You wake up in the morning, you look in the mirror, what do you see? Your reflection stares back, an outer shell that betrays what lies behind. You feel so good yet you look so bad. How can this be? You worry that you have aged 5 years overnight. This isn’t me. I don’t look like this, you say.
You put on some clothes. Does my shirt look good with my tie? The mind struggles to remember if you have worn this combination before. Yes, once. That job interview, but that was over a year ago. You have worn many great ties, yet when was the last time someone complimented you on them?
You step outside. The wind is strong today; your carefully groomed hair is struggling to survive the attack from the elements. I need a haircut you think to yourself. I don’t have enough wax in my hair today, it’s getting messy.
Your day continues as it always has. You speak to that cute girl in the canteen. She smiles and asks you how your day has been. You start to panic. You become worried that the monotony of your day will reduce her to tears of boredom. You lie. Your day has been great.
You get down the gym. It’s the first time in two weeks. Those weights you lifted so easily last time out become a struggle. You really should drop down a bit to a more comfortable weight. The guys are there, they are lifting a lot. You feel ashamed that you can’t compete with them.
You have a date tonight. You want to have a great time, yet something nags at you. Your eyes dart around the bar looking for disapproval. There isn’t any. Why would there be? Your date is 10 years older than you, God forbid you bump into one of your friends. You look around yet again, anxiety rises. You suggest moving somewhere else.
You arrive back home, reflecting on the day you left behind. Your head is racing and your anxiety is taking over. Wondering why life has to be this hard. You focus on tomorrow, and the inevitable struggle that it will contain. Can you cope with the pressure of perfection? Sleep eludes you. Happiness eludes you. You are simply living your life not to your own standards but to a false ideal.
Really, nobody cares.
The fact is we go through our days constantly worrying about what other people will think about us. Insignificant aspects of our life that seem like a world changing event yet in reality most people will never even notice, let alone care about. You think people will care that you have gained 3lbs? No, nobody cares. Why would they? Do they even notice? No they don’t. They are far more worried about their own bodies to care about yours.
Live your life to the standards that you set for yourself not the standards set by other people, let alone those that you create in your head. People do care about you, of course they do, but they don’t care about the trivial things so relax and learn to let these thoughts wash over you.
The only approval you should ever seek is that of your own.