Why allowing others to define you is crap and why you need to let go

by Leila on August 18, 2012

People have a hard time letting go of negative perspectives of others – why are we so often defined by our mistakes, flaws and bad choices rather than our assets?

When I was a kid I was a pain in the ass.

Shocking, right?

I affectionately refer to my childhood days as me being a feral kid who was left to her own devices. It was true for the most part.

When I was a teenager I was basically that rebellious kid you hope your children don’t become. I was defiant, tough as nails, opinionated, obnoxiously competitive, dressed in ways to make myself unattractive/ward people off, did what I wanted because I was of the mind I could do anything… I pushed all the limits when trying to fight and embrace life at the same time. I made people mad, often, with how I was. I’ve been in more dangerous situations than should be possible. I just wanted to be me, live my life and find my own path.

Did I think it was cool? No, I thought I was pretty much an idiot but didn’t care. I didn’t hold myself in a high regard.

I was constantly told that everything I did was wrong. I acted wrong. I thought wrong. I was just plain wrong.

That is how I was always defined. Wrong.

The more anyone tried to hold me down the more I fought. I fought hard. I fought some stupid freaking battles too.

I used to get angry at the fact that people still see me as that same crazy child. I thought they were being narrow minded asshairs who couldn’t widen their vision.

Then I realized – I‘m still that person and… I kind of like that person now. That person that I was is still who I am to my core. I’m sure you can ask anyone and they will define me the same way as back then… just in a different way. A different perspective. A different filter. But, I’m still the same. Am I still wrong? Was I wrong then?

Shit if I know… because who can really say what is wrong? It’s all a matter of how you view it.

I can say one thing…

It’s the actions that have changed.

It’s how I utilize those aspects of my personality now compared to what I chose in the past that makes my life different.

Now? The quirks in my personality are seen as empowering, motivating and often endearing. (which makes all of you crazy!)

Oh I know some people think I’m batshit and don’t care too much for me. I’m fine with that. (insert obscene gesture here with a wicked smile)

I can’t control anyone’s opinion of me or how they choose to see me. I can argue that how they observe me is off kilter or inaccurate because they aren’t seeing past their own bullshit. I can be pissy about it. I can loathe it. I can whine and get angry.

Or I can accept that I know me and I don’t need to worry about all the other noise out there.

Ultimately? I’m unabashedly just being myself. You get no wizard behind the curtain. There isn’t a mask. No illusion. You get no shocking revelations. You get exactly what I put out there – flaws and all! Yes, it makes me vulnerable to an extent and people often use it against me. Yes, people judge, make assumptions and when my flaws are so obvious they are gonna focus on those. I’d much rather put out there exactly as I am and allow people to choose to take it or leave it.

I’m not perfect then or now. I don’t try to be and I’ll never pretend to be. I won’t apologize for the kid that I was (maybe to my Dad… maybe) and I sure as hell won’t apologize for who I am now.

My point in all this? Learn to let go. Release those assumptions or desire to be seen the right way to others. Find the positives in yourself and don’t let anyone take that from you. Embrace yourself and forgive yourself for the stupid shit you have done. It’s over. It’s also over and done with for the other people out there too so cut them some damn slack.

Just simply be you and allow others to simply be them.

Be defined by you and what you choose to do not by what others want to see you as. They will always see you the way they want to. Nothing will ever change that.

If they don’t want to take the time to see past their own judgments then you don’t need them.

Each action you make now counts. Make the most of it.

Let’s keep on ninja kicking.

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

junebug August 18, 2012 at 4:44 am

I was a horrible kid and teen! I agree I’m still the same inside but I project it differently most days. I just wish I had that confidence or blind ignorance I had back then that told me I could do anything. I was fearless. I need to find fearless again. Well, fearless in doing things I love like writing or acting not skydiving because as a parent that is never going to happen unless I’m 80 and she is 40 and I know she would be proud to say her fearless 80 year mother died in a skydiving accident because that sounds badass.
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DontSpkWhinese September 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm

You are badass, always!!
I used to want to skydive but then I realized it doesn’t seem that fun. I wanted to do it to prove I wasn’t scared… but yanno what? Being completely transparent, vulnerable and open is braver than jumping out of a freaking plane.
One may require adult diapers or an underwear change afterwards 😉
You will find fearless again. I’ve seen it in you!!


