‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’. This is a very powerful quote from the former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. This quote conveys that unless we allow insults and words to affect us, they cannot harm us. The opinion of people will not matter to us unless we take them seriously. I do not intend to say that we are inviting the insults. I do not mean that we have to brush them off like dust either. I only mean that we should not believe them to be true.
To explain my point; let me take an example. We all know and agree with the fact that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. We believe in this fact so strongly, that if anyone tells us otherwise, we do not believe them. We will not accept any explanation to prove otherwise. We take it for granted that the speaker is either making a joke, trying to deceive us or is simply stupid. The person may even show us photographs or videos, but we will still disagree. That is how strong our faith is in the fact that the sun rises in the East.
We should have such a strong belief in our ability that no matter what anyone says, we know the truth. We know our true worth, and we will not let people state otherwise.
The same applies to praises and accolades too. When we know and believe in our ability, even flattery and false praise will not affect us. Isn’t that a kind of Zen-like state of mind.
There is an old proverb in India, which loosely translates as follows: A wise man is like a lotus leaf. He can stay in mud, slush and dirt all his life, yet stay unaffected by it. You can dunk the Lotus leaf in dirty water, have a frog sit on it all day long. Yet it comes out unaffected by the dirt. I know that such a strong mind is not easy to maintain. But, what is the fun in easily achievable goals? True enjoyment of success is after some struggle. So, let us work to make our mind and self-belief strong enough to withstand the world.