Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Not everything has to be personal, not everything spins around you and much less what others think, do or display, more than 90% of the time doesn't have to do with you! If you really knew what other people are thinking, certainly it wouldn't even make your life better. Just as we can see the huge damage that social platforms have done, to the already fragile self-esteem of many children or teenagers.
Many people live their lives obsessed thinking about what others think, say or do in regards to an incredible need of approval or belonging. Immersed in that emotional havoc that they need to fill, it is also very common to find that they take many of the reactions of others as personal feeling that diminishing sense of self-esteem.
Why does this happen, what is it that new generations are so insecure and or at the same time they are just worry to impress?
To begin with, many of these reactions start with the family environment, the more a child is neglected, not paid attention to, or easily entertained with a digital device, the easier it will be for him/her to feel invisible, not seen, not listened, not recognized and it is completely normal that will start to develop a personality where in one way or another she/he will find a way to call the attention of her/his parents.
If this cycle continues and parents are not able to solve the issue or see it and instead they apply some type of punishment to the child, he/she will grow up resented, insecure and full of grudge towards his parents.
Those type of emotions are the ones that are going to be boiling inside of them until they start to develop a defense mechanism to get back to the world (thinking that what they do is a form of letting the hurt towards its parents indifference).
That phenomena is what we are seen in the world with many teenagers or young boys/girls that either they don't want to do anything in their lives, they show signs of anxiety or depression, if they're studying they're just doing it for the grade/diploma or worse just to shut the eagerness of their parents for them to have a degree in something that of course they don't even have an interest in, all this spiral of emotions reflected in behaviors that are just creating a huge social bubble of resentment, grudge, negativity that has to find also a way out inside of their bodies producing all the statistics that we're seeing in chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, deficit of attention, anxiety, depression and even some types of cancer.
If we don’t start acting in the root of the issue, consequences will start to get bigger and more painful, everyday, and pretty much everywhere we're witnessing more children, teenagers or young people with extreme emotions that lead them to take some of the worst choices in terms of the pain that they inflict in their friends, school peers, teachers, parents or themselves.
Instead of looking for excuses or palliative solutions that deal with the symptoms or sometimes with the consequences, there's a simple job we all have to perform as adults and that is to open our eyes more to heal our own issues and become a better version for our children, so that they can have a reference point to look up to, we should also start to approach to them even if at the beginning there's some rejection, even if at the beginning you find some resistance, you're still on time to make progress, to rely on your inner tools and to see that you and your child were just repeating an old pattern.
However, many people, including of course your children, are overwhelmingly worried about what others (and these others are often members of the same family) think, they are craving that attention from the outer social circle in order to feel accepted, admired, or recognized when all of those efforts are just going to be hopeless if you don't have the will to deal with what are you living inside, with your past journey and your old beliefs and patterns that you witness.
What can you do to stop with the addiction of being obsessed with external approval?
Establishing your own identity.
Even if you are an adult, supposedly you have achieve a level of maturity, now more than ever this identity issue is still going on, and it is the core of the addiction or obsession that many people have with constructing a certain "social image" that many times starts its process in early days of the school, when children start interacting more socially and they start "suffering" the first glimpses of comparison, rejection and sadly many times bullying.
All of these processes are also many times being reinforced or were even initiated in their family, thus children have to cope with those feelings at school and then get home and feel them again, that's when all the identity crisis starts developing because at such an early stage they already have to fulfill "two roles" the individual that they are at school and the messages they receive there against the messages that they receive at their home.
Everyone that has a small child has gone through this process and of course we as children had to go through it, however nowadays the social pressure and mindless comparisons are so abundant that now it's even deeper and more hurtful although it might seem subtle.
Therefore, we have to begin to clean our house with more messages of self love, self acceptance and recognition for our children as well as for ourselves at many stages of our lives if children see that their parents are doing some type of self work, becoming more aware of their flaws as well of course as performing the actions to integrate those new behaviors, sooner rather than later children and even young adults will become interested in what we do. Then, the key message is start with you!
Know and question again what you like, question how you dress, how you speak, what kind of thoughts are the most common inside of you and start decoding the origin of all those traits that you have acquired throughout your life so that you can establish a self grounded identity based in what you really are and want!
