When you meet a new person, within the blink of an eye, and often unconsciously, they create a mental image of you. People may have strong images of you, even if you may have never met them. Mental images may arise on social media or through other peoples’ stories. Other peoples’ mental images are built based, in part, on things that are true, but mainly on the crumbs of information they have gathered – and that which pulls this information together – their understanding of the world. After all, we don’t perceive the world as it is, but rather how we experience it. This is also what other people do when they create an image of who and what you are like. Thus, you can never know how others really perceive you (or more precisely: how others perceive themselves through you). Others see in you what they can find and recognize in themselves. You are a mirror to the other person. And yet: you are so much more than what another person can see in you, as they can only see that which their own experiences have provided an understanding for. That is why you should not spend too much of your energy thinking about what others think of you.
On the other hand, when you meet an old acquaintance, they will look at you and see what they saw in you the last time you met. They will weigh your words and actions based on their understanding of the past you. However, you change and you don’t have to be who you were before. You don’t have to change back into the person you were the last time you met (although it can easily happen – especially with childhood acquaintances, roles revert back). Every minute changes you, years especially so.
If you let other people’s thoughts, mental images of you define your being too much, or you will begin to live more in service of other people’s thoughts and images than in service of your own life. You are outward facing, even though what you really are is inside of you. That what you on the inside exists without interpretation. It is true. And it is ever-changing.
Stop shifting and shaping yourself according to other people’s wishes and images of you, and boldly be who you are right now in this moment. Instead of defining yourself by what kind of feedback you get from others, find a connection to yourself – to what is important to you and to what is essential in your life. Let your passion, love and inner joy define how you live your life and how you manifest yourself. If the opinions and thoughts of others didn’t matter to you:
What would you do now?
What would you be like?
What would you look like?
What would your future life be like?
Draw your life’s energy from your own source of inner strength, let it spill over into everything you do and are. Every moment, be you. Allow yourself to become what you are becoming. The rest of us need you to be more you. Otherwise, something truly remarkable and unique will be missing from this world!