Why Caring What Other People Think Doesn’t Work

Feb 25 11:48 2006 Elaine Robinson, M.A. Print This Article

  • Do you look to others to validate yourself?
  • Tired of feeling judged by others about what you eat?

When you base your value,Guest Posting your own self-value on what other people think, you set yourself up to never be free from the challenges you experience with your weight and the image that you have of your body. You will never be able to gain freedom by looking outside yourself for validation, belonging, or to find your own self-worth. You will always fall short. It will never be enough.

Let's get in to a real life example. The setup is that you are going out to a nice restaurant for dinner with a hot date. You judge yourself for weighing more than you think you should. What do you order? If you look outside yourself for your validation, you might think you should order a dinner salad so it looks like you are a healthy eater. But if you order the salad then they might think that you are trying to lose weight and even worse, it would be admitting to yourself that you need to lose weight and you are actually more hungry than what a salad could fill... and…and…. What happened to the lovely date that you're missing out on?

Our minds are wonderful helpers but terrible masters. Believe it or not – every part of us is really a cheer leading squad routing for our success. If you take the above example, although it looks like a lot of self-judgment, that part of us that is so diligent in this self-talk, is actually trying to help us. It can seem quite counter-intuitive but it's really trying to support you in what you say you want. It has a hard time supporting you though, because in this example, it can't win. You are basing what you say you want and whether you live up to that expectation outside of yourself.

Let's go the opposite way...you order what you want to order. You are making a stand and know you deserve to order what you want to order. You are worth it. So you order a nice pasta Pomodoro dish that comes with some tasty bread and a salad. You order a dessert telling yourself you will only eat a few bites. You are happy that you ordered what you wanted. What a win. Then the food comes to the table and you begin to compare it to what your date ordered. Is your portion bigger? Do you have to eat less so that they don't think you are eating too much? It's so hard to stop eating because you want to eat it all? It tastes so good. What about all the things you've heard about eating pasta? You think to yourself that you shouldn't eat all of it because it will make you fat. The dessert is so yummy. You tell yourself that you deserve it. Does he think you're out of control because you can't stop eating the rest? Again, where did the date go? What ‘life' are you missing out on?

This is just a snippet of what a lot of women go through on a daily basis. I wouldn't even class this as an extreme example but simply putting words to what some women think as they prepare for every meal, conscious or not of the negative self-talk that they participate in.

What do you experience as you go through your own version of the above? I can't imagine it being a peaceful or pleasant experience. Think of all the life energy it takes from you. Think of the part of the date – the part of life you are missing out on. Can you imagine how challenging it would be to be present with the date with all this other conversation going on inside your head? It would be highly distracting! There would be no way you could remain calm, centered, and present to the person before you because your attention is on how and when the next person will evaluate you negatively.

You can't control what other people say or do. Some people sure try, but you just can't. No one can also judge you without your consent. In order for some women to avoid situations in which they fear they might be judged negatively, they begin avoiding life. They set it up so that it's easier to miss out on dating, on other things that they enjoy doing – on life, because it's simply safer to do so.

Your own self-worth is created by YOU. You create your reality by every thought and action you participate in. I was recently at a poetry reading of my favorite poet, David Whyte, when he shared that every action and thought you participate in – that you are actually practicing to become better at that. Read that one again... takes a couple of times to sink in. I really loved that. If I'm talking negatively to myself (consciously or otherwise) I'm actually reinforcing that pattern of the judgment, i.e., I'm creating that to be real to me, regardless if it's accurate. It's so true!

Life is not a dress rehearsal! How are you with yourself in this moment? Are you judging or appreciating? How are you with yourself more often than not? Just be aware that you are practicing at becoming better at that right now.

Your body is amazing, right now, in whatever condition it happens to be in. If you think about it, it could have done a FAR worse job. Not feeling very healthy? There are probably a lot of people less healthy than you.

I have a home assignment for you to complete in the next couple of days should you choose to accept it. Tell three people something that you really appreciate and like about them. Examine how you feel by doing that. While you are finding those three opportune moments, tell yourself three things you appreciate about yourself or what you are doing well. How does that feel? Feel good? I would definitely consider your incorporating this into your daily routine. Feel uncomfortable? Feel like you're a fraud? Just notice that. This is simply information for you that you don't participate in positive self-acknowledgment very often, or as often as you could.

If we take this concept to a global level, there are grand opportunities for us. Think of the possibilities that if we, as a planet, began acknowledging ourselves for all that we are doing versus all that we feel we aren't! What if we looked inside for our own validation? What a shift in consciousness the planet would experience.

As you begin participating in positive self-acknowledgement in the coming weeks, you will begin to create a new way of being for yourself. I guarantee it.

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About Article Author

Elaine Robinson, M.A.
Elaine Robinson, M.A.

Elaine Robinson, M.A., Founder of InnerSpect, is a pioneer in the way that she has personally approached weight loss & body image, and how she successfully assists others during their journey.

Using weight as a metaphor, Elaine facilitates her clients in manifesting more of what works. Her mission is to facilitate lasting weight loss and to create a healthy body image through an inside-out approach. She is an authentic, dynamic, and entertaining speaker with an exceptional ability to enlighten and inspire individuals and audiences toward self acceptance.

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