Mid-year is a wonderful time to reflect on how much power you are giving to outside circumstance to define your worth, value and capability. By popular demand take a moment and explore the power you give to the opinions and reactions of other people:
How Not to Care What People Think =>
…Or better worded: how to release your attachment to other people’s opinions and reactions. Let’s face it we care way too much about what other people think. Be honest here, how much of what spins you out of peace in your life is directly linked to another person’s opinion or reaction to you? 50%? 75%? 99.9%?
Can you imagine freeing up that mind space to explore solutions and create what you are here to create in earth school? Our vice of thinking about what people think about us can be released by simply doing this one thing: releasing the drug of approval. Many of you have heard me speak on this crazy addiction, which has held us all back from personal excellence way too many times in our lives.
The drug of approval is fueled by too much concern on our part around how we are perceived by people around us. Jealousy, envy and below the line behavior twists our mind and robs us of inner peace and is the direct result of our addiction to attention: DO YOU SEE ME AND DO I MATTER?
We are little toddlers in big people bodies running around crying out to be seen and acknowledged: look at me! Look at me! Look at me! So lets flip that and use that innate desire to be seen and acknowledged as a schoolroom opportunity for positive shift.
How the heck do we do that?
Well, the first step is ruthless honestly: “Hi my name is Lauren Miller and I am addicted to the drug of approval, I need the approval of other people to know that what I am doing matters.” Once you acknowledge those slippery little serpents that rob us of showing up in the best version of who we desire to be in life you put a crack in the addiction which allows the light of your presence into the vice.
Remember Tolkien’s fictional character Gollum? He existed in a cave clinging to his precious so much so that he forgot his own identity. The translation of Gollum is the “unman” the man who has lost himself in the vice or fetish in the case of today’s topic the vice is the drug of approval: I need the approval and recognition from others to know that I am enough, valued and capable of success. Gollum lost himself so much so that the “I” was replaced by “we”: “They are not going to touch us my precious.” His insecurities were so great they consumed his identity.
I have offered enough “food for thought shift” here. Let’s move to solution. The next time you feel spun into the fetish of the drug of approval step back and breathe, observe as quickly as possible how your body is feeling and ask your self what forward action step you could take to remember that you are not the opinions or lack of response of other people…unless you choose to be. As mentioned in last weeks lesson, ask yourself: Is this real or imagined? Too often we give our identity over to the “imagined story” rather than asking clarity questions. Studies reveal that 90% or more of what we worry about is not based in reality and never really happens the way we imagine it will. Step away from assumptions and ASK for clarity. Another BIG tool to use in this situation is to offer generous assumptions towards other people and yourself.
The below story shows how the lack of generous assumptions are flipped into compassion due to one piece of missing information:
A man on the subway slumped over with his head in his hands, while his three young children ran around creating havoc. Judgmental glances surrounded the man who seemed to have no interest in his children. The tension finally grew too much for a woman sitting next to the man and she blurted out, “hey can you please get a grip on your kids?” To which he sadly replied…”Oh, I’m so sorry their mother just passed away at the hospital and we are all a little out of sorts.” You could feel the entire energy shift from assumption fueled judgment to deep compassion with a hint of regret for having judged so quickly.
Most of what spins you due to other people’s behavior has nothing to do with them and everything to do with your own identity operating system. Why did Jesus walk the earth untouched by the behavior of other people? Because he was not concerned with status or the opinions of other people.
Stay curious and look inside the next time you get bumped because of the desire to be seen, acknowledged and recognized. Ask yourself: Where am I stuck? What do I need to remember in order to feel safe and connected? What forward action step or question can I ask to uncover what is real and what is imagined story fueled by my own insecurities?
If God is for you, who can be against you? Reclaim your identity, begin again with a mid-year SHIFT. What people think about you is none of your business…what IS your business is what God thinks of you and how knowing that you are beautifully and wonderfully created in the image and likeness of God sets you free from worrying about what others think. Jesus was not concerned with status or what people thought of him, he was therefore able to accomplish the mission for which he was sent. We too have that same God given ability, we simply forget in the midst of the fame game and the drug of approval. Take back your identity, remember it is an inside job and requires high noticing and the ability to identify and adjust your point of reference around who you are and why you do what you do. Do you do what you do because of who you are or because of how people will respond? Resist the urge to hop out of your boat into someone else’s…no one can sail your ship like you can. Stop using your plow to cultivate someone else’s field. Plow your own field, sow your own unique seeds and reap the harvest you were created to reap.