Kim @ Coffee Pot Chronicles August 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Oh hell yes!

I needed to read this today. I’ve struggled for so long to fight the negative opinions people have had about me. The comments about being too brash, too blunt, too honest, too opinionated. Too…whatever. I’m finally getting to a point where I am accepting who I am and those who cannot appreciate and love me for me for my slightly wild, definitely mischievious, and often brash behavior can kiss my white ass. It’s been a long, painful process but I think…THINK I’m on the verge of being okay with the Kim I am.

I’ve tried too many times to change who I am and it never works. I’ve tried; from an outward perspective, to become a prissy girly girl rather than the tomboy who loves to get dirty and hang with the guys. Epic. Fail. Just can’t fight who you really are deep down no matter how hard you try.

Thanks for this awesome, insightful post.
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DontSpkWhinese September 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Thank you so much for stopping in Kim – I think we all struggle with those times of being “too – insertsomethinghere”. When it comes down to it all we can be is too much ourselves and be too damn proud of that!
When I have tried to be a prissy girly girl I fail miserably. I feel like a jackass in sheep’s clothing. Us getting down and dirty tomboys need to stick together!


Delfin Joaquin Paris III August 18, 2012 at 9:21 am

The only way I was ever able to learn how to be myself in front of other was to learn how to sit with myself in discomfort and pain.

When I was around others I would change to meet their needs, because I was uncomfortable and ashamed of my own feelings. I certainly couldn’t let others see my vulnerability. I couldn’t even cope with that stuff myself.

By learning how to sit and not run from pain I’ve learned how to not run when I’m around others. Being real is hard work!
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DontSpkWhinese September 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm

I can relate to everything you said… being real is hard work. It’s easier to put on that fake front and try to be who you think everyone would accept. To be truly you makes you vulnerable… but it is also damn empowering and rewarding.


Elena August 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Oh I love and adore you so very much. Your ninja ways and personality make you so incredibly genuine….and enough..just the way you are!
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DontSpkWhinese September 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Thank you Elena! Your friendship and awesomness is so appreciated. I can’t wait to see you!


Lara Taylor August 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Leila, going through a divorce and custody battle is a continuing learning experience. I am struggling with my desire to please all the time and am realizing how it’s not the least bit healthy OR helpful. I am so so fortunate that I have a significant other now that constantly urges me to be myself, to do what I like, wear what I want, etc, that he’s not going anywhere. Your comment, “Be defined by you and what you choose to do not by what others want to see you as. They will always see you the way they want to. Nothing will ever change that.” really hits the nail on the head, home-skillet. The key is to surround ourselves with people who are unabashedly themselves (like you! 😉 ) as it encourages us to do the same; some positive peer pressure, for once! lol
Thank you for being you, girlie! It helps. It really does.
Keep up the good work!


DontSpkWhinese September 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Thanks sweetie, it truly means a lot that you said everything you did 🙂 I’m so sorry you have gone through so much but I’m thankful you have found someone pushing the positive peer pressure on ya! Everyone needs people like that in their lives. MWAH! ;P


JR Reed August 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I totally needed to read this. Muchas gracias and shit.
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DontSpkWhinese September 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I’m glad, dude! You are very welcome.. and shit 😛


KristenDaukas September 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm

“Never let someone else define who you are” is a mantra I’ve been telling my 3 girls for years. I hope it will be one of those things that one day, their head will snap up and they’ll say “oh yeah… I get it now!” and I hope it’s a lot earlier than 30 which is about when it clicked for me. 


coffeeluvinmom March 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Dude, you are the opposite of wrong. I love what you said – but I thought there was no whining…
I’ve learned not to care what people think most of the time, you’ve made me know it’s okay to be batshit, thanks!


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