"I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would you say I am?" ~Eminem
I have learned that one of the most futile exercises I can undertake in life is trying to convince someone of something different when their mind is already made up. This is especially true if the person has made up their mind in a negative way about me. I have come to learn and accept, just as Terri Cole Whittaker’s book title says, “What You Think of Me is None of My Business.” Everyone has their own world view and perspective based on their experiences and opinions. I cannot control what is outside of me; in someone else's head. I can control what is within me and the best way to do that is to leave what others have to say out of the mix, especially when it comes to my own self-esteem, worth, and value.
People will talk and sometimes I will be the topic of their conversations. I know, because some have not qualms telling me, the talk ain’t always positive. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. There might be a rare constructive criticism from those I trust that I’ll pick up for myself, yet overwhelmingly the value of my own opinion for myself is what I am more concerned about. So I let them talk, because they will. And, yes, in their minds, I will be everything that they think of me which is none of my concern.
While it may seem like it at times in this age of social media, I am extremely grateful that my life is not like a surreal episode of the Netflix’s series Black Mirror where I must live my life constantly chasing an approval rating from others. Again, my self-worth is totally dependent upon me. Regardless of how long someone has been in my life, they are not in my head, so they will never know my full journey, and they will never know the path that I will ultimately choose to take for my life. That being said, I don’t worry about or try to please others because I learned very early in life that is impossible. I must do what will help me to reach my goals and keep me on the path that I want to travel.