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I believe (1)

I can’t think of anything worse than hurting a person’s feelings or causing someone else pain. It’s the reason I stayed way too long in a number of ‘below average’ relationships in my twenties and it’s why I often agonise about sharing the truth (from my perspective) for fear of causing offense, making someone not like me anymore or god forbid, being called out for my opinions or choices!

On the face of it, you might believe that it’s a great trait to have; being nice and mindful of others’ feelings.

However, what I’ve come to realise over the last few weeks is this propensity to protect others has nothing to do with selflessness. It’s all about self-preservation and it’s not serving me in my life, one little bit.

The other day, I posted a considerably lengthy response to a friend’s Facebook question and watched while this individual liked and responded to everyone else’s comments and ignored mine for over two hours! The travesty!

My mind immediately jumped to questions like, “was my post offensive?”… “maybe this wasn’t the information they were looking for”… “maybe they don’t like me anymore”… and defensive thoughts like, “the least they could do is acknowledge me”.

Naturally, this individual wasn’t ignoring or disrespecting me at all. They eventually responded, grateful for my input. Yet, can you see where I went in the interim? The mind boggles!

What a lot of wasted thought and energy that did nothing to help me create more of what I want in my life.

Similarly, I recently managed to land myself in the middle of a falling out between friends. Not a place anyone wants to be. It ended up being a ‘rock and a hard place’ scenario where I made the choice to share the truth from my perspective; and it led to one of these friends cutting me off.

Don’t even ask! However, the point is that through this experience, one of my biggest fears became a reality. An individual was upset enough with me to ‘cut me off’ from their lives.

If I reacted the way I did to the above Facebook post example, you can only imagine where I went in this scenario! I spent the next 48 hours second-guessing my decision, beating myself up for getting involved in the first place, justifying why I shared the information that I had and thinking of ways to redeem myself in the eyes of this individual.

Again, what a lot of wasted thought and energy that did nothing to help me create more of what I want in my life.

Whether my actions were right or wrong is absolutely irrelevant. I made a choice to tell the truth from my perspective. It was not my intention to deliberately hurt anyone. Although, that too is completely irrelevant.

Here’s the truth:

1. Not everyone is going to approve of or like the decisions I make, all the time;

2. Humans make assumptions. All the time. The individual that cut me off did not speak to me prior to making that decision, so I assume that they made many assumptions about what I’d done and not done to lead them to the ‘cut off’. Ha, see what I did there…!?

3. The only person whose decisions and thoughts I can control, are mine.

What these scenarios have got me present to, this week, is that I spend a lot of unconscious time thinking about stuff that does not create more of what I want in my life. I say unconscious, because it’s so damn familiar for me to jump down the rabbit hole of second-guessing myself and beating myself up for not being likeable or approved of by everyone on the planet!

I know where this comes from. The wounded child within me who was bullied, cheated on, not ‘cool’ enough, [insert painful childhood experience here].

Through a lack of approval from certain peers, teachers, family members and first loves, I learned that I am not good enough, just as I am. So, I tried harder (much harder) to attain that feeling of approval from external sources, by compromising my truth, my opinions and sometimes even my integrity.

That ingrained subconscious conditioning still obviously affects me today. I still can’t stand the thought of not being liked or approved of.

However, the big difference is that now, I’m acutely aware of the degree to which this auto-response within me is preventing me from having more of what I want in my life. This is where I’m going to work on myself, shifting deep seated internal beliefs so that slowly and incrementally, I can choose a different response, care a little less about assumed judgements of others and focus solely on creating more of what I want in my life.

Who’s with me? ~ Sally G X



  1. Ann Edwards says:

    Go Sal!

    I can clearly remember the day I was sitting in my lounge and thought – “I don’t know who I am. What I like. What I need…. I realized that, up until that point, I had been turning myself inside out trying to be what other people wanted/needed me to be. Or worse, what I THOUGHT they needed/wanted me to be … when a lot of the time it wasn’t them, but my perception.

    The journey to put off my insecurities and find myself has been a long and interesting one, but worth the effort. I am now at a place where I sit happily and easily in my skin and am truly enjoying myself and others at last.

    I am finding it so liberating to acknowledge my struggles and weaknesses and find my relationship with others is strengthened, rather than negatively affected. It then helps me to change what needs improving. People relate better to a REAL person than a PERFECT person. And being a real person is so much easier than the exhausting effort of trying to be perfect.

    Being true to myself doesn’t mean I let it all hang out and ride roughshod over others – I still try to be a caring, sharing, loving, giving person. But if someone cuts me off, I usually find they are not someone I need in my life anyway. If I am sure that I have not been at fault in my actions I am now able to let the negative reactions of others lie at my feet – I don’t pick them up. They are not my burden to carry, but belong to the person who owns them.

    Walk on, Sal – you have lots of company on this road and the place you are travelling to is an amazing place to be. Follow your heart – it knows the way.


    • Sally Guest says:

      Wow, thank you so much for this beautiful post Ann. All that you said is so true. I’m happy to hear you have reached a place of self-acceptance/love, which is not always easy to reach. You have a lot to teach! X

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