I have chosen a life path that constantly puts me in a bubble of “scrutiny”. As a musician, dancer, and fitness/healthy food enthusiast, I find myself forever in a web of other people’s opinions….what kind of music I should be creating; where and how I should incorporate dance into my life; why I should or should not live a “vegan” life; what is the best form of exercise for me…..the list is never ending. It is exhausting, in and of itself, trying to excel as a full-time college student, keep up with daily instagram and blog posts of personally created video and written content, getting enough sleep, exercising, eating healthy, keeping a manageable social life and being a good friend/roommate/sister/daughter, etc. Not all of my choices are the best, but I certainly do my best to fulfill my daily and life goals.
The complicated part of living a life by my terms is navigating the way around all of those external opinions from both people who know and love me to people who are complete strangers. I am definitely hardest on myself, but it always complicates matters when I am judged and given “unsolicited” ideas from outside of my own personal space. For years, I have been my worst critic. If others did not like a song of myself singing online, I would immediately pull it down. If I tried on an outfit and someone said it wasn’t a good color on me, I would change even if I loved it. You get the point! I responded to the opinions of others by letting these opinions decide my actions. I came to realize that I wasn’t being fair to myself.
Fortunately, life has provided me the opportunity to grow in many ways. As I have experienced many challenges along the way, I have grown stronger and learned to interject my own opinions into situations. In turn, I have also developed a new skill….one which is serving me well. I have learned that there will always be opinions from others. Some, I will take to heart, mold, and mesh with my own, as long as they have merit and that they resonate with my internal needs and values. Others, not so much. I have realized that others judge and give their opinions, masking their own insecurities about themselves by trying to find “change” me.
This important life lesson is one of learning to discern the good from the bad. Understanding ourselves, the motivations of others, and having confidence in what we want out of life enables us to hold our own opinions in the highest regard. The greater our self awareness and self belief, the more our own opinions take hold.
Learning when to differentiate well-intended opinions from those we need to “flush” is ultimately a life skill that will always serve us well.
So the next time you receive an opinion you don’t agree with, “flush” it! You will feel so much better!