recently i was having a conversation with one of my clients about non-reaction and not taking others behaviors and opinions towards us personally. allowing others projected emotions and behaviors affect the way we feel about ourselves can be devastating to our emotional and physical well being.
this can be incredibly difficult and a complicated task considering that love, acceptance and belonging are considered to be steps on the hierarchy of human needs which allow us to reach our fullest potential, develop self-esteem, self-acceptance and ultimately self-actualization. there is a difference between being accepted as you are by others, remaining true to yourself and feeling like you have to change yourself in order to be accepted and loved.
it’s easy to fall into the trap of basing our self worth off the opinions or behaviors of others. how many times have you allowed another person to make you feel less than enough, unworthy, undesired, unwanted, unimportant? the key word is allowed. we are in control of whether we allow others negativity to affect our opinions of ourselves. in the same realm, how much value do you place on others compliments and attention towards you?
with the influx of social media, instagram, facebook, twitter, blogs…we are now placing our value on how many likes, followers, comments and attention we receive from our posts. we are in a time where our self-worth is being decided by the reactions or attention of people we don’t even know and will never have personal contact with.
how do we avoid falling into this trap? how do we maintain a sense of self and not allow the opinions or behaviors of others to affect our opinions of ourselves?
i’ve developed a list of a few strategies for maintaining a healthy sense of self when it comes to relationships and interactions with others.
- get perspective; recognize whether that person is truly projecting an opinion towards you or whether it’s your own opinion towards yourself. we can often project our own feelings towards ourselves in our interactions with others. take a step back and ask yourself if you are just making assumptions about their feelings or opinions towards you or whether you have your own patterns of negative thinking towards yourself that you are projecting in your relationships and interactions with others.
- don’t take anything personally; just as you have your own emotional projections, others do as well. consider whether that person has their own insecurities or patterns of negative thinking that they may be projecting towards you. usually the negative reactions and judgements people project towards others are based on their own triggers, fears and insecurities. remind yourself of this when someone puts you down, rejects you, withholds attention from you, behaves competitively towards you or does something to make you feel bad about yourself. repeat these words in your mind – “it’s not about me.” this doesn’t mean that we stop taking accountability for our own behaviors, be open and receptive to constructive feedback if someone is communicating an issue to you in a constructive way and look at it as an opportunity to grow and become a better person but don’t allow negative communication and put downs to affect your feelings towards yourself.
- take a compliment or opinion for just that: you know yourself well enough to know who you are and what your value is. you don’t need someone else to tell you how important you are, how beautiful you are, how smart you are. let your own self worth and value come from within. if this is a struggle for you and you have difficulty with negative thinking towards yourself write yourself love notes, place sticky notes around your home reminding you of the things you do well, the things you love about yourself and if you can’t think of any, fake it til you make it. we have the ability to rewire our brains and change our thinking towards ourselves but it takes consistency and dedication. replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts towards yourself and practice this as often as possible. you’ll be surprised how your opinion of yourself will shift and how the opinions of others begin to matter less and less.
- practice social media with non-attachment: try not to allow your energy to go into social media and gaining likes. at the end of the day there is no value in this and it will only make you focus on how many likes you have or the lack there of. if you do post on social media, do it without any attachment to how many likes you get in return. if you’ve shared something that feels good to you and you like it, that’s all that matters but be aware of the intention. are you sharing because it’s genuine or because you are craving attention from others and placing your self worth on their reactions or responses. this can be incredibly toxic and damaging to your self esteem.
- value quality over quantity: if you have a small handful of people or even one person in your life who loves you for who you are, accepts you and is a support in your life recognize the incredible value of this relationship, hold it dear and focus your energy and attention on maintaining those valuable relationships in your life. stop trying to convince others to love and accept you. they either do or they don’t. it’s the ones who love you willingly and unconditionally that matter the most.
speaking of loving unconditionally. i love grapefruits unconditionally. yes they can be a bit messy but i love them anyway. i often eat them in the mornings for breakfast to get my digestive juices going and to kick-start my metabolism. the other day i figured out a delicious way to incorporate them into a refreshing and healthy salad.
i love grapefruits. here’s why you should love grapefruits too.
- rich in vitamin c which supports a healthy immune system.
- rich in antioxidants
- lowers cholesterol and protects the heart
- prevents kidney stones
- reduces risks of some forms of cancer
- firms and smoothes the skin
- boosts metabolism
i’m also crazy about beets, you can read more about their incredible health benefits here.
here’s how the recipe goes.
roasted beet and grapefruit salad with toasted almonds and goat cheese
- 3 small organic red beets
- 1 organic pink grapefruit
- organic spinach, spring mix or macro greens (spinach & chard mix)
- 1 package organic goat cheese
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- pink himalayan sea salt
slice around inside edge of grapefruit then slice in between each triangle of the fruit to make it easier to remove the pieces.
wash and peel beets. cut into pieces. mix with olive oil and salt in a bowl.
place the beets in a roasting pan at 400 degrees and roast for 40 minutes or until cooked through
add beets, grapefruit, almonds and goat cheese to choice of greens.
add balsamic dressing or lemon vinaigrette dressing to salad.
eat good food. eat a grapefruit a day. be good to yourself. don’t take others opinions personally. just be yourself. practice non-reaction. you are important, special, amazing no matter how many “likes” you get.
much love, Shawnee