In a situation where you have:

  • one person who criticizes you in all sorts of ways no matter what you do
  • three people who accept you no matter what you do

the question is:

“Who will you place your focus on?”

Will you focus of the one person who criticizes you no matter what you do or will you focus on the three people who accept you?

Research tells us that most of you will focus most of your attention on the one person who criticizes you; this one person \ incident \ event will dominate your thinking and feeling as you strive to please.

Additionally,

  • most of you will judge yourselves based on that one person who criticizes you for what you do and
  • most of you will place greater emphasis on that one person’s negative evaluation of what you do

than you do on the three people who accept you no matter what you do.

What is significant is that this negative self-judgement pervades all areas of your life and you allow others’ negative opinions of you, based on what you do, to dominate in:

  • Relationships
  • Families
  • Workplaces
  • Social gatherings
  • Communities
  • Cultures

and the list goes on.

This translates into placing all your attention on:

  • that one negative incident
  • that one negative event
  • that one negative circumstance
  • that one time when you played your worst game
  • that one comment
  • that one person’s critical evaluation of you

You make decisions about your self-worth, your self-image and your value based on one critical opinion of you and you disempower yourself and you empower others by taking as true their one critical opinion of you - based on what you do.

What is more, even if you do place your focus on the three people who accept you no matter what you do, you still give your power away.

Your evaluation of yourself is based on others’ opinions and not only that, it is their opinion of your ‘doing’ whether negative or positive and that places you in a ‘no-win’ situation; you weaken your personal reality, your value and your self-worth.

This is because:

  • You judge yourself and give power to others’ judgements of you based on an incomplete picture - ie only on an external evaluation of what you do rather than on who you are or your internal ‘being’.
  • When, what-you-do changes, the value you have assigned to those judgements (yours & others) based on what-you-do also changes. So,you are constantly on a pendulum that swings from feeling good and having worth\feeling valued to feeling bad and not being valued; from looking for the ‘good’ evaluations to constantly reaching for ‘better’ evaluations – all based on your ‘doing’.

The thing is:

  • You have no control over others’ opinions of you.
  • You have no control over how others evaluate what you do. That is not your work – that has nothing to do with you. What others perceive and believe about you and what you do, is their work, their task – not yours.

Self-judgement, placing value on other people’s judgements of you as well as depending on recognition of your worth by others based on their opinion of what you do and how you do it rather than your ‘being’ and who you are, creates internal imbalance because it is likely you will hook into negative emotions. You will find yourself engaged in the thankless task of forever trying to please others and in so doing you will become resentful. This is because in pleasing, you will expect a certain behaviour or actions to acknowledge your worth and this often does not transpire.

 However, if you recognize, value and appreciate yourself for who you are ie on the level of ‘being’ there is no judgement necessary, no pendulum swings to please others and you strengthen your personal reality, your personal view of life and your place in it. Since what you do is an extension of who you are and since you value who you are, you begin to appreciate life differently, you become less critical of yourself, less judgemental of others and you interact from a position of greater certainty, strength and leadership.

This is not about being self-righteous, operating from a moral high ground of being right or being self-opinionated to the point of being rigid. Indeed, it is the opposite. It is about being the best possible person you can be internally; it is about being self-aware, open-minded and having a willingness to learn and change; it is about thriving in who you are. 

When you constantly live to thrive in all situations you contribute to thriving humanity as a whole and hence your immediate environment, your work environment and your local community etc. You ‘lead’ others such that it elicits from within them, the same.

This is true leadership; this underpins strong relationships and it is this that is an essential ingredient of success.

So the question remains for you: what do you focus on and how much do you depend on the recognition and acknowledgement from others to validate your own value and self-worth?