We can spend a lot of time, energy, and emotion trying to look good to others. Holiday time can trigger questions when you are with people you may not see often. We may hear endless loops in our minds: “What will people think?” “What if I fail?” “How will I be judged?” This line of thinking keeps us incredibly busy but doesn’t make for a very happy existence.
When your main concern is how you’re perceived by others, you’re likely to make consistently poor decisions about where to focus, where to invest your time and energy, and who to connect with. If you’re lucky, you’ll realize early on that you are not the center of the universe and, in fact, no one really cares about you. This is not to say you don’t have friends and family, but at the end of the day no one cares about you nearly as much as you do. This is a very, very good thing.
Why? Because it means that your definition of success is the one that matters. After all, only you know what’s truly important to yourself and what will make you happy. When you achieve what matters to you, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction—instead of never being satisfied no matter how many promotions, awards, or honors you receive.
It also means that you are free. You can make mistakes, change directions, try again, and create yourself ad infinitum. Since no one is really paying close attention and most people have very poor memories, you can learn from your experiences and use them as stepping stones to your ultimate success.
Best of all, those voices in your head go away. It’s ultimately not about what others think. Can you live with yourself and the choices you’ve made? If so, you’ve achieved success.