Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Letting Go of How Others Perceive You

One of the greatest joys of knowing yourself intimately is being comfortable in your own skin. The woman who knows herself deeply, cares more about her dreams, passions, creations, memories and the very moment she is experiencing vs. what others think of her.

How many times have we gotten ready to put ourselves out there and share something we love, are proud of or are interested in pursuing when a little voice asks us if we're sure we want to do that. I don't know about you but as much as I try to just be myself, from time to time I still hear that voice. It usually shows up when I'm revealing a personal tidbit that may not be received by the masses as 'perfect', ideal or as it pertains to design-an example of my best work. Whether it's a photo of something I took on my average camera with my less than average photography skills, my writing or sharing my design concepts and putting my creative works out there for others to see, it can be a little daunting sometimes. However, most of the scary stuff is all in our own head.

A girlfriend e-mailed me today sharing with me that she's been working on her new office space for her business. It's something she's really come to love and enjoy. It's pretty, comfortable and reflects her personal style but in comparison with those in her industry (she's also involved in design) she thought that they might perceive it as amateur and considered not sharing a photo of the progress she was so excited about. She then reminded and encouraged herself to just post it and decided that she really didn't care what anyone else thought anyhow, it was special to her. I'm so impressed with her attitude and for posting the picture!

We could drive ourselves crazy over what others think and become paralyzed with fear which would prevent us from doing the very things that bring us joy; or we can embrace the imperfections, the 'realness' of what we choose to expose or endeavour knowing that it's all part of our journey, our unique life story.

 What fears in your life about other's perception of you hold you back from sharing?

*images: (1) , (2), (3)


  1. Growing up I was painfully shy and always worried about how I would be perceived. One of the joys of getting older is achieving a level of content with who you are. Life is too short to worry about pleasing everyone. The quote above says it all, we should surround ourselves with people who think we're pretty great just as we are.

  2. My age. It's prevented me from sharing a lot of my ideas professionally and getting me the recognition I deserve. I'm 27, but look a LOT younger (I get IDed for things allowed for 16 year olds) and even though I don't mind (im also a wife and mother......) i know that there are people out there who just wouldn't be able to take me seriously professionally. There are certain things I can't do yet until I look much older and can make clients feel they can trust me and I have wisdom and experience. I do, but image means a lot more then just being clean and interesting. And I'm not prepared to age myself. I'm ok with how it is. I just think it's a shame society does perceive youth, even faux youth, as the same as reckless and ignorant.

  3. I always used to worry and want to please others. I had no real sense of who I was except for how 'they' would define me.

    It took time to gain a set of my OWN values and beliefs.
    Now as long as I am comfortable and at peace IN MY OWN EYES, doing what I respect, trust, appreciate and feel is right -- I could care less what anyone else thinks.

    I sorta like this part of it all being about me:)

  4. Hi Karla,

    I have always been concerned about being too personal, putting myself out there!

    Admitting that I am having a complete left hip replacement next week makes me feel vulnerable; however it also makes me realize that we never know what others are going through. I will always keep that in mind going forward.

    Thank you so much for your kind note, it made my day!


    Art by Karena

  5. I'm new to your blog. I find it very useful and inspiring!
    I think we all fall victim to others perceptions of us especially if we grew up with parents who did not respect our individuality and had high expectations of us.
    In my teenage years and on into my twenties and thirties I always felt a sense of detachment to myself because I was doing what I thought I should be doing and this led me to many insecurities and self-doubting. I really did not know what I wanted to be doing - I was so out of touch with my true self. I always felt there was someone inside of me that I had to protect from others expectations. That survival instinct helped me and eventually that 'someone' inside of me slowly got tired of playing someone else's game and eventually wanted out. Even physically my perception of myself was so warped I had lost my femininity, I felt masculine...I felt that it was weak to be feminine...but I so wanted long hair, curvy body, beautiful feminine clothes...
    I spent some time in therapy and learned to respect, value and validate my true self. I felt relief. I started respecting my body more, working out less, letting go and being less controlling. This allowed room for spontaneity and passion. Sometimes loneliness, but I learned to love my alone time. It was great to not have to be 'on' all the time!
    All this does not mean that I am immune to other's perceptions or expectations, but now I have the tools to face them and deal with them.


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