Season 2 – epiBLOG 15:

OCTOBER THEME – “FEAR”

“I’ve never in my life cared about what another person thinks of me,” said no one ever! How many of us make decisions about our lives based on what we THINK other people will THINK of us? I’m sure many of us are guilty of doing this at some point in our lives. Maybe you’re at a point where you’ve outgrown this right now or maybe you’re simply happy with “keeping up with the Jones’.”  Although, I suppose today we may refer to this expression as “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”

Today’s topic is the fear of looking bad in front of other people. Many of us will not admit to such a thing, but how many decisions do you make based off of just wanting others to think of you in a certain way? The clothes you buy. The clothes that you actually decide to put on in the morning. What you decide to major in in college. The man you date. The lady you date. The career path you take. The car you drive. The house you buy or rent. How often are these endeavors or people pursued just so that we look good in front of other people?

Last week, we discussed the fear of failure. How often do we not pursue what we love because we are afraid that other people will call us crazy for pursuing it? And then when we experience failure, it seems as though these people are right; we are crazy after all. Artists, for sure, have to develop the thickest skin in the world. Not only will we face rejections throughout our careers, but some of us may have to also deal with family and friends who are not supportive. Who don’t understand why you feel the need to pursue something that is so abstract, so subjective instead of just rolling over and taking a boring and unfulfilling job that barely allows you to make your credit card payments each month. Apparently, that’s a better option.

Nevertheless, when we go home at night and look in the mirror, the person looking back at us is the one that matters. It’s that person’s opinion that matters. I know this is easier said (or written) than actually done, but it’s true. We naturally seek validation from our parents, older siblings, teachers, mentors, and friends. And that’s awesome if you have been so fortunate to have a healthy emotional support system from all of those people. However, those of you who have not experienced that love and support, you have to learn to love yourself and to pursue what makes you happy instead of worrying about the opinions of others. Again, I know this is easier said than done, but it has to be said as a reminder to you to live up to everything you can possibly be.

I don’t believe that people choose their talent, any more than they choose their sexuality. I believe you have to live the life that you are supposed to live in its fullest expression in every aspect of your life. Being an artist comes with its own set of challenges, but so does everything else in life. Wouldn’t you want to face challenges doing what you love instead of doing what you HAVE to do? All relationships have their own set of challenges as well, but wouldn’t you rather be honest with who you are and be with the person you’re supposed to be with, even if that means being with someone of the same sex?

We place too much emphasis on what other people think of us, that we don’t know what we think of ourselves any longer. Take the time to visit the mirror and really look into the eyes of the person looking back at you. Remind that person that you love them. Remind that person that they deserve happiness. Remind that person their opinion is the most important of all when it comes to their own life.

People are going to judge and criticize no matter what, but you have to live with the person staring back at you in the mirror. Don’t criticize that person based on the opinions of others. There’s no need to fear looking bad in front of others any longer. When you’re living the life that you’re supposed to live, there’s nothing to apologize for.

Today’s LESSON is to appreciate yourself in the things that make you an individual, as well as to appreciate the beautiful characteristics of others.

FUN ASSIGNMENT: Go to a quiet room and write down a list of 20-50 items, people, activities, or anything that brings you absolute joy. All of these things should make your heart smile after you write them down. Keep this list in a special place and look at it daily as a reminder of what makes you happy.

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