Approval Ratings

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” 

~Judy Garland 

Today I got this feeling around me like I was being talked about.  I almost felt like I was back in high school again, when people would talk about me and my insecurity level would rise.  But then I realized something strange, well at least strange in comparison to how it was in high school.  I just didn’t care.  

I mean of course it feels horrible to have anyone talking about you in a negative way, especially when you did nothing to warrant that type of behavior.  But oddly enough, my insecurity level didn’t creep in, and I didn’t feel defensive and I didn’t feel the need to say something to somehow defend myself.  I just simply didn’t care.  I almost felt honored to be on someone else’s mind so much, in any capacity, that they felt the need to converse about me.  

For as long as I could remember, I have always been that person that has sought the approval of others.  Mostly I wanted my mother’s approval (which I realize I am never going to get), but because I couldn’t have her approval, I desperately needed others to approve of me.  It was when I was listening to a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes that I realized that I must have somehow, within my journey in this life, gotten to the point where I didn’t need the approval of anyone else.  I don’t know how I missed it because that’s a pretty important moment.     

He said that “the losing of those who don’t stand by you is the discovery of you” and that “people who don’t know who they are, are always needing validation to feel secure, but when you know who you are, you are safer within yourself, you don’t need everybody in your space to make you feel good about who you are.” 

In many ways it feels very freeing when you just stop caring so much about what others think of you and what they have to say about you.  My best friend Ms. L. once told me that if people are talking about you then that means you must be doing something right because it’s nothing but the devil trying to put more walls up to keep you from moving forward.  I sure wish she was around when I was in high school because I sure could’ve used that bit of knowledge then.  

I suppose the devil has been putting walls up in my path for a very long time then, and I have just been foolishly letting him.  Now that I am in a place where I don’t need anyone else’s praise or approval I feel more secure within myself and with who I am.  I am in no way perfect and I am probably going to make many more mistakes but I am happy with who I am.  Even if no one else agrees with my path, it is the path that I have chosen and I am quite happy with it. 

 Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”


1 thought on “Approval Ratings”

  1. Good for you for knowing yourself well enough to brush off the naysayers. I’ve been there and that is NOT easy!

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