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You Are Not What Others Think



Last week while having a great phone conversation with a good friend I gave away one of my regular internal mantras. Yes, anyone who knows me will tell you that I consistently give away more than my fair share of “advice” but letting my private motivators out is not something that I do regularly. For some reason I could not stop thinking about those words that I shared. I thought about them all day and so later that night I thought “why not share them with others?”


I am no psychology guru, nor do I even have a complete understanding of human behaviours, but my mantra has helped me stay focused while others have knowingly or unknowingly challenged my own internal perceptions. My mantra is simple, “I am not what people think, regardless if that is positive or negative…I am what I make myself.” In short, I own my life. I am accountable for me and over time this mindset has helped me to guide my inner strength. The hard part to swallow is that it has taken me years to get to this point. I do not want you to take as long, so read on and I hope it helps.


My inside voices used to constantly criticize and beat me up because I thought that someone else might be thinking I was stupid. Today I do not worry about what other people think and I can honestly say that I don’t even want to know what their thoughts are. If I make a mistake around others I simply own it and learn from it. It took me years to understand that it really doesn’t matter in comparison to the many mistakes I have seen others make. I am passionate about people, but their thoughts and perceptions belong to them…it is simply something that I can not control.


I certainly do not have all the answers, but I do feel that a lot of talent is never realized because perceived opinions get driven into self doubt. At some point in my life I just stopped looking to others to define myself. If you don’t know who you are, how is it possible for them to know you better? Life is short so stop thinking that people are talking about you. Instead, think about the reality of others projecting those very same thoughts on themselves. These thoughts only live in our minds, but they prevent us from obtaining clarity of who we are.


Learning how to limit the negative effects of internal and external thoughts has unquestionably aided me in keeping my head clear. Start listening to your smart self and trusting your voice to be of value in both positive and negative situations. When I began to understand my self-doubt, I started to become true to myself and began a process that leaves people with something to know about me, not something to think about me. I am what I make myself.


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Vaughn Bonsteel is a Business Consultant and Safety Consultant helping companies and people like you understand current situations to move them forward towards their targeted goals.