I’ve always downplayed my strengths to not hurt others’ feelings.
Whenever I was complimented my looks, writing, or other strengths, I’d always brush it off with a deprecating joke or change the subject.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was downplaying my worth to fit in.
Fitting in comes with a cost
And that cost, is the light you shine to the world. Instead of sharing your unique abilities to others, you become a chameleon, blending so well into the background that you’re overlooked, undervalued, and unappreciated. You start to resent the people you surround yourself with, wondering why you can’t win. Whether you dim your light or shine it, they will forever be unsatisfied with you.
When I dimmed my light, I did it because I was worried I would make others feel insecure with themselves. I didn’t want to tell others all the things I’ve accomplished or dreamed of doing, for fear of making them uncomfortable.
But the one thing I’ve learned, is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t control the way others view me. Even if I followed all the rules and was obedient to the demands of others, they will still kick me to the curb. And the reason? They don’t owe me anything.
You don’t owe them anything
It’s not your responsibility to make others feel better about themselves. If your existence alone makes others uncomfortable, that’s not your problem.
When others make passive comments about your achievements or try to make you feel bad, it’s a way of controlling you. If and when this happens, tell yourself that their strong reaction means you’re on the right track.
In video games, you know you’re going the right way when there’s more enemies heading towards you. That’s exactly how enemies in real life work — the more enemies you have, the closer you are to success.
You Define Your Worth
Stop looking to others to validate your existence. The way you treat yourself is how others will treat you.
Of course, this advice is simple — not easy. At first, it will be hard to put your foot down and set boundaries. People will react to your change of heart with swift, deadly attacks to your self-esteem. But that’s okay.
In time, they’ll stop attacking you because they know that their words won’t effect you. Instead, they’ll freely advertise you, mocking your looks, success, and career in the hopes that others will hate you too. But this, will soon backfire.
That’s why haters are your biggest fans. Haters, unlike regular fans, will spend most of their day talking about you to anyone who’d listen, making them the best form of advertisement for your business.
To conclude, please shift your mindset. Don’t spend years or even decades of your life waiting for permission to do what you love. Because trust me — that permission will never come.