Don’t lose your identity, other opinions don’t matter

By Lizzie Darwin | Contributor

After going through phases through the past couple of months of, “Do they like me, do they like me not?” I finally came to the conclusion that yeah, the people we seek approval from, are not worth it.

My entire life I worried about losing people because they think I’m weird, annoying or simply because they do not like me. Let me give it to you straight: people who leave you are not worth your time.

Spending the majority of my time worrying if my friends were mad at me, if a boy likes me back or not, or the thought of not get invited to something, it finally came to me. Instead of focusing on improving ourselves, we focus on gaining approval from others.

A couple of months ago, I was dating someone that I had to alter myself and my beliefs for, in order to be accepted. I was afraid to break up because I didn’t know if I could be alone. I put myself in life threatening situations, just for one person to like me.

Coming to the realization that I completely let myself go, trying to impress an irrelevant person, I looked in the mirror one day and could not even recognize myself. While I had not changed physically, what I had changed in my moral code and my choices made me lose my identity for someone who was only bringing me down.

Going into my sophomore year of college, I realized I had to stop caring about what other people thought of me.

Focusing on myself and doing things that benefit me as a person are the only things I care about now. I am not saying to not care about others. But as a college student, take this time to be a little more selfish than you usually would.

These are the years you do not have to have a job, be a wife, a mother or anything else. These four years are given to us to find who we are. When we let other people control what we do, we are only wasting this precious time. I promise you, the right people always come around, and they will want to accompany you on your journey to finding who you are.

I started a jewelry business not too long ago, but before I did I was so afraid. What if people hate my designs? What if people make fun of me? What if no one buys my jewelry?

After I let go of these feelings and I finally did it, I ended up making $2,000 this summer and some of the best friendships from it. If I had never let go of the fear of disapproval, none of it would have happened.

I think we wake up every morning and face our own demons. Instead, wake up and challenge yourself to doing things that will scare them off. Take charge of your life, take risks and do not let people scare you with the thought of their disapproval. Never be afraid because that is not living. Remember, you control how you feel. Most importantly, you must always be at peace with yourself because trust me, everyone else is not worth it.