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Leadership Thought #320 – People Only Make You Feel Small If You Let Them

March 19, 2012

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We cannot control what people say or do, but we can control how we respond to it.  It’s important to always remember that no one can make you feel anything; you choose to feel that way.  It is amazing how a few unkind words or obvious negative body language can affect us.  I’ve seen successful and confident people wilt under the glare of another person’s disapproval.  None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, so only take constructive feedback to the degree that it helps you to improve and grow as a person.  If the feedback being given isn’t constructive, then simply block it out or ignore it.

I also believe it’s important to check the other person’s motivations.  Some people out there have a hidden (impure) agenda and try to bring others down because of their own jealousy or insecurities.  As a society, we sadly often do this to people who we initially crown as celebrities once they show their own flaws and human frailties.

We must also understand that people end up disliking other people they have hurt.   It is a constant reminder of how they failed another fellow human being.   Rather than seeking forgiveness, they choose to see only those things about the other person that justify our own injurious behavior in the first place.

It’s impossible to go through life and have every person you interact with like you.  Some connections aren’t meant to be.  Don’t fret or worry too much when you don’t connect with people.  All you can do is be the best “you” that you can be.  When you miss-step or do something wrong, own it, apologize, and move on.  When you need to seek forgiveness, ask for it and remember to provide it in return.  Always model the behavior you would like to see in others even when it is difficult.

The bottom line is that we control our thoughts.  Someone else can only ever make you feel small if you let him or her.  Don’t get mired in the negative energy put out by other people.  It will only ever hold you back.  Pursue your life’s journey with passion, honesty, integrity, dignity, empathy, valor, and love and then let the chips fall where they may.  When you stumble, pick yourself up and keep moving forward.  If someone else wants to be an obstacle in your path toward happiness and enlightenment, step around them.  They can only obstruct your path if you let them.