What others think of you is not important. Whether they are messages of praise or of disfavor, such words do not define you. It’s crucial to remain independent of the opinions of other people.
Seeking the favor of others is degrading. Once you seek favor, you fight to remain in favor. And once you fall into disfavor, you’re broken. This is what happens when we chase the external, those illusions (perceptions) crafted by others of what should or should not be.
When we make others’ assessments–whether good or bad–more important than our own, we enslave ourselves to their ideals, not ours. What does this mean for you? It means that someone else’s opinion is directing your life. When you find yourself in disfavor, you push harder to prove others wrong, hoping to change their minds, not realizing that you’re still being directed by forces outside of yourself. It’s a vicious cycle of slavery.
Your worldly self IS NOT your true identity. We each have a basic nature that is uniquely ours. When we trust that basic nature (our Inner Guidance System, Intuition, Higher Self, God/Goddess, etc.), we remain true to ourselves. Will this be without challenges? Of course not. But when we remain centered in who we are, we can face those challenges head-on with confidence.
Trust your Inner Nature. Honor it with an independent mind. Respect your vision for yourself. Work at living one day at a time in harmony with your own nature, and the struggle to engage life as if it depended on external approval will loosen the shackles.