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Being Yourself Often Begins With Daring to Displease Others

Key Lesson: Trying to change ourselves in order to please others -- so that we can feel temporarily whole for having won their approval -- is like cutting a flower into pieces so that it will fit into a vase.

Stop Believing in Your Own Weakness

It is our fear of being alone and in doubt, of wanting to feel certain that what we are doing is right, that compels us to seek the approval of others. So this tells us that the chief cause of why our lives so often wind up in the hands of others is not that they are superior or that the world is too strong for us, but that we don't want to face the uncertainty and aloneness we think we are too weak to bear. This is the real cause of all of our wrong relationships in life. We have been betrayed by a belief in our own weakness.

The conscious refusal to go along with what our weakness wants us to do to escape its uncertainty is what invokes and finally delivers real inner confidence. This new kind of strength gradually becomes the cornerstone of a true individual existence -- the life we've always wanted. The stakes are actually eternal -- but self-victory is as certain as the fact that light always triumphs over darkness.

Use the following ten key lessons to help strengthen your understanding of these vital ideas. Think about them; welcome their healing insights as "lights along the way" to true self-liberation.

Special Study for Lasting Self-Possession

  1. When you don't know what to do with yourself, someone will always be happy to tell you.

  2. Why seek the approval of someone who doesn't even approve of himself?

  3. Fawning before an angry person is like asking a rabid wolf for its approval.

  4. The more approval you get, the more you have to have.

  5. Keeping any person or circumstance in your life that demands you surrender your right to be a whole and happy human being is wrong for everyone involved.

  6. When you are out standing in a storm, don't blame the weather.

  7. Real strength always follows uncovering one of the roots of weakness.

  8. Don't seek yourself. Dare to be yourself.

  9. If you were really doing the right thing with your life, you wouldn't need anyone to tell you that you were.

  10. Permitting your life to be taken over by another person is like letting the waiter eat your dinner. (Vernon Howard)

No human being has any authority over you. Your life belongs to you and to you alone. No scowling face or irritated manner, no challenging posture or threatening tone, has any power to make you feel nervous or anxious, frightened or angry. Your true nature answers to no one. This is a fact, and anyone who is tired of letting someone else tell them how to feel can use this self-liberating principle to win true and lasting independence.

This article is excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go (pages 156-162.).

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