Note from Brittany: The following is a guest post by the incredibly talented Kendra Kantor. This is the first ever guest blog that I’ve accepted for Catching My Breath, and I’m beyond thrilled to share Kendra’s work with you. Kendra is a Wellness Mentor & Guide who does really important work for any women interested in boosting their self esteem, improving their body image, tapping into their intuition and creativity, and not letting anxiety, depression or mental health control their lives. I’ve immensely enjoyed her Art Journaling course and her email list, and she’s always been quite approachable and helpful. I’ve recommended her to friends and clients, and now I’m so happy to partner with her in this way and share her words of wisdom with you!
PS — Next month, Kendra launches the beta test of her latest Self Worth course, #YesToBeautiful — and I highly recommend checking it out! If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to look at yourself with love, to go through your life with confidence, and to learn to embrace and even LOVE your flaws… this is the course for you. Improve your self esteem over four weeks with Kendra and a group of like-minded ladies. Reserve your spot today (and check out her Self Worth Freebie)… Class starts on February 9th!
Why Only Your Opinion of Yourself Matters
Guest Post by Kendra Kantor
“What other people think of me is none of my business.” -Wayne Dyer
Oh Wayne, what a hugely important topic and something I think we ALL struggle with. It’s not just me, right ladies?
One of the triggers for my anxiety disorder is judgement. I don’t know where this stemmed from since I have (luckily) never dealt with any bullying or stigma but this fear of judgement still persists. When my anxiety was at it’s worst about 3 years ago, I couldn’t talk to strangers, I was so afraid of what they would think of me.
Now, my anxiety is a lot better and I interact with people. But I often walk away and think to myself, “What are they thinking about me right now? Do they think I was crazy? Did I say something wrong? Did I talk too much, did I look sad, did I have food in my teeth, did they think I was too fat or unfocused?”
One of my favorite things about learning mindfulness is learning that thoughts can’t hurt me. Whether they are mine or someone else’s. But most importantly, I want to ask you this:
What does it matter what that cashier thought of you? Really and truly?
Whenever I used to go shopping with my mom and we would be stocking up on lots of junk food, she would always try to justify her purchases. Tell the cashier we were having a party (we weren’t usually, there was just 3 women in the house who needed chocolate!) and I always felt confused out by the interaction.
It felt wrong to have to justify my life, my choices and my purchases to a complete stranger.
Who cares if that cashier thought we were pigs? We’ll probably never see him again and if we do? His opinion doesn’t really matter. Does his inner thoughts effect me or my life? No, not really.
If I lived my life with fear of what others think of me, I might not have gone to the beach in a bathing suit with my toddler this summer. I would have been too afraid that people thought I was fat. But you know what? It doesn’t matter what they think. It matters what I think and what my son thinks. He wanted to go swimming wit his mommy, he doesn’t care what she looked like. And so I wore a swim suit and we went (multiple times) and maybe people looked at me or had negative thoughts but I didn’t pay attention or feel them. I played with my son and had fun.
Living your life based on the judgement or thoughts of others is a disservice to your values and goals in life. Your values are what lead you to where you want to go, they point you in the right direction and help you create the kind of life that makes you happy.
I value making my toddler happy and spending time with him. If I had let other people’s (assumed) judgement hold me back from going to the beach, I would have been ignoring those values and therefore, not living a life I want to. I would have been unhappy (and so would my toddler) and in the years to come, I would feel upset that I didn’t let my toddler experience things because I was afraid.
Afraid that mere thoughts could hurt me (they can’t). Afraid that what other people think of me truly matters to me life (it doesn’t).
And so, instead of living in fear of thoughts and judgement I challenge you to ask yourself:
Why do their opinions matter? Why do their values or judgement have any precedence in my life? How I can start living my life based on my own values and thoughts and not someone else’s?
Share in the comments: What have you shied away from doing in the past based on (assumed) judgments from other people? What do you want to do this year that you’ve been afraid to do in the past?
As a Wellness Mentor and Guide, Kendra Kantor wants to live in a world where mental and emotional wellness and self care is a top priority. Kendra is a stay at home mama to her 2 year old and splits her days between running her business and playing with her rambunctious boy.