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This is a question about focus of attention. Most of us are conditioned to seek the acceptance and approval of others, even to please others at the expense of our selves. Is what they think of you important to you, so important that you sacrifice your own inner feelings in the process?

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something when your inner voice is saying ‘no’? Say a friend asks you to go to a movie. Your inner guidance, your gut, or intuition, says: “I’ve seen the trailers to that one. No thank you.” Then you say: “Sure. I’d love to go!” You go and are miserable the entire time. You may even develop a resentment toward the other person for asking. Is this not a form of lying? Do you do this habitually? Is pleasing them more important than pleasing yourself? When do you get to do what pleases you? Hardly ever? Is people pleasing your lifestyle? This what I call living life from the outside in.

Long ago we were trained to value the opinion of others over our own. Eventually we linked our sense of well being to their perception, their opinion. We become dependent on pleasing them, disregarding our own thoughts and feelings, needing and valuing the smile on their face over fulfilling our inner  needs and preferences. No where in this equation is there a place for Self-discovery.

All the great wisdom teachings coach us to look within. Neale Donald Walsch, author of the Conversations With God series says: “If you don’t go within, you go without.” It is like the beggar in the ancient world, sitting on a box for decades begging alms, never looking inside to discover the treasure hidden in the box. To do this, we must give up seeking answers outside ourselves. There is only one person who knows what is best for you. Who is that? YOU!!

This means we stop being pulled apart by the conflicting advice of those around us. Are they going to feel our pain for us. Will they live or die for us. No. We do these things on our own. Going within does not mean “thinking”. It means LISTENING, listening for the inner wisdom we call intuition, or gut instinct. Listening for and following its guidance.

Say to your Self, what other people think about me is none of my business. They are going to think what they think, regardless. Give up seeking counsel from any other source. Let go of pleasing others and please your self first. Is this selfish? Not at all, unless pleasing yourself involves hurting someone else. There may be times when no one you know will agree with your decisions. Many of the world’s great  scientists, philosophers and spiritual leaders were persecuted and condemned for their ideas. Yet, something within them knew beyond reason the validity of their direction. They had learned to LISTEN, and history was glad they persevered.