Do you have, or have you ever had, a belief that we’re not supposed to say out loud that we’re successful? That if we do, it’s just obnoxious bragging and ill-mannered?
There are a plethora of reasons why we hold ourselves back from not only telling that we’re successful, but sometimes even from being successful. And one of the many reasons is the thought of what other people will say (or think).
However, what other people think of you is none of your business.
A bit provocative words? Yes, I think so too. But truth sometimes is provocative. Though, it never hurts as much as a lie does. The truth is the kindest thing in the world, even though it sometimes is something we’d rather avoid. However, it’s not the truth’s fault.
When I first came across these words as Paulo Coelho’s quote, I just had to write it down on a post-it note. That note was glued to my laptop for years, until it finally was so torn up that I had to throw it away.
By that time, I had read it so many times that it had started to grow roots in my mind and become one of my guiding principles. And it has made such a difference in my life. A positive one.
Yet, there’s still learning for me to do with this realization of what other people think of me is none of my business. As we all have.
But I’m not gonna let it stop me from being successful.
Neither should you.
Even though success seems to be something we’re expected to aim for at everything we do, we, for some reason, are not supposed be it. At least not too much. The faulty life lesson too many of us have been taught is that we’d better dim our light to not trigger anyone with our shine. As if our shine would make someone else shine less.
When my first book came out, someone visiting us asked about the process of writing, how it was and did it work well with my co-writer. Just as I was about to answer, another person in the room told me I could brag just a little about the book, but not too much. Cause little was all that she was ready to put up with, as she hates people who brag.
OMG! What an awkward moment, right?
The people pleaser in me got so nervous of the potentially dangerous situation (danger equals to not being able to please someone) that I just shortly commented on the writing process before quickly moving on to other topics.
But afterwards I understood that the only thing awkward was that I gave my power away just like that and was ready to bend my boundaries. It was not ok for her to tell me what I could and could not do at my own home. And, more importantly, it was not ok for me to not let her know about that boundary.
This is such an important thing to understand, that a big part of our success is about the environment. Not just the physical, mental and spiritual environment and surroundings. But also the people you regularly surround yourself with.
The people part used to be my weakest one. Oh gosh, it was a mess, really. Just because I was a mess with people.
As a people pleaser, I had no boundaries with anyone in my life. People pleasing had been my survival strategy since early childhood and I often found myself in situations that were very harmful for me, but may have been beneficial to others.
I literally did everything to please others. Until I didn’t anymore. This change happened gradually, of course, but it seemed sudden to many of those around me. Which means that some people have stayed, some vanished from my life.
The above mentioned kind of situation is very rare in my life nowadays, as I’m really living a dream come true when it comes to people in my life. With those closest to me. I don’t know how exactly it has happened, I can’t explain it. But it is no less than magical.
With my tribe, we can be whatever and whomever we are. We can express our own truth without worrying what others will think, even when we don’t see eye to eye on things. So much so, that sometimes I forget that not all people are the same and suddenly get nervous after freely expressing my own truth.
I mean, what if they think that I’m bragging?
This kind of thinking always leads me to the previously mentioned lesson. What other people think of me is none of my business. But instead of it being a vicious circle, like it used to be in the past, it now is a healing circle. Leading back to self-worth and basing on the truth.
And in this case, the truth is that by saying you’re successful, it isn’t automatically bragging. But even if it would be, so what? It’s taking nothing off from anyone’s plate.
By being successful, we unconsciously give other people the permission to be successful, too. And by not taking our chances, we deny that possibility from others as well.
Which way would you prefer the world to be?