What people think of you is not your business

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Moments when I don’t feel like I’m enough, or whole:

  • Comparing myself to others
  • Talking to my parents

I get it. They want the best for me. They set the bar high. But that bar is always moving and getting higher. The moment I tackle one thing they’re already comparing me to the next. I can never catch up. 

I guess it goes with the #asianparent stereotype (actually it could be any parent) where emotions are avoided and only stick to facts, accomplishments that are measurable. Primarily by money. 

On one hand I appreciate them for raising me with a thick skin, for always striving to be better...I owe my A personality to them. It’s why I’ve been able to accomplish so much but also the reason I constantly burn out because it's not sustainable. 

That feeling of never being enough, of always overcompensating is draining and debilitating because we’re expensing all our energy into seeking for external approval and fulfillment.

But who are we seeking approval from? 

When we start measuring our worth by these external factors we are working from the outside in. We're giving our power away. We're not taking ownership for who we are.

Our “worth” is not measurable!

Our potential, our dreams, us...there’s no price tag. Yet subconsciously we attach our sense of self with those accomplishments. What happens when we don't accomplish what we set out to do? We get imposter syndrome, anxiety, depression, body image...

I’ve learned to recognize these thought patterns. To listen to them, understand where they're coming from so I can anchor myself back to what’s true to me: my core desires, my dreams and my journey. So I can own all of it.

Even though we can't control everything that happens to us, we can control how we react to them.

It's not about avoiding the 'negative' emotions. In fact, emotions are emotions there are no good or bad. Anger, pain...they're there for a reason. They can tell us so much about ourselves if we listen without judgement. 

So focus on yourself. Practice tuning in with your emotions, your desires, what makes you light up, what makes you ache... and you'll be free. You're not here to change anyone's opinion of you and neither should you stop doing anything because you're afraid of what people might think.

Here's a simple grounding meditation exercise I learned during my Strala Yoga Training, from Deepak Chopra:

Sit however you're comfortable. Start tuning your attention to your breaths. Big inhales and easy exhales. Gently close your eyes and ask yourself these 3 questions: Who am I?  What do I want? How can I serve? . It doesn't matter if you get any answers. Just ask these questions and let them simmer in your meditation. For 5,10,15 minutes as long as you want

As you continue to ask the questions and spend time each day in the expanded awareness of meditation, the answers will come, perhaps when you’re meditating or perhaps when you’re out in the world going about your everyday activities. Pay attention and notice when time seems to stand still, when you feel completely absorbed in what you’re doing as you use your talents to serve yourself and others. Following these steps will expand your ability to follow the trail of your destiny as it unfolds before you moment by moment.