When I was 18 years old I worked at Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto. It was a really fun place to work because the staff were all outdoor-loving people who really lived the life they were selling.
One of our products for sale at the time was a t-shirt that said, "I don't care what you think." There were more than a few of us who bought one and wore it to work. That t-shirt made me feel cool. However, I always felt like a liar when I wore it because in fact, deep down, I did care what you thought of me.
About ten years ago, when I first got on the healing path, a woman said to me, "What other people think of me is none of my business." She was giving me a tool to counter the self-centered mind, the fear of other people's judgment, the people-pleasing perfectionist.
For years I have worked on letting go of what other people think of me. I've made great progress but I find it hugely challenging. It's especially difficult when critics say what they think of me in newspapers. Not only do I have to let go of what the critic thinks about me but what all the readers are going to think of me after they read the piece!
I've recently heard some criticism around the fact that I've hired a composer from outside the Yukon to co-write a Yukon Anthem for the Big O Project. It doesn't matter that I am the co-writer and I was born here, it doesn't matter that this person loves the Yukon with all his heart, it doesn't matter that the majority of Yukoners are not "from" here anyway.
It doesn't even matter that the song is called "Live in Peace"!
None of this matters to the critic. To the critic the song is crap because the composer is from Toronto.
"What other people think is none of my business." Folks, I'm a work-in-progress on this one today.
Inspiring Message of the Day: I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. We can't please everybody! If someone doesn't like who I am or what I do I will remember that it's none of my business and I will do my best not to take it on.