“Eyes on your own paper” is a command I remember hearing a lot in my days of middle school—and though it’s a direction I never thought would be important to me past the ring of the bell in my teen years, I’m realizing now that it can be quite imperative to follow as an adult.
Though I’m not peering over toward someone’s test per se, there are several instances I find myself in weekly where I am looking to others for answers.
When you look toward someone else’s test, it’s because you don’t think you have the answers yourself, and same goes when you look toward others in adulthood. When you turn to another person for the answers (this does not include thoughtful conversations with friends or professionals,) you’re letting fear, doubt, and insecurity take over.
So what does that mean? You need to strengthen the trust you have in yourself and your abilities.
To help you identify when you give into a lack of self-trust, here are a few examples of times you may need to remind your self to “keep your eyes on your own paper.”
Eyes On Your Own Paper: Comparing
Of course, the most obvious instance of looking toward others, especially with all of the insta-perfect lives we expose ourselves to daily on social media, is comparison. Comparison is one the quickest ways to lower your self-trust and self-worth.
Whether you compare yourself and feel bad about your life—or compare and feel “better than”—either way, the focus is on the other. With a focus on the “other” you distance your relationship to your inner guidance and ultimately lower your ability to trust in your ability to make decisions, take action, and live wholeheartedly as You.
Eyes On Your Own Paper: Approval
The constant need for approval, ’nuff said. Just like above, if you’re looking to another to approve of your actions and decisions then that’s an obvious sign of a lack of trust in your own abilities.
If this is a familiar feeling for you, try waiting to call a friend or family member the next time something great happens, or when you need a big heap of advice. Instead, let it sit with you for a bit. Let that experience pulse through you and enjoy it or deal with it using the tools you already have—you may surprise yourself with what comes up.
Eyes On Your Own Paper: It’s Not About Me
This is a big one for me. As an empath, I am constantly inserting myself into other people’s experiences (though, only internally). So If I see someone who has had a bad day or seem especially upset, I automatically think it must be because of something I did. This is a tried and true case of looking too closely at someone else’s life, whether you mean well or not, you are taking on another person’s feelings and making their issue your own—when usually it isn’t.
What’s likely happening here is the need to control and an avoidance of your own baggage. Instead of trying to fix another person’s bad mood, look at what you might be avoiding in yourself and work on handling that.
The moral of the story? The answers aren’t on someone else’s paper, in someone else’s life, or in another person’s feelings. You have the answers you need deep down inside, you just have to trust yourself enough to let those answers out.
I trust in myself.
Only I have the answers I need.
Have a happy & healthy week!