Too many times I have been told that I was too sensitive when I was a child. Every time someone said something mean, I would easily cry. I wouldn’t fight. I would always be careful not to offend anyone because I knew how it would make them feel (which was the same way I would if it were done to me).
Later on, I would grow up feeling weak—unable to move without the permission of other people. It is an unfortunate way to live feeling fearful of what others might think about your actions. It’s debilitating and it takes a lot of learning before you finally become strong enough to stand on your own feet and speak with your own voice.
When you are very ambitious at the same time very sensitive, it’s quite easy to fall into the pattern of procrastinating and postponing your dreams in order to please the people you care about. And when you finally find the courage to speak up and make your own choices, you are immediately labeled selfish, self-centered, and/ or irresponsible.
But truth be told, we do not need to mind what other people say all the time. If they really cared about you or your happiness, they will support you and let you go. If they still disagree, let them disagree. Do what sets you free anyway.
Nothing is ever fair both in life and in the pursuit of happiness. If it makes you happy, you need to go for it. If it doesn’t make you happy, you need to let it go.
There’s a reason why people love to point out how life is so short; they love their lives so much they regret not having enough time to do the things they’d still love to do. And you can only say that life is short when you really appreciate the way you’ve lived. So then, how can you appreciate life if all that has ever happened to you has mostly been the result of other people’s decisions?
Maya Angelou once said,
What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.
Maya Angelou was right, of course. You step up. You take that leap. And you change things.
We can never gain confidence from the outside. We can only nourish it from within ourselves. We need to be able to believe in ourselves first and sustain that confidence until confidence becomes our greatest asset.
Being sensitive, I endlessly think about how my actions can affect other people. But I realized later on that I’m not responsible for anyone. We are all responsible for ourselves. We are the only ones who can determine our own happiness.
If this means I have to lose some connections, then I would ask myself if I really need people in my life who don’t support me in the first place.
It’s a pretty tough choice to make when you have to please people at the expense of your own happiness. Yes, the only way to be truly happy is to see that you caused happiness in the life of another. And being sensitive, you always know when other people are not satisfied with your actions.
But truly we can never please everyone. Sometimes we need to do the things that set us free because it is the only way we could feel alive. And sometimes, other people won’t see the same things the way we do.
We can’t force people to understand. We can’t control how others see us and we can’t control what they say about us. We can only do our best to be true to ourselves and hopefully find others along the way who share the same vision.