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Why what others think doesnt matter
Don't let yourself be defined by the opinions of others. - photo by Tiffany Fletcher
If you are anything like me, when someone compliments you and praises your accomplishments, it puts a huge smile on your face and makes your heart happy.

On the flip side, when someone says something not so flattering, it puts you into a tailspin of sadness, brings on debilitating doubt and creates a self-esteem nosedive.

Recently, I pondered this phenomenon and realized something pretty profound: What others think of me doesnt matter.

Now, some of you are probably hitting your forehead and saying, "Well duh!" For those of you who already received this epiphany, there is no need for you to continue reading. Feel free to move along. But for those of you who are new to this way of thinking, as am I, read on and I will explain what I have learned.

1. Tomorrow comes

No matter what people think, the sun is still going to rise every morning and set every night. This comes as no surprise, but what it means is essential to your happiness: No matter how terrible your day is, the sun will come out tomorrow and you will have a fresh day with no mistakes in it yet.

Find joy in the sunshine and forget about the darkness spread by unhappy people.

2. Haters gonna hate

No matter how kind you are, it is impossible to please everyone, so stop trying.

Yes, be kind, but dont worry if your kindness is not returned. No matter what you do, some people just wont like you. Learn to be okay with that.

3. All people deserve kindness

Do your best to be kind to everyone, especially to the mean ones. Sometimes, its hard to be nice to mean people, but do it anyway. You never know why they are the way they are.

You cant be held responsible for their actions; however, you can be responsible for your own actions. No matter how hard it is or how mean they are to you, be kind to them anyway. It is what Jesus would do.

4. You are worthy of love

Learn to love yourself. This is crucial because, on those days when it seems no one is on your side, if you love yourself, their negativity wont bring you down to a bad place.

All too often, we let others determine our worth and we feel that because they cant see the good, it must not be there. Wrong!

Your value and worth is not contingent upon anyone elses opinion of you. God loves you and holds you in the highest regard. Let that be enough for you to love yourself.

5. Service is what matters

When you forget your own problems and focus on the needs of others, you learn what people think of you doesn't matter because joy and life-value come from serving others.

It feels good to be needed; and, when you devote your time to others, their gratitude gives you a big boost of confidence in who you are and the goodness you share.

6. You are always you

No matter what people say, you are still the same you. If people share a negative opinion of you, dont let it get you down.

Remember opinions are just that opinions and are generally not based on fact. The people who love you know the person you are and wont be swayed by the opinions of others. Other peoples words cannot change who you are, unless you let them.

7. Happiness wins

Just smile.

If you can show grace under pressure, you will come out on top. Smiling is a sign of strong character. When others see you taking the high road, they will forget the rumors being spread.

At the end of the day, I have learned it is not what others think of me but what I believe about myself that determines who I am. The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to let go of the negative beliefs of others and to stand tall knowing who we are.
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