Today I subtly observed how perceptions influenced the people around me. I noted how typically, the way others perceive us differs from the way we identify ourselves and how frequently we let others’ perceptions dictate us.
Sometimes, we take the positive reactions we receive from others for granted. Pride takes over and tells us: “we’re great! we’re awesome!” We start expecting the same reactions from everyone else. Our weaknesses or imperfections start to fade away until we even stop looking in the mirror for an occasional tune-up. And so, if someone doesn’t respond to us with the same amount of enthusiasm, we are doomed with shock.
Or it could be the other way around. It could be that we are instilled with so much negativity that we only focus on our flaws. Our mind gets in the habit of deflating our strengths and abilities causing us to never seek out our talents. And whenever we receive a compliment, we find ourselves surprised.
Today I was reminded of a moment in my life where I had a mini epiphany. At one point in my younger days, someone’s perception of me came along which was a bit more powerful than the rest. It made me pause, step back and mentally say: “wait a minute!? what was that!?” But I gently ignored that thought and went about my merry way.
Little did I know, that thought simmered in my mind all day and later that evening when the curtains were closed – an idea came to mind. What if I were to make two lists; one of my self-perceptions and the second of others’ perceptions? And so I did. The first list was easy to fill but the second…a bit more limiting. As I struggled to come up with some content, I came to a realization. Well nothing I didn’t already know, I guess it was more of a confirmation. Even if the others could guess a few of the points I made in my self-perceptions list, they couldn’t possibly see me in a way that “truly” represents MOI?! It’s simply because they haven’t walked in my shoes. I am the one who traveled through my journey, felt the joys or pains of my experiences, once actually was in my memories! That realization penetrated a sense of recognition in myself. I understood that looking inside and being satisfied with myself was what really mattered.
Not only did that boost my confidence but left me more compassionate towards others.
Deep down we all know this, but it bears repeating: If you allow someone’s perception of you to dictate or define you, then you don’t own yourself. You are the only one who can create reality, unless you give your power away. Don’t give your power away. Own Yourself!