I've once been told (via email) that I was 'verbose and smug' by a man that I've never met.
I'd been given his name as a press contact and had sent him a press release about my first book The Happy Woman: What You Can Learn from Kids, Dogs and Men.
He was understandably upset that I'd emailed him information he hadn't asked for. Instead of replying along the lines of 'you've got the wrong person', he had a go at me and chose to try to knock me down.
I spent the night crying over his cruel words. I'd been misunderstood and was once again putting my self worth in the hands of others.
I probably am verbose in that I like to talk, but I'm certainly not smug. I'd put my heart and soul into the press release I'd sent, as I knew that my story and what I've overcome could help others.
From that day on I've made a promise to myself - to stop caring about what other people think.
I've had my fair share of comments that have hurt. We all have.
I don't know why we feel that we have a right to say cruel things to others, but just this week I've had teenage girls express their heartache that their parents 'weren't bothered' when they told them they'd got the highest marks possible in their mock exams.
The pride and self belief that the girls had had, was soon torn to shreds.
The psychological theory of projection suggests that whatever others do or say is really more about them than us. Each and every one of us is in control of our own thoughts, beliefs and reactions, so the girls have the power to choose how they're going to take the brush-off.
Sometimes even the people we love the most have reactions that can hurt us, or aren't what we expect. In order to be happy we have to be proud of our own achievements and love who we are - no matter what others think of us.
I'm not encouraging people to be obnoxious, selfish or arrogant. For me, it's about self preservation.
To get the best out of ourselves, we have to like and ideally love who we are. That way we can have better self belief. If others try to put us down, then that self belief helps to pick us back up.
When others pass criticism, don't agree with us, or make light of our achievements we each have a choice.
We can choose to believe the negative comments, or we can choose to let them go. Yes, learn from them if they help us grow. If they don't, then they're not going to serve you and they're best forgotten.
I told the girls that I'm proud of their achievements, but it doesn't matter. They could do a poll and find a huge amount of people who were proud of them, and an equal amount of people who weren't that bothered. It's time to stop caring about what others think and know that their opinion of themselves is the most important one to listen to.If you have trouble letting go of hurtful/mean comments then you could try these four things to help:
- There's a great forgiveness Ho'oponopono meditation. Here's how you do it. Step one: shut your eyes and imagine everyone who has hurt you in some way. Step two: picture each person who has hurt you standing in a line. Step three: imagine you saying 'I forgive you, I'm sorry and I love you,' to each person one at a time - working your way down the line. Step four: you can do this for just one person if needed - even if that person is you!
- Take the negative comment/reaction and find five pieces of evidence in your life that shows it's not true. From this, create positive affirmations (statements) that you can remind yourself of. For example, 'I am proud', 'I am successful' and 'I can do this.'
- Understand that life is full of differing opinions. That's what makes it so fun! Listen to your own opinion because it's your life and you're the one constant thing in it.
- Imagine that you have an invisible force field around you that doesn't let negative comments/reactions get to you. Imagine that the negativity has bounced off your force field and it's vanished into thin air.
I'd love to hear how you get on!
If you'd like to help Jaelithe ensure more teenagers are confident in their own ability, then please make a pledge to her Kickstarter campaign so that she can donate copies of her latest book 'The Happy Teenager: Fun Book' to schools, charities and social services.
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