What People Think of You is None of Your Business

Dear Nova,

My biggest fear is to hurt another, and it is also my biggest block.  I am an artist and I often use nudity in my drawings, but have a hard time displaying them because I am afraid some people might be shocked or offended.  I do display them but struggle with the fear of making people uncomfortable. In fact, I often hold back in a lot of ways for fear of how it will impact others, and it leaves me feeling stuck and unfulfilled.

If you feel you can help me out of there, I would welcome a contact.


Angeline, Ontario

Hi Angeline,

I can relate very much to what you’re saying.  I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of work in that area on myself, as it was very common for me to hold back in expressing myself authentically for fear of offending anyone (not so long ago, either!).  In other words, I took care of the emotions of others first and made them more important than my own.

What I realized along the way, and what I now remind myself of nearly every day, is that not only am I betraying myself when doing this, I am denying others the opportunity to decide and experience who THEY are in the context our interaction is providing them.  While I think I am protecting and even helping them by making all sorts of assumptions to make sure they are not offended or uncomfortable, I’m actually robbing them of perhaps a very valuable experience.  And nobody wins that way.

So I have come to the conclusion that my only job is to be as authentically me as possible, to express myself from a place of alignment (and when I’m not in alignment perhaps go within until I can get back there and/or be more gentle and “forgiving” of myself) and ALLOW others the opportunity to do the same.  Not always easy, mind you, but it’s always in the highest interest of all involved, and really, anything else is just way too much work, isn’t it?

A great quote to remember about this, and I’m not sure who said it first, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  And of course, CWG says, “Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another is betrayal nonetheless.  It is the highest betrayal.”

Be you, Angeline.  Give the world that gift, and do your best to not take the reaction/response of others’ personally, as you don’t know what their soul is trying to accomplish in this lifetime.  And by giving yourself permission to be Who You Really Are, well, there is such immense joy (not to mention relief!) in that.  Give it a go.


(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching, www.gowithincoaching.com, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling.  She can be reached at Nova@theglobalconversation.com. )

(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to: Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com, where our team is waiting to hear from you.)

An additional resource:  The CWG Helping Outreach (www.cwghelpingoutreach.com) offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services.  The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions.  What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God.  It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.

Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
Click here to acknowledge and remove this note: