“Can you let people be wrong about you?” Brooke Castillo. Let people think what they want to. It’s their prerogative. There is no way that you can control the perception of anyone in this world. That is based on their experiences and context, so to some, you will be the villain. To others you will be the hero. But the reality is, all we have is what we are to ourselves. How authentically we are who we say we are. How authentically we honor who we know we are by getting in touch with that person. How aligned we are with that definition we create. I know I’ve talked about not putting ourselves in boxes, and I stand by that, but the truth is we have to take some responsibility and pride in defining who we are. We can create that person and we will be much happier if that person is who we really are over an image.
It’s also a letting go of ego. I used to snap on a hair trigger if something was off or if someone got critical of a decision I made. In full transparency, I still do at certain times. But if we are able to let go of what people think and if we know that we are aligned with who we truly are, then we have done the best we can. That is all we need. People will determine what they think on a dime regardless. They make snap decisions because that’s how the human brain works. No matter what we do, other people’s perceptions have nothing to do with us. The ability to allow others to go their way is a remarkable talent few have. It goes against all of our instincts to not defend ourselves.
There is remarkable freedom in being who we are, however. More appropriately, there is remarkable freedom in letting go of what we think people think we are. That’s the irony of this as well: often we behave a certain way because we think that is what people want of us. We are interpreting our perception of their interpretation. Do you see how magnificently twisted and complex the brain is? It is in our release of these ideas that we allow and that is when the magic happens. It isn’t so much about not caring what people think, it’s about not letting our idea of what they think hold us back. It’s allowing your authentic self to shine through regardless of what you think someone will say. We create so many stories in a day and nearly none of them come true. We fatalize most scenarios because we like to think we are on top of it. It’s all a STORY!
When we let people be wrong about us, we allow our real self to come out. We become who we are meant to be. We release the pressure we feel when we enter a room and have to decide what face to wear that day. Suddenly we know who we are and it is consistent across the board and the pressure of the story we need to tell goes away because we suddenly ARE that person. Learning to let go is tricky, I won’t deny that. But the feeling of being alive in our authentic identity is irreplaceable. So learn to not carry the weight of someone else’s imagined opinion (or even their real opinion if they express it to you directly) and simply be. Even if there is negative feedback, let it be. It’s more important to be aligned with yourself than with the wrong group. You will find your place as soon as you find yourself.