“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor didn’t pull punches, she said it like she saw it and with flair and gusto! I love this quote because it is so true and for many of us, one of the harder things to learn. I would even take it a few steps further and say that, nobody can make you feel anything without your permission. Our thoughts and feelings are just a result of what we choose to think about a stimulus. If we feel hurt, rejected, angry, sad, happy, whatever, it is because of how we think about whatever stimulus is upon us, whether it is a person, circumstance, or event.
I walk outside in the morning an look at the sky and what I think about the weather today causes some sort of feeling depending on how I think about the weather I see today. It’s the weather and line ten people up and ten people will have a slightly different thought about that event. Some people see clouds and potential rain and they are immediately bummed out and prepare to have a lousy day. Others are excited about the change and love the feel of the cooler humidified air with all the negative ions giving them pleasure. Others go back inside and get their umbrella with very little reaction. To each person, there would be a unique reaction to the event based on how they’ve responded in the past, their training, their friends and other influences..
Someone says something to me that I take offense to and others would take no offense and maybe laugh at it. Someone could put me down and I might feel small and rejected, but in reality, they did nothing except create an event–a stimulus–and I am the one who gave that a certain meaning and resultant feeling. It’s my choice, and though I may have trained myself to respond a certain way automatically without conscious thought, it is a choice of thought about the stimulus at any rate.
Knowing this provides infinite freedom because it gives us the power to choose–on purpose and with purpose. That is very empowering. It reinforces the great news that we all get to choose how we feel at any time, regardless of circumstances or events.
I Give Permission To Myself Alone On How I Feel.
Spread Some Joy Today–You’ve reacted to things automatically for a long time. Now, today is a good day to try a new approach. Choose your reaction or response deliberately today. You may still feel some of that old stuff because you’ve been doing it for so long. You’ll see how fast all that turns around, and you will be feeling pretty darn good about most things. Who needs to feel bad? Not you!