It can be frustrating and challenging when people who are assertive or considered risk takers are given a difficult time, sometimes to the point of being degraded and called names.  We forget these people have had a long emotional journey; they have accomplished that which many only dream of.  It seems a lot of us in this world think of success only in material terms forgetting having lots of money and gadgets does not always make you a  better person, just like age does not necessarily mean one is wiser. Success is different for each one of us.

It blows my mind when those who have chosen a different lifestyle are given such a hard time.  It’s sad to see how some people can not appreciate when someone has battle through trenches and made peace with their own demons; even more important they developed the courage to show their scars.  At times when I see others trying to put down someone because of their mistakes or hurts, I have to step out and collect myself.  There was a time when I would fight for the underdog, put on the armour and declare war.  Time has taught me the old say “don’t argue with a fool for they will beat you with experience” is quite accurate. I will always stand up when necessary; I have simply learned to pick my battles.  I try to focus more on guiding and cheering those who are trying to spend more time on themselves, to remind them no matter what others say its their lives and they have a right to live it.

We forget we all struggle with something; sometimes the smile on someone’s face or the strong demeanor does not necessarily mean that person has it all figured out, it just means they are not willing to be victims. Each and everyday they are trying their hardest to be more themselves in a world that rewards “fake”.

So many people doubt themselves and choose not to follow their heart, choose not to speak their mind out of fear of not being accepted, fear nobody will listen or fear of being ridiculed.  The worst part comes when you see someone about to embrace themselves, to re-discover there is more to life than to follow the crowd yet due to the amount of pressure put on them they succumb; instead of growing they focus on pursuing only physical beauty, material possessions or distractions.  In order to appear confident they choose to actually do its opposite and give in; their soul knows they are denying their own uniqueness for the sake of fitting in.  We forget people’s opinion of us will always change.  Sometimes they will love us, at other times those same people will reject us; so what is the point of putting so much effort and focus on those who we know when the hard times come won’t be there? What a waste of energy that is!.

Sometimes we want to do something we know we would love or take a risk at something which might change our lives for the better but we get scare; we focus on what others will say, how would they react.  Instead of growing we deliver exactly what the nay  Sayers hope…that is our failure.

So what can we do in order to stop caring so much about what others think?….  I was reading a book on owning your weirdness and proving your weirdness.  Owning your weirdness is being particular about something which others will look at as strange. What is proving your weirdness? proving your weirdness is DOING that particular/strange thing which makes you happy and helps you grow.  It does not mean proving it to others, do it for yourself.  You got to prove it works for yourself.  People then will either criticize or those who didn’t criticize you will respect or emulate you.

Work on your weirdness every single day and you will develop confidence on your weirdness; as a result you will care less about what others think.

Another thing to remember is we live in a perpetually dual world. We live in a world that is perpetually counter flowing.  So how does this apply to helping you develop confidence on your weirdness? It will help you if you can accept not every one will agree with you.  The important thing when we start to doubt ourselves based on the opinion or negative actions of others is to ask ourselves Who are these people? Were they there when I was alone?  Where they there when I needed them the most?.  Asking ourselves these questions help keep things in perspective.

Let’s not forget not to become like those who hurt us; stand your ground but do it your way not theirs.  Allow those people their opinion, remember it has nothing to do with you, it has everything to do with them.
How people perceive you is a reflection of themselves and their experiences.  Since everyone’s experiences in life are different, then how they perceive you will vary according to their life experiences.

“When you know who you are, you work on doing what you love.  Whatever it is that makes you happy and makes you grow, keep on doing it!”

In this life there are two types of people doers and commentators. Remembering this can help you. Those who are usually talking about us, criticizing us, aren’t doing anything to find themselves.

LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE; keep on doing what you love and you will attract those who resonate with who you are.  At first you might lose pretty much all your friends and even family; this is due to the law of vibration. The higher you vibrate the less you resonate with the multitude; relax, it is a normal part of the process. This reaction happens because the more we work on ourselves, on redefining ourselves, the more we own our “weirdness”; this is something most people aren’t used to, as such many will either walk away or attack….Why? Because they don’t like their perceptions of reality challenged.

