UNITED STATES—Why is it sometimes we need the approval from others to realize our potential? We live in a world where self-doubt tends to plague many of us. Am I good enough, am I smart enough, am I strong enough, the list goes on and on? Since when did we become a society where we look to someone else to validate who we are?

You might be asking yourself, well why am I sharing this story, well for years I used to think and behave this way. I used to always second guess myself, question my abilities and it wasn’t until I got older, got wiser, before I started to realize I should have never second guessed my abilities to begin with. Society can be a cruel little thing. People are wicked; and the scary thing is the fact that we show little remorse for our actions.

People will always have snarky comments, but with social media now apart of our daily lives it seems the ability to voice our opinion has reached new proportions. You might post a picture on Facebook or Twitter hoping to attain a favorable assessment. For the most part it will happen, but there will indeed be 1-2 people who will have something negative to say, and that comment alone will trouble you.

I’ve learned in life no one wants to be talked about, but it’ll happen no matter how good or how bad of a person you are. As a kid, personal comments I took to heart, heck they brutalized my ego to a degree. As I got older I realized the cruelty of people could be worse, but at the same time, you just have to begin not caring what others think. You can’t please everyone, give up on trying to do so, its an uphill battle where, the possibility of success is slim. Buying the world and doing whatever they say, will not yield the results you want.

At the same time I’ve learned experience is the biggest proponent of realizing just how strong you are spiritually, mentally and physically. Out of the three, I would say mental strength is perhaps the most important. Do you recall the last time someone said something about you and you were able to just brush it off?

Yeah, it’s not something that comes easy, but it becomes easy to realize that people will say what they can in hopes of getting a rise out of you. When you don’t give someone something to react to, guess what, they have nothing to use against you. Not only are you proving your ability to let the silly stuff go, you’re sending a message to the ‘haters’ that they should try harder, actually you’re telling them to stop while they’re ahead.

When you rely on others to make you feel better about yourself you’re giving them control. Remember the mind is a powerful thing. Trust who you are, know who you are and never allow anyone to take that from you. People will attempt to control you if you allow them, but at some point you have to be willing to say enough is enough and stand up for yourself.

That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned about life, people will always kick you if you allow them to do so. It might take loads of courage to unleash as some would call it ‘hell,’ but sometimes you have to voice how you feel for people to truly grasp what it is you’re feeling. Just because you’re silent doesn’t mean you have nothing to say. That inner strength is telling you in some many stand up for yourself, stand up for yourself!