Who are you? Would you consider yourself a carbon copy of someone else or an original? There is a process of developing your identity without allowing the outside world to taint your own personal views. It is one of the most difficult things to be 100% yourself and there are two age groups that can be purely themselves, children and the elderly. Remember back to a time when you were a kid; you did not have a care in the world, right? I remember being five years old completely naive to all the world’s troubles and the difficult life ahead. The elderly follow the same demeanor, the idea is once you have lived enough, you realize life is far too short to care what others think about you. Without the weight of someone else’s judgment you gain unlimited access to your true self, and become the best version you can be.
But it is those years in between, the years you are continually growing and learning, specifically teenage years when you are susceptible to all opinions and ideas, when the anxiety of life takes control and you lose the child in you. I find that if you let the opinions of others shape definite who you are you can lose yourself and the strength of your voice will be quieted to fit in with the rest of world.
People’s opinions can influence you in a matter of ways. When you walk into a room do you ever assume everyone is staring at you? Either because your think you are drop dead gorgeous or because you have something on your face? I am serious this is the perfect example of have a bit too much confidence or not enough. Don’t let other people’s ideas influence your own. Recognize your values and faults but compliments should roll off your shoulder just as insults should, neither should taint your personal view of yourself.
“Don’t let people’s compliments go to your head and don’t let their criticisms go to your heart. To the depth, we do either of these things, is to the depth we’ll be ruled by what other people think of us. And boy, is it dangerous to build the stability of our identity on the fickle opinions of others.”
— Lysa TerKeurst
Every single person you encounter in your life will develop an opinion about you; about the way you dress, the way you talk, what choices you have made, past, present, and future. The question is how do you deal with it? How do you find yourself, who you truly are while everyone else is trying to decide for you? How do you develop that, I seriously don’t give a fuck attitude?
Do What You Want
Someone else’s opinion is simply their own, it is neither fact nor fiction, it is their own perception of a person, place, thing or idea. While certain people’s opinions can carry weight, they should never replace your own. I find I have a more difficult time making decisions once I hear other’s opinions, once someone tells me what he or she thinks, then my opinion or idea changes. It is important to remember people opinions is their own, you do not have to listen to them or follow anyone’s recommendations. You do you, sometimes the best method is to just say screw it, close your eyes and jump, despite what everyone else says, take a risk. At the end of the day it is your life, you have to live it, so do exactly what you want. If you screw up along the way or make the wrong decision that’s okay, mistakes help you grow. Do exactly what you want, whether it be what you want to eat for dinner, what color you want dye your hair, where you want to go to college, or even what you want to do with your life. Along the way, you may piss people off or lose some friends, but stick with you own passion, your own self, and you will enjoy life much more.
Being free of other’s opinions allows you to live out your dream, there are no obstacles standing in your way but yourself, and your value of others opinions. You are more important; you must always be more important, so put yourself first and stop caring, have the guts, close your eyes and jump.
Words by Hannah D. // Photography by Kelsey Lee Poteat.
© 2015 Reef Magazine