honoring yourself in the process.
To Your Worth!
There is a great book titled: What You Think of Me Is None Of My Business – and it really gets down to the core of how our self-image gets shaped by how other people’s views of us shape who we believe we are. To help you take this power back, consider:
Deflect That Projection: Other people project “their stuff” all over you if you allow it. Simply notice the next time you’re having a conversation and all of a sudden you feel somebody projecting all over you. You’ll feel it. You’ll begin to feel uncomfortable, less than, and inferior – it’s an unconscious thing. Simply notice it and don’t allow the opinion to penetrate or have an effect. Imagine having an invisible shield that you hold over your core area and simply say to yourself – I deflect this projection – and move on!
Stand Up For Yourself: If you find yourself in situations where you have others projecting on you – you can stand up for yourself in many ways. You can literally use your voice and ask the other person to stop. Or, you can use the technique above to make a shift for yourself on the inside. You can also stand up for yourself by instituting boundaries with certain people that feel like they drain you and make sure you keep your time with them limited.
Prove Yourself Right: Over the years I’ve had to learn to challenge myself and consistently get out of my known comfort zone in order to prove myself right vs. prove my gym teacher right. I’ve always known that I love sports, working out and moving my body – but the opinions that got projected on me kept me stuck in in-action. I learned that in order to re-shape how I see myself and begin to believe it, I had to, not only take Nike’s advice and Just Do It® – but I had to Just Do It® While Feeling Terrified!
Give yourself permission to break-out of those old opinions that were formed from long ago and embrace who you really are. Your inner opinion that comes from God is the one to follow. Back it up with action and you’ll see how un-stoppable you really are!
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