Rewiring your Perception.
Perception is key in establishing a response to any kind of external trigger, therefore aligning your perception and also performing a deep cleanse process in it, is what will give you leverage in terms of avoiding being affected by what others think, say or do.
If you are grounded and now sure of what you enjoy in all the traits that we discuss above, then you won't have almost any kind of issue of letting looks, comments or even actions that might be directed towards "making you react", and I quoted those words because no one else can "make you" do anything, you're the owner of your energy, thoughts and actions. Hence the value of first establishing your own truth.
Building a new way to perceive the world has to be also aligned with a healthier vision of you and what the pathway that you want your emotions to follow. If we want to perceive things as personal, as an attack, as a judgement or as diminishing our value as individuals, then for sure the emotions that we trigger will be negative and as a consequence they will produce a negative feeling in ourselves, something that for sure will have a very deep effect in our identity.
Let's exemplify this phenomena: If someone at work starts talking about you, criticizing something that you deliver or the way you expressed an idea in a meeting. Your reaction, if we want to illustrate the biased of your perception, will be to feel discouraged, betrayed or angry. Whatever emotion you choose, it's already a negative perception and it has already liberated a turmoil of neurotransmitters and hormones that internally will work against you and will feed the feeling of disappointment, low self value or anger. Next, those feelings most likely will make you identify with an identity of you such as I'm not worthy, I'm dumb, Not Capable, Just another Employee, etc...If you pay attention to this cascade of emotions you're already enhancing the victim mode that has been ignited all due to a comment from a coworker.
However, if you're sure of what you did, deliver or said in that project or meeting, then your perception of that comment will be completely healthy, you will just see that display of your coworker as an action that speaks of him or her, but not at all about you and you will either let it go quickly or you will even feel empathy and compassion for that person because he/she seems desperate to gain approval no matter what type of means he/she uses.
Filling Your Emotional Voids.
Triggers will only be identified as that if you have something still pending to fix within your emotional background, within your story, otherwise all external effects, comments or actions will only be part of the environment but they won't have a profound effect within you.
That doesn't mean at all they you'll become completely immune or indifferent to what happen outside, but it does mean that you will start owning your perception and avoiding to react to almost every kind of interaction or breeze that you feel.
In fact it goes deeper than that, you will be able to gain the ability of stopping the time to breathe, observe, reflect and then emit some type of reaction to the cues that you will have externally. Because, as social beings that we are, we will for sure be exposed to the same or sometimes to worse or better situations that will produce an effect within us. Nevertheless, now you'll be wiser, more resilient and more aware of the effect you want to choose for yourself.
You'll start to gain trust, leverage, self-knowledge and skills to handle those situations, I bet you that the sooner you adopt these kind of insights you'll be surprised how amazing it feels to be in control of your chain of action.
Now it is not a reaction, is a more conscious action that has been screened by you, allowed to be played in slow motion as well as you being able to see it as an observer more than seeing it as the involved party. This process of being able to literally stop time whenever something happens is named as "detachment" from the effect that every external action or comment might "trigger" within you.
If you remember the movie of Matrix, that representation is exactly what it will start to happen in your mind, you'll acquire a wonderful ability to stop the time, to slower the way you play images within you and that space will only have one result, coherence and congruence from your actions.
In summary, as we build the model of becoming obsessed with external opinions and "people pleasers" personalities. We were able to see that it all starts again with the messages that you received in your childhood, it all has to do with the way you let yourself be influenced or drove by your external environment.
The level of consciousness and self knowledge that you have of yourself is a key aspect to stop falling in the same toxic cycles. Moreover the responsibility that you with yourself, and if you have children, the impact that you can produce in someone else's story is very profound. Therefore it is extremely relevant that we produce a required stop in our lives to see how we are living or if we are even living to what we wanted to experience and not only to show off, to gain "followers" or to misrepresent an image that we don't even match with our own identity.
Sculpting your perception is another key asset that you need to work on and be able to leave it as crystal clear as you can so that you don't have past stains or false pathways or deviations created by your fear. This step will only happen once you decide to fill your emotional cup and see your story as your handbook of experiences, probably pain or hardship that will allow you to become stronger, wiser and a lot more aware of what happens around you.
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