Throughout the seasons of your life, I'm sure you have all had many times when you have come across people who feel they know you enough to share their suggestions on how you could be a better person by stating what's wrong with you. They are everywhere, trolling on Facebook, Instagram, every which way we turn there is always someone making judgment.
This is how I deal with it.
Coming from a small town of Gunnedah our community can lift each other up and support your every victory. However, it also is full of people with "tall poppy syndrome" who feel responsible for making sure they "keep you humble."
Last spring I arrived back home from the most incredible adventure of living in the states for three months. Pursuing my career as a songwriter, following my dreams and chasing my heart's desire. A journey that took four years to buy a ticket. It was my first time out for dinner in my local community. I was so full of pride after undertaking such a big trip on my own after years of contemplation.
A stranger approached me then proceeded to insult me about a not so flattering moment when I was on "The Bachelor Australia". He told me I was "hard" and come across as a "bit of a bitch." Stopped in my track, I was taken back a little.
Who does that? Who goes and tells a stranger that they think they come across as a "bit of a bitch"? What grounds does he have to assume that of me? A produced TV series? 15 seconds of cut and pasted maximum drama after edit? He has no perception of who I am to call judgment and his opinion was unjustified.
I won't lie; it did affect me as I analysed his words for a moment. But I feel it was more of a representation of him rather than myself. By the time I finished processing, I sadly believed that if he were full of self-love, he would have only projected kindness. Instead, I metaphorically put my fingers in my ears and sang "La la la not listening" before his bitter venom could poison my veins.
This isn't the first time I've been publicly insulted by a stranger, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I have got to the point when confronted by these people with "tall poppy syndrome" to stop justifying myself and cut them out of my life.
A hometown acquaintance suggested "I wasn't true to myself" in two of the biggest and most truest moments of my life. When I released my debut video clip and then again when I was in Nashville chasing my dreams. His voice of concern wasn't heard when I was dating a guy totally wrong for me. When I gave up on music, because I thought I wasn't good enough to pursue a career and also when I was on national TV a little lost but somehow finding my way.
If someone doesn't walk beside you and support you, love you for all your imperfections without making demands on your character to be better, than I don't believe they deserve a place in your life.
We hold so much responsibility on ourselves, trying to make everyone happy. But essentially we forget to ask the question, "Does this person make me happy? Does this person add value to my life?".
If the answers are no, free yourself from their negativity. You will never measure up. You will never be good enough, and you will only be left questioning yourself.
I believe we should all go to sleep at night and feel gratitude in knowing that we reflected the best version of ourselves that day. Self-love has no place for other people's opinions and judgment. After all, we are our own biggest critic. We are hard enough on ourselves without others confirming the flaws that we try so hard to love.
Put your fingers in your ears "La la la not listening" and guilt free, pride yourself on walking away, pressing the "block" button and cutting their poison out of your life forever.
My best friend Chad always says "Those that know you, love you. Those that don't, assume".