I recently heard my mother tell one of her friends that people had been saying something mean about her throughout her entire life. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but my mother is loud when she is on the phone. To protect her privacy, I won’t repeat exactly what she said. I can tell you most people do not say what my mother thinks they are saying about her. I know this occurred in her past, but no one is saying it to her on a regular basis, if anyone is saying it at all, what she thinks they have been saying. The ugly words said to her in her younger days have been cycling in her head. No one has to say the words to her anymore because it is what she believes about herself.
It’s heartbreaking to realize what my mother thinks of herself. To me, she is an incredibly strong and resourceful woman who raised four children largely on her own. She definitely deserves accolades for raising me because I was and still am a stubborn, little goat. My mother is not the worst people think of her, she is so much more.
I’ve had people attempt to destroy my self-esteem and self-image at my former job. It took me until recently to realize how wrong they were and also how little these people and their opinions mattered to me. I haven’t even seen or talked to any of these people since I left, so why the hell should it matter if they thought I was stupid or incompetent? I’m not. I never have been. I should have told them then what to do with their thoughts and I would have a lot less crap to deal with. I should have stood up for myself and protected myself, even when no one else would.
So, I can tell you the aftermath of that bullying. It made me doubt what I could accomplish in life and made me question my abilities. Was what the people said ever real? No, but it got into my head and made me think for a while (no more) that maybe I wasn’t that smart or capable.
How does one overcome this? I reminded myself of all that I accomplished. Until that job, I was overall very successful at most things I attempted. I am intelligent, hardworking, dedicated, determined and very capable of achieving whatever I put effort into. I won’t let anyone impact how I think of myself ever again. People’s tiny, obnoxious opinions do not matter. It matters most what I think of myself.
So, the next time you’re thinking about what people have always said about you, question if it is true or even if it matters at all.
What is something people have said about you that you know or have figured out isn’t true?