My Bad Decision

I got divorced 17 years ago. I was married less than a year. In hindsight, there were signs I should never should have gotten married in the first place. Subconsciously, I knew it was a mistake.  But I went through with the wedding and endured the pain of the divorce process.

Why did I do that?

Only you pass judgement on your decisionsI was worried about what people would think if I didn’t go through with the wedding.  I was worried about what they would say. I was worried about how they would judge me.

When the marriage blew up, I went through significant emotional distress.

Looking back, I realize I endured more pain because of my concern about the opinion of others.

Which was worse – the decision to go through with the marriage or THE REASON I decided to go through with it?

That experience taught me the most valuable lesson possible about self-esteem.

Nobody has the right to judge me. I act and I live with the consequences.  I always try to do the right thing. I take calculated risks, in business, in life.  When things do not go as planned, I adjust and I move on.

But nobody knows my motivation. Nobody knows what I’m feeling in the moment. Nobody has the right or the qualification to judge me.

A couple of weeks ago I gave a speech to a group of professionals.  A person from the audience came up to me afterward and shook my hand.  He introduced himself as a “Professional Speaking Coach.”  He proceeded to critique my speaking style.

I cut him off midway through his unsolicited evaluation and said I appreciated him attending the presentation and I hoped he received some value. He nodded. I walked away.

I didn’t ask for his feedback, nor do I know if he was qualified to evaluate me.

I did ask for feedback from the event planner who booked me. She was thrilled and she offered me another paid speaking opportunity.

You can improve your self-esteem. One of the best places to start is with rejecting all unsolicited feedback.  Reject it loudly and swiftly.  You know when you screw up. You know when your performance stinks.

Ask for feedback from people you trust but never allow random people to grade your work, your style, or your personality.

It’s your life. The only person who needs to approve of it, is you!