Stop giving people permission to hurt your feelings.

I believe that adults who have experienced some of the worst life has to offer-whether it be in their personal, professional, or even spiritual lives—know that things will not always go their way and people will disappoint. Most times, people are only looking out for themselves or they associate with you because of what you can do for them. Pragmatism ain’t always pretty. The problem many of us have is accepting this reality. Truth is, when things do not go as we expected or people hurt us, we are not so much angry at the offenders for revealing who they are; we want to kick ourselves because they are not who we wanted them to be.

The need for validation is debilitating. There is a big difference between valuing the opinions of those we trust and who have our best interests at heart, and needing your boss, your friend, your mate to approve everything you do for your accomplishments to matter. That is an emotional vice-grip that will ultimately choke the life out of you. To give anyone that much power over your feelings and your reason for being is tantamount to selling your soul to a buyer who will never appreciate (nor care about) its value. It’s a waste of your time and effort.

Never surrender who you are, what you achieve, what you are capable of to the care of others. Own your individuality, what you create and the magnificent person you are destined to be. People cannot take what is wholly and unquestionably yours. No one can rearrange the steps God has ordered. Master becoming confident, independent, determined, and downright fearless. Stop throwing the word friend, sister, brother, “ride-or-die” around arbitrarily. Everyone has not earned those titles. Know the difference between a true friend, acquaintance, co-worker. Be careful who you allow in your circle.

No, it will not be easy. But it is possible and it is necessary if you are ever going to be free. You may bend, you may even crack, but your innate strength (much of which may be untapped) will never allow you to shatter or break beyond repair.

There are people in your life who genuinely care about you. They are the ones who are present when you are doing well and they are the ones who come through when you hit rock bottom. The others, just happen to share the same air. Never make them the breath of life.

Note the difference.


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