Since the time I have started trainings, I have been fortunate to meet some beautiful people from various backgrounds, experiences and cultures. One thing that I found common in everyone including me was that all of us get influenced in some form or the other, knowingly or unknowingly by the opinions of our near and dear ones. What they feel about us? What’s their opinion about us? Do they appreciate us? What is their perception about us? All this matters to us so much that if they disapprove, we doubt ourselves, believing the other person’s perception to be true, and start putting ourselves down. By doing so we experience low self-belief which leads to low self-esteem which leads to low self-confidence et all. My question is- why does someone’s opinion matter so much to us? Why don’t we counter their beliefs? Why do we give so much liberty to others that our happiness, self-belief relies on their approval? I am appalled. Just because we do not fulfill or match certain person’s criteria/benchmark of being ‘perfect ‘, we start doubting our own potential. I am not saying that we should never believe or take advice from our near or dear ones. I am just trying to emphasize the fact that we should know where to draw a line, how much to believe them. We need to have more faith in our own capabilities, talents and experiences. I am sure you must be wondering what made me choose this delicate and touchy topic to write on. Well, after listening to some amazing women about their adolescent’s years something fascinating came out. How during those years, they had experienced nasty comments based on their physical appearance? Few were declared the black crow of the family who will never be able to find a suitable groom to marry. So, their future was already predicted. Future prediction which was based on the stereotype belief that people who are physically attractive also possess other socially desirable personality traits like being better, smarter, more successful, more important and more valuable than the ones who are less attractive. These assumptions, perceptions, or beliefs have severe repercussions on people who face these negative comments at such a young age. There is more stress on the word “physical appearance” as most women are victim of what and how our society determines a woman should look in comparison with the culturally accepted epitome of beauty. Let’s take an example of two women and call them A and B wherein in terms of physical appearance A is the one who looks delicate, pretty, feminine, and is soft spoken whereas B is tall, smart, angular shaped, sophisticated and intelligent. The predictions made for their future came out to be completely untrue and they are both happily married. God!!! How bias can people be, especially with such comments coming from our near and dear ones whom we call family? I fail to understand why some people believe physical appearance is the most or one of the most important qualities to consider when evaluating someone’s partner potential. Is it a guarantee that attractiveness is a quality that predicts and sustains happy marriage? Coming back to my point, I am flabbergasted by the contrary reaction coming from both the women while dealing with the negative people and their hurtful comments. On one hand, A seriously believed all the negative comments passed on her. The repercussion is so deep that she continues to self-doubt her own capabilities. On the other hand, B who blatantly ignored and did not believe them is happy, free spirit person. With her self-belief, talent, and success she is now appreciated by the same set of near and dear ones who thought she was the black crow in the family. When I witnessed these conversations the other day, I immediately felt connected with B, felt happy and was in complete approval of her sporty and positive approach. She kept buzzing with cheerfulness while sharing how she was bombarded by nasty comments in those days. And for A, I wanted to comfort her, make her see the reality that how she was truly blessed and why she cannot gather courage to come out of it till date. Here I would say it’s all about our attitude, our self-belief, self-worth in our own selves. Not everyone has the courage like B, it might take a while for some people to learn how to deal with negative comments but it’s a process. We need to understand that unpleasant remarks are part of life. My recommendation to all those who find themselves in A ‘s shoes is to treat them as tools to become stronger, surround yourself with only positive set of friends and family who appreciate and believe in you and shortly the rub-off effect will bring a definite positive influence in you. In the end, I would urge each one of you to read, remember, and remind yourself each day of this mantra -Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle….