Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Today's Quotation:

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Today's Meditation:

How much time have I spent feeling inferior to others? What result has this had in my life?

It was not until I grew up a bit that I realized that feeling inferior is a common trait in developing individuals. It has less to do with the superiority of other people than it does with the perceived inferiority of the person who feels inferior. I recall as a child, thinking everyone was better than me at everything--relationships, work, hobbies, school... you name it. And if anyone ever tried to make me feel inferior, they certainly did not have to work too hard to do so.

Fortunately, I have learned in the meantime that things such as inferiority are just a question of perception, and are not to be given as much credence as some people would like. So I may not be as good at baseball as another boy--life goes on, and there are plenty of things that I am much better at than he is.

When we allow others to make us feel inferior, we are giving away much of our power to live our lives fully and happily. We are stripping our own power to control our lives and allowing others to determine how we feel about ourselves, which is something that we simply never should do. As long as we are trying our best at all we do, we should feel fine about ourselves and not worry about how other people perceive us, our efforts, or our results.
I determined long ago not to consent to allow anyone else to belittle me, judge me unfairly, or make me feel inferior. And in the time since I made that decision, I have learned that it truly is my choice--when I do not let it happen, it does not happen. When someone tries to do so, it is very obviously a reflection of their own insecurities and not an indication of who I am or of my value as a person. I like life much more when I do not consent to let others make me feel small and insignificant.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you allow people to make you feel? How did you start letting them do so?
In what ways do you consent to let others make you feel inferior?

I have learned to not allow people to have that much influence over me. Now, occasionally, I may fall into the trap of allowing someone's ill treatment of me influence me to feel sad or hurt, but I quickly resolve such feelings so that I can be in good spirits. A person can only do what you allow them to do.

Think of someone who sticks up for themselves in a very genuine and healthy way. What allows them to do so? How do they do so? What can you learn from them?

I can name many people since I do work for a mental health agency and we are taught to model what we "preach".

For further thought:

Don't let the opinions of other people determine the image you have of yourself. There is no need to feel either appreciated or understood. Be even-minded. What you think about yourself is everything. What others think about you has no value at all, unless you choose to give it value.


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