The weekend is FINALLY here and you and your girlfriends decide to go out to brunch – yay! There’s nothing better than a morning spent with your favorite girls! After a couple hours of talking, laughing, and enjoying time with one another you all decide to take a photo together – because, “picture or it didn’t happen” right?
The food was delicious (the mimosas were even better) and you all are looking absolutely darling in your happy summer dresses. Life is good. You’re feeling excited and loved. A kind stranger agrees to take a photo of your girl gang, woo!! You look at your phone and the photo is absolutely *perfect*!! Your hair looks amazing, your makeup is on point, and the lighting is beautiful!! You are so excited to share your special time on social media so you post that gorgeous photo on Instagram! (Time to sit back and watch the ‘likes’ flood in)!!
You part ways with your girls and go about your day. A couple hours later you notice a comment on your photo from someone on Instagram.
The comment reads, “Time for a new hairstyle, girl!“
As soon as you read that comment initially, your heart might sink.
This is where you have control, AKA your locus of control, and you have a decision to make.
In the moment you read that comment, your reaction and your power is within you. How do you feel? Is your blood beginning to boil? Do you laugh? Are you embarrassed? Your feelings are valid, but do NOT dwell on it. Do not let your positive vibes and your woderful mood from three hours earlier get totally CRUSHED by a few words. Do not let your initial emotion of anger or embarrassment drag on after seeing or hearing something upsetting – in ANY situation!
If your thoughts and emotions and how you feel are constantly being influenced by outside circumstances, unfortunately you are going to have a very frustrating and disappointing life. However, if you maintain an internal state of peace regardless of outside circumstances and events, you will live a joyful life.
So, do you have an internal or external locus of control?
After seeing that comment, you can delete it, ignore it, or respond to the person with love (never respond with hate). If I decided to respond with love, it would sound something like, “Thanks for your input, but I like the way my hair is and that’s what matters most! ;)”
I know it is hard at first to get over something so hurtful or disappointing so quickly, but whatever situation your are dealt simply is what it is and you can only control your reaction to it. Don’t waste time trying to change it, wishing it was different, talking to other people about how upset you are, hold a grudge, and definitely don’t let it roll over into the following days and weeks. Allow the situation to be what it is, and move on. Not dwelling on your negative emotions will allow you to maintain your inner state of peace, and you will live a much happier life.
Maintaining inner peace and having an internal locus of control means not letting your emotions be controlled by outside events, people, comments, politics (yes, politics too), or outside opinions. It means seeing something for what it is, allowing it to be what it is, and continue to be in a joyful state of being. Believe me, I have practiced this every day and it get so much easier with practice, and it is so liberating!
If you have realized after reading this that your emotions are often controlled by the outside world, you need to start working on maintaining your internal state of peace, and here are some suggestions to achieve this!
- Meditate for at least 5 minutes daily
- Take a break from social media once a week
- Spend time with people who uplift you
- Journal on whatever topic are you interested in or helps you feel calm
- Understand that everything always has, is now, and will be OK
- Share love and positivity with world (smile more at strangers)!
- Work on being aware of your knee-jerk reactions to people, things, circumstances and maintain your inner calm when you begin to feel bothered
I hope this helps! Much love to you.
You know where to find me! firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @alyssamariephotography_