At the beginning of the year, I went to a business event and every year at this conference we usually review the previous year, celebrate the wins and reflect on our results. This year, I had an interaction with a person, who was a well respected leader in the group, that didn’t exactly meet up to my expectation of acknowledging and congratulating me on my results and so they triggered me in unexpected way.
I walked away from this conversation and experience feeling disappointed, angry and undervalued.
In the past, from an interaction like this, I would have gone into a spiral of negativity, anger and have a total pity party.
“What about me? It isn’t fair” I can hear the song playing in my head now.
So from that one interaction, I somehow made it mean that:
– I didn’t matter
– I was insignificant
– My results were pointless
– I wasn’t being heard
– I was replaceable
All from one conversation.
Before I became aware of these thoughts, I went into quite an emotional funk and it took me almost a whole day to pull myself out. During the day though, I allowed my feelings to overcome me and I embodied the thoughts I was having.
– I cowered when being called upon in our group
– I kept quiet even when I had something to say
– I became introverted and shied away from further interactions
– I only spoke with my immediate group when normally I would speak to anyone
Since embarking on my journey of self development and self-coaching I thought I had come so far and yet I allowed myself to indulge in these feelings.
Over the years, I have developed my awareness and understand now how my thoughts create my feelings, and my feelings create my actions. So I took this opportunity to look deeper and learn more about myself, rather than blame someone else for my emotions.
I replayed the conversation in my head and then remembered how that made me feel. I identified the emotions I was feeling and then identified the thoughts that were causing those emotions.
What I realised, was that I was looking for some form of validation from this person and in the conversation I didn’t get it, I got the exact opposite.
My expectation was that I would get recognition for my good work and when I didn’t get it, my expectation wasn’t met and I made it mean all these negative things about who I was as a person.
When I really thought it through, I was putting all my ‘value’ on one person’s opinion.
I was searching for that external validation.
Now, I’m a firm believer that ‘No one else’s opinion of me, is any of my business’ and when this is a passing comment from an acquaintance, or some passing judgement from someone that doesn’t matter it can be easy to dismiss. But when it is someone you look up to and are looking to, to offer that validation, it’s not so easy to let it go.
I can count on one hand, the people’s opinions that really matter to me. People that really know me.
People that have seen me at my best, and seen me at my worst and still love me no matter what.
Not someone who looks at a bunch of numbers and passes judgement.
So if I turned it around to me, my feelings are a choice that I make and when I reviewed my own results from 2016, I was really proud of where I finished up and everything that I had achieved and that’s all that should matter.
I didn’t need someone else’s opinion, approval, or recognition to validate me.
I value myself and I am proud of who I am as a person. That’s what I choose to believe. I choose to believe in myself, in my power and my worth.
Sometimes we allow others opinions to affect us and sometimes we even take these opinions on, as our own beliefs. And sometimes these are people that don’t even matter to us, or people that don’t even have all the information, with no expert knowledge or experience. Yet we take on their words as gospel.
When I catch myself listening to someone’s opinion of me, I ask myself – “Does this person really know me? Have they walked a mile in my shoes? Will their opinion matter to me in 5 years time?”
And if the answer is no? It’s time to choose what I believe.
Sometimes, we shouldn’t believe everything we think either. Sometimes, we have to become the observer of our own mind, and decide if we believe the thoughts we are having.
So if someone pushes your buttons and puts you in a funk, take a moment to ask yourself why? What are you feeling as a result and what thoughts have created those feelings? If those thoughts are not serving you then discard them and choose the thoughts that empower you, lift you up and inspire you to be your best self.