When you challenge people’s reality you will get resistance.   They may say to you “you are wasting your time, you need to accept things as they are.”
Many times is because of generation differences its harder for them to see your vision.
Other times it has to do with stepping out of what is their comfort zone.  You may encounter such resistance as to have them say what you are doing is a waste of time because “things won’t change” , “this is how life has always been” or they may ridicule you and tell you what you are doing is EASY.
Whenever you encounter those who ridicule you for being different and spending time in the greatest journey ever; the journey within;  remember those who ridicule you aren’t doing anything.   They are afraid to look in, they are the ones doing what is EASY.

Asses those around you properly.  Are they there to support you? If they are they will give you guidance and ideas to help you reach your goal.  If that is case then listen. It doesn’t mean what worked for them will work for you but there might be something there, a lesson perhaps that will take you to the next stage.  If you get people who put you down, make you feel bad about yourself, then why on earth would you take their advice.  The only reason one would take their advice is because you doubt yourself.  Doubting yourself is natural, don’t beat yourself over it; it takes time to develop confidence and to believe in yourself and your dreams.  It takes time to trust on yourself completely; I’m still working on that;  its a long lesson but one worth working on.

Carl Rogers spoke and wrote extensively about Unconditional Positive Regard; to summarize it just means “give yourself permission to mess up”.   If you give yourself permission to mess up without punishing yourself, you start loving yourself unconditionally and you start recognizing how special you are.

The more you accept how special and unique you are the less you will mess up because you will start seeing yourself as amazing.  You will start truly love yourself.
Most of us only think we love ourselves but very few of us recognize loving yourself completely means loving yourself even when nobody else does. Loving yourself means standing up for your weirdness, your dreams and your beliefs even if no one else does.  Loving yourself means standing for your beliefs and what is fair even if others think you are rocking the boat.
It’s easy to believe we love ourselves and accept ourselves when we follow the crowd.  The real challenge to test your theory comes when life has kicked you hard and just about everyone of your so called friends or family have walked away. Can you love yourself then?  If you can then you are on the right path and are more enlightened than most of us.

When life kicks you down consider yourself blessed because your soul and mind will expand that much more.  Wisdom does not arise from perfection; wisdom is the result of our mistakes and the lessons we gathered from them.
Life can be a rollercoaster; one which can challenge everything you believe in.  It can bring you to your knees.  What matters is how you come out of it… will you be bitter? will you coward? will you be angry all the time? or will you take the lessons and keep moving? will you learn and try to help guide those around you?

Life can bring drastic changes, at the end not many people will be around you but those who are a reflection of yourself will.   If you like what you see in them, if you can respect them, if they inspire and challenge you to be a better person, to step out of your comfort zone, then you are in the right path.

Ask yourself how much time do you spend thinking about negative people.   How much time do you spend thinking about positive people and how much time do you spend thinking about yourself.  When we are worry about what others think we spend 80% of our time thinking about them and how to fit in.   We then grab the remaining 15% and we spend it on thinking how positive people think of us.  That leaves us with is 5% (if that) to think about how we perceive ourselves….see how messed up that is?.
If you want to stop caring about what others think of you and you want to be more in charge of your life then I suggest you do the math differently.  First comes yourself, then comes those who help you along your journey; challenging you, cheering you on;  last are those who are negative towards us.  Ultimately the perception of ourselves is more important than the perception others have of us.

Be mindful, do not let others project their fears and insecurities on you; if they do, recognize it isn’t your thoughts but theirs. Do not stop working on yourself, even if you take small steps, keep at it. It is better to dare try than to not try at all. If you fall down, get back up, look at them straight in their eyes, and say “is that the best you got?!”

Do not let others stop you from becoming the shining star you were born to be!.