“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

I think we’ve all fallen into the trap of caring too much about what others think at some point in our life. A few months ago I began blogging on my former Raging Fitness Geek blog. I entered this journey into the blogging world with the intention of creating content around my passion for fitness, improving my writing skills, and having fun. Within my first few posts, I received criticism towards my writing skills from a friend I respected as a proven writer. The criticism came with no suggestions, tips, or actionable feedback but instead simply that my writing needed work. This blank criticism almost ended my newly found passion for blogging on the spot.

In the months since I’ve thought about why this simple criticism impacted me so profoundly. Ultimately, I don’t blame the individual; I blame myself. I cared too much about what other thought rather than forging ahead with something I enjoyed. Since then, I now know that I am confident enough in myself, my abilities, and my passion that criticisms will not kill my creativity. Am I the best writer? No. I guarantee you that I’ll put forth the best of my writing abilities when I create new blog posts. However, I also guarantee you there will be mistakes from time to time – and I’m okay with that. What changed? Me – I’ve realized I’m not perfect and I’m perfectly fine with that.

That’s me – imperfect, yet always striving to improve. I encourage you to look at your life and evaluate if there are areas you are letting others opinions influence you too much. Don’t let someone kill your passion, creativity, or even simply discourage you with their thoughts and opinions. Be your imperfect self, and be proud of it.