Are you constantly trying to please others and worry about how they will see you? If you often question your own self-worth based on other people’s opinions, you’ll hardly find the inner balance you are looking for. Being happy in life also includes stopping being worried about what other people think of you.
Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga, authors of the bestseller ‘The Courage To Be Disliked‘, believe if we become a little more courageous and know that what others think of us is completely beyond our control, it can set us on the path to a peaceful existence. According to them, to be true to ourselves means accepting how we feel, expressing our truth and accepting that everyone is not going to agree with us; this acceptance will free us from the deep-rooted inner misery that keeps us from being happy.
Unless one is unconcerned by other people’s judgments, has no fear of being disliked by other people, and pays the cost that one might never be recognized – says Kishimi,- one will never be able to follow through in one’s own way of living. That is to say, one will not be able to be free.
Unlike some other self-help books, The Courage To Be Disliked is not a straightforward list of steps that one can take to find happiness in life. It unfolds through the form of a “Socratic dialogue” between a sceptical youth and a philosopher, who bases his lessons on the concepts of 19th-century psychotherapist Alfred Adler.
Adler, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, was the founder of the school of “individual psychology“. He believed that people could control their own destinies if they only would change their beliefs about themselves and the world around them.
Basically, it’s not really the circumstances themselves that are making us unhappy: it’s how we’re choosing to react to them.
At some stage in your life, you chose to be unhappy – Kishimi explains- it’s not because you were born into unhappy circumstances or ended up in an unhappy situation, it’s that you judged the state of being unhappy to be good for you.
Remember, what other people think when they see you, is their problem and isn’t something you have any control over. People will love you, people will hate you, and none of it will have anything to do with you. They probably spend more time thinking about themselves than thinking about others. And if they’re expressing an opinion about your life, it’s probably not something they’ve given much thought to but just a passing thought.
Make your choices and live by those decisions, taking full responsibility for what you do and how you do it. Once you truly understand how to let go, you will see the world as entirely different. All you can do with regards to your own life is choose the best path you believe in. Be wise, age playfully.