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Fourth of July with an Additional Take on Independence

| July 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

by Mrs. Freud

The Fourth of July is one of our nation´s proudest days. We celebrate the freedom and independence that this country allows us to experience. It is a precious human value, denied to many in this world. While you are celebrating this grand reality, I invite you to make it even more powerful by adding the following approach to your independence.

“Be independent of the good opinion of other people and be free from the need of approval,” states Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

This seemingly cute phrase can hold the secret to your own peace of mind, fulfillment and personal success. Let´s illuminate its meaning: being independent of other people´s opinion is a concept that I see many people waving off while confirming that they don´t care what other´s think of them. The rare person actually does live it, though.

Too often we obsess over what others think of us. How could they think this or that, when we are truly different and feel completely misunderstood by others. This is a perfect time to embrace the quote above. Other people´s thoughts and opinions of us is none of our own business. This is a declaration of freedom for ourselves, since, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to manipulate other people´s thoughts in a controllable manner. Yet, we have a tendency to keep trying and lose good time, energy and resources that would be much better spent working on our own goals and dreams.

The other sign that we are not truly independent of other people´s opinion is the typical “keeping up with the Joneses.” Advertising wants to persuade us to care about what others´ think of us. We end up spending more and more time at work so we can own all the things and exhibit all the behaviors that show a certain lifestyle. But is that congruent with our true longing? If yes, fine. But if it has been unexamined and simply copied, please reconsider and get to know your own desires better. There is nothing more exhilarating for yourself and magnetic to others than a person who knows themselves and is comfortable in their own skin.

Now, let´s address the “good” opinion of other people. Not only do we want to be seen and noticed by others, it needs to be in a good light. From my own experience of growing up and living in Europe and then moving to California, I can say that it is very different, what is considered “good” in various cultures and even societies and subcultures. Changing who we are and adapting our own values and behaviors to the subculture around us is not advisable. We may end up losing ourselves in the process and happiness and fulfillment in life starts to escape us. On top of that, the people around us sense that we are not authentic and void of our own convictions and needy for approval from the outside. Of course we will seek to fit in to where we live, but that is different from seeking approval and wanting the good opinion of others.

It is a step closer to true authenticity when we decide to free ourselves from the need for the good opinion of others and their approval and go forward being independent and confident with our individual personalities. That’s when we will be able to truly enjoy the company of others, getting to know them and expressing to them who we truly are. Some regulars in your social circle might fall by the way side, but they would anyway.

So, on this year´s Independence Day also celebrate your own independence and your freedom to choose how you express yourself and what to value in this life. The best way to celebrate is to become aware of it and live it. You will be astounded beyond the sparkling lights of the Fourth of July fireworks. That´s a promise!

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit www.starrcoaching.com and follow her blog at www.HealthwithTaste.blogspot.com; and a new social media offering is www.facebook.com/StarrCoaching.

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