I was going to post this as a comment, but it seemed too embarrassing (I guess I’m not flying my freak flag yet) to be over 40 and still looking for approval/wanting to please others.
“Love this message, but somewhat stuck on the implementation. How do I quit looking for external validation when it’s a 40+ year habit?”
Anyway, maybe others have the same question and maybe you have wisdom to share on this topic, so I thought I’d write.
The emailer’s question:
How do I quit looking for external validation when it’s a 40+ year habit? is one Im asked frequently.
How do I foster in the Tornado self-love, self-acceptance, & unflappable self-confidence when I really have no idea how I got there? is one I ask myself frequently.
How do I preserve this as much as I can:
Whether the Tornado chooses to let others see/show externally how do I preserve her pink gloves?
To be candid this is something I think about practically all day every day especially during the summer since she & I have the gift of time together.
As we play, color, read, swim and just BE I live the bulk of it with the backdrop of How can I empower her to be 100% unapologetically herself? How can I help her NOT to be asking the emailer’s question—as so many of us are—-at age 40?
Thus far Ive come up with four tips for becoming unapologetically yourself.
The four reasons why I believe I march to the beat of my own drum, wave my freak flag proudly and truly do not care what others think.
- I decided to STOP self-objectification. Ive made the conscious decision to NEVER EVER see myself through the eyes of others. I no longer judge myself based on appearance merely because I believe thats how others evaluate me. I have one hundred percent FRANCIS MCDORMAND’ed myself. Yes this was a process. Yes this took work and time. Yes it involves the thoughts and opinions of others which leads me to….
- I chose to believe it’s not about me. I often joke to Ren Man I go through life so FIRMLY believing other people’s reactions to me are not about me Im sure I miss times when they really are. And I dont care. What do I do when someone reacts to me/my appearance/my career/my lifestyle choices in a negative fashion? I remind myself it has nothing to to with ME and everything to do with *them* & how they feel about themselves and their choices. How am I able to do this? How do I not grow insecure or defensive when others disdain or ‘look down upon’ what I do? (those queries bring me to tip number three which is…)
- I. Got. Comfortable. In my own skin. With my own style. With who I was and the life path Id chosen. When I reached the place where *I* was ok with myself/my choices I no longer cared what others thought. PERIOD. And this, again, was a process over time. I spent time figuring out who I was, what I was good at and what I LOVED about me. I listed what I saw as my strengths & asked myself how I shared/displayed these to the world around me. When I grew stumped I enlisted friends and family to help. I asked them what *their* fave thing about me was and what they thought my “gifts” were. Had I known about it back then Id probably have tried the three word exercise! When we do the work to discover who we are really are and are fully honest with ourselves, all things (including health fitness and weight loss) seem to click into place.
- I celebrated myself. I told myself I ROCKED when I did something well. I proofread articles Id written and complimented myself on structure and flow. I no longer waited for others to cheer me on or recognize what I knew was a job well done. I tooted my own horn and learned, over time, my TOOTING was really all that mattered. All the CARLA YOU.AWESOME! I needed was inside me/came from me. Of course I had times when I needed to hear I ROCKED from other people in my life. During those times I taught myself to ask for PRECISELY what I needed to hear.
(stops. takes a breath. ceases waving her freak flag with wild abandon & looks to you.)
That’s all Ive got.
Those, upon life-reflection, are my four best tips for
getting to the place where you truly do not give a crap what others think finding and BEING your authentic self.
More than a few of you (yay! yay!) admitted to us all you happily fly your freak flag.
Whats your best tip for embracing who you are and not caring what anyone else thinks or says about you?
I love love love this photo and yet know—through experience—it is all more easily said than done.