This is one of the fundemental life changing thoughts I’m holding in my mind and heart these days as I evolve into my best self.
I’ll elaborate just a bit using myself as an example.
(This is actually an exercise for me being vunerable to test the well of creativity within me. I’m doing exactly what Im writing about at this moment)
Ive often said, “I dont care what people think of me. My reputation is what other people think is the reason for what I do and I can never control the opinions of others. Therefore, I choose to not waste my energy on being concerned about it. My character is what i do when no one is looking. And that is what I choose to focus my energies on.”
Good stuff, right? I know a gaggle of people that would be shouting “Amen brother!” on that one.
Well….no….not so much. Much to my surprise.
I’ve recently had another of several conversations with a friend that is one who is sensitive to what others think of them. I use the word sensitive because I do not want to imply that their concern with other’s opinions is neither good nor bad. It just is who they are. And that’s okay.
This friend has often said to me that they are well aware of my (my word not theirs) “dimissiveness” (yes, i made that one up) concerning others opinions and they can’t follow suit. And until today, we have agreed to disagree on the subject. Then I was pleasantly minding my own business and Brene Brown punched me in the face with this statement:
” I often hear creatives and leaders in business say, ‘I don’t give a @#$% what other people think’. And that is its own kind of hustle. Here’s the dilemma with that: when we don’t care at all what other people think, we lose all capacity for real connection with others. But when you are defined by what other people think, you lose the courage to be vunerable.”
I’ll let that sit in your mental shopping cart for a minute.
So the question becomes the dilemma: So if we have to care what others think but we can’t be defined by what others think…what’s the solution?
This is Brene Brown’s solution: “You get a very small piece of paper. One inch by one inch. On that piece of paper, put the names of the people whose opinions really matter to you. Carry that paper with you everywhere. Now how do you determine whose opinions should really matter?
The people who are on my list and I think should be on everyone’s list are the people who love you NOT despite your vunerability and imperfections but BECAUSE of your vunerability and imperfections.”
Let’s let that roll around in your mind for a minute…..
That just floored me for the rest of the day. Because I immediately had to take inventory while digesting that I had finally uncovered the reason for my lack of life long friends and difficulty in making and developing new true friendships that aren’t business related.
Because I didn’t care……i couldn’t connect.
Because what they thought never mattered…..they could never really matter.
hard to admit and tough to gaze at that gruesome image in the metaphorical mirror of my psyche…..but its real….its who I’ve been…..and it’s scary to be this vunerable because I know some that have attempted to get close to me will read this and agree.
In my creativity lies every morsel of my purpose and success in every area of my life. Of this, I am certain.
So in my desperate quest to evolve into the manifestation of my highest and best God-created version of myself…….I bare my insecurities wholeheartedly in hopes to break the dam hindering the wealth of creativity that has been laying dormant in my most inner soul.
Self-serving? Maybe or maybe not…..
What i do realize is that…..I want to be surrounded by people that matter and I matter to. As Brene Brown so eloquently stated:
People who love me NOT in spite of my vunerability and imperfections…..but BECAUSE of my vunerability and imperfections.
And the only way to find those people……..and care for those people…….is to care what you think with an open heart, so that we experience an honest and very real connection. For however long or brief.
…yet never losing the courage to be vunerable enough not to be defined by it.
This is who I am…..
And what you think matters to me….
All of you….