This past week I received an interesting phone message. A voice from my past rang me up and asked me how I got to this place where I no longer care about others’ opinions.
After I stopped laughing, I gave it some serious contemplation and realized it’s been a series of steps, done over a long time. There isn’t one thing that magically rendered me oblivious to outside opinion.
Sphere of Existence
I do believe this is something women struggle with more than men. I could be wrong, so guys if you find this challenging too, lemme know. The second thing I want to do is to define what “no longer care about others’ opinions” means to me. Because the truth is we all care at some level…I definitely care about what my husband thinks and how my parents will react.
But they’re in what I call my “sphere of existence.” Close friends fall in here as well. Pretty much everyone else falls outside my little sphere.
I keep my sphere pretty small for many reasons. I can only maintain so many close relationships. Secondly, I’m now very particular about who hangs out there with me. I want supportive, positive and encouraging people. If someone’s a whiner, complainer, doubter, or a downer, they tend to poison the environment.
Who else falls outside my sphere? Acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues, strangers at the grocery store, ex-es, gurus. Pretty much anyone who doesn’t have a day-to-day impact on my life.
Find it, Love it, Own it
Yoga was instrumental in my process. I started yoga when no one was doing it. People thought I was coo-coo. Now it’s mainstream and everyone’s on the bandwagon. I’m not so coo-coo anymore. People are looking to me as the expert. Go figure.
Yoga helped me find well…..me.
I’ve often said that yoga was a part of me long before I became a part of yoga. Even when my close family and friends were telling me to get away from that “cult thing,” I knew yoga was important. Yoga helped me to stand up in my beliefs even when no one supported it.
Anyone who knows me, know yoga goes hand-in-hand with who I am. I found it. I fell in love with it, and I learned how to own it and make it mine.
You can do the same thing. Keep searching until you find the one thing that makes you feel strong and confident.
The Dallas Syndrome
I get it. It’s hard to be unique, strong and confident in Dallas because it feels like most women here strive for conformity.
It can feel akin to being in high school again. Peer pressure, the right clothing, the right schools and activities for the kids, the right neighborhood, and drinking it up. Everyone’s house and wine glasses look the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in a nice house with nice furnishings, hoping to provide the best for my kiddo. But it comes with a side of quirkiness, daily wear yoga pants, and a limited access pass.
The Dying Syndrome
Steve Jobs said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”
We don’t like to think about it. We don’t like to talk about it. But none of us will escape it. (Unless vampires turn out to be real.) In my 20s, I said when I was on my deathbed the two things I’d regret was not having kids and not publishing a book.
Twenty years, people!!!!
That’s how long it took me to not have either of those regrets when I die. And there was nothing, nothing, nothing that guaranteed me those 20 years.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve lost my grandmother and my aunt, and my parents are getting older too. Those are powerful agents of motivation to Un-Hook myself from the mind torture of others’ opinions. I want and need to live my life without regret.
What can you do?
- Create your own sphere of existence, eliminating the weeds, cultivating the right relationships, and living your one and only limited edition life to its fullest.
- Get out there and try different things until you find your thing. If you already know what that is, start owning it. Today.
- Meditate for 10-15 minutes a day. It helps bring clarity to your decisions and quiets your mind chatter.
- Check out The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. It’s a short but powerful book.
- Share with me what you’re going to do this week to move toward having no regrets.