Intelligence is Ignoring Things that Don’t Matter
Winston Churchill said that no one can reach their destiny if they spend their days throwing stones at every dog that barks at them. Sometimes, ignoring things you can’t change is an intelligent way to move on and put aside the things that just aren’t worth it.
Now… how do we know what’s “worth it” and what’s not? This is something that each of us should appreciate because every situation is unique and personal.
For some, it will be criticism and negative people. Others may struggle with letting go of personal fears and limiting beliefs.
Today, we’d like to invite you to reflect on this important topic concerning personal growth: knowing when to confront and let go of the things that keep us from moving on.
The art of ignoring intelligently
Ignoring intelligently is an art, a subtle act of wisdom and maturity. We should never ignore what’s truly important:
- The people who love us and support our growth.
- We shouldn’t ignore certain aspects of ourselves, like our talents that take us closer to achieving our dreams and goals.
- It’s never appropriate to ignore the needs of those who are under our responsibility.
Let’s take a look at a few strategies that will help us put into practice some of the components that define the art of ignoring.
Our greatest fault is “postponing” happiness
In an intriguing article published in Psychology Today, it was found that people miss out on opportunities simply because they think that it isn’t the right time.
Also check out: Bad vs. Good People: Those Who Bring Happiness
What makes us fall into the belief that “now is not the right time”?
- The comments and criticism of others. Example: you’re not happy in your marriage, but your parents keep telling you to “hold out a little longer.”
- Going along out of fear of disappointing others and even falling into that belief that things will change and happiness will appear overnight if only we endure for a little longer.
Happiness should never be postponed. If our hearts and minds are telling us that something is not right, it’s time to start ignoring everything else that tells you otherwise.
Doing that requires courage.
Ignore criticism and hurtful comments
At first glance, it might seem easy enough to ignore criticism and hurtful remarks. In reality, it actually takes a lot of effort because it has a direct effect on our self-esteem.
- The negative comments that affect us the most are the ones that come directly from someone we care about.
- “How can I ignore what my family, spouse, or best friend is saying?” Well, to be clear: people who love you support your happiness and respect you.
- Anyone who truly cares for you will never put up barriers to your personal growth, damage your self-esteem or belittle you with subtle sarcasm or language charged with contempt.
In these types of situations, ignoring the negative behavior of others is the most intelligent course of action.
Also read: Single and Happy: Is It Possible?
It takes courage to recognize self-limiting beliefs
Sometimes our worst enemy exists only in our minds:
There are certain limiting attitudes and beliefs that we carry within us from our childhood or that are inherited from other people which can lead us to believe thoughts like “I don’t know how” or “I can’t”.
- Sometimes, low self-esteem can take away the courage we need to start ignoring the people, situations, and things that cause us harm rather than bring happiness.
- Personal insecurity is another common reason that often gets us into these dilemmas. For example, you might never dare to turn down an invitation to an event that you really don’t want to attend because you can’t ignore your fear of “looking bad.”
These are just several small examples, that when they accumulate, can become a central theme in our lives, making us subject to what others will say over our own desires.
And that isn’t right.
Learning to ignore the things that don’t really matter is also the art of personal courage. It’s the conviction that in order to be happy, we need to take the plunge and just say “NO.”