“Success and significance will be most glorious when they are as much about other people as they are about yourself. Television, movies, and advertising all surround us with pictures and tell us that we should own this thing or we should be like that person, that success can be measured in dollars and significance measured in sound bites. I’ve been behind those images, though, and the truth is often very different. The people who live for affirmation outside themselves never seem to have enough – enough fame, enough applause, enough love.” – Tim Storey
By Dawn Onley
Some people walk around in a depleted state because they see themselves through someone else’s dimmed lens. Perhaps a teacher from elementary school who admonished and left them doubting their abilities. Perhaps it was a family member who suggested what they could or could not accomplish.
It could have even been a friend, who dampened their dreams after they killed their own.
Whoever it was, and whatever their motivation, it’s a lie. Don’t believe it. And certainly don’t keep rehashing it over and over again in your mind. It is like a scratched record, if you keep playing it you will hurt your ears. It has no usefulness. It needs to be thrown in the trash.
Never rely on another person for validation. Never put your sense of value and self-worth into someone else’s hands. Never.
Sure, it’s fine to seek out an opinion from someone you admire. Yes, it’s great to learn different approaches to solving a problem or getting something done. True, it’s wonderful to study the practices and discipline and results of our beloved friends and even associates that we’d love to emulate while still being true to our best selves.
However, it’s dangerous territory to allow another person to tell us what we’re worth – and more importantly, for us to believe them. Don’t do it. I can’t stress this enough.
And make no mistake about it, this happens often in a myriad of ways.
- When we compare ourselves to others who are more accomplished or who have more “stuff” and we allow what appears on the surface to reinforce our own negative beliefs about ourselves.
- When your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend leaves for someone else.
- When you’re shunned by the “popular” kids in school and you let that frame your adult sense of worth.
- When your co-worker treats you mean, doesn’t value your contributions to the team and makes you feel ostracized at work.
- When we are overlooked or ignored.
- When someone gushes about how beautiful/smart/successful someone else is in your presence and this makes you feel ugly, dumb and like a failure.
None of these scenarios should be affirming who you are. No television or magazine ad, no model, no actress, no Employee of the Week, no wealthy neighbor, no vagabond, no one – absolutely NO ONE — should be affirming who you are or who you are not.
This needs to always come from within you. You know you best.
You should already stand firm in knowing who you are. You are a creation in God’s own image. You possess limitless capabilities. You are brilliant and captivating and loving and beautiful. Only you know what you know. Only you have lived your life and know the journey you have traveled. Only you know what’s inside of you. Only you and God know your heart.
You are irreplaceable. It doesn’t matter if no one else knows it or believes it, but you. It really doesn’t.
Once you believe this, you become unstoppable.