HOW TO STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
I want to talk to you today about HOW TO STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
Because this is one of the biggest things that can stop us from doing what we truly love and want to do with our lives.
Be honest - have you agonised over a decision, without admitting to yourself that a big part of your thinking is devoted to what other peoples opinions of you might be as a result?
There’s a quote I love, by Regina Brett
And that quote is a lovely reminder but in practice, it can be really difficult to get over that fear of what might be said.
We are always looking for feedback. It’s how we make sense of the world. As a child, as a toddler, when we’re trying something new – we’ll catch our parents eye to seek their approval.
Growing up, at school, we turn in homework and hope to get it back without too many red pen marks. If we’re really lucky and we have great teachers, they might note in green suggestions for how we can improve, but we can’t help but look for the mark out of 10 at the bottom of the page as if that is the stamp that tells the rest of the world how valid our contribution is.
And of course, these days, there’s the option to post on social media and for the world to respond to our most intimate moments with the touch of a thumb.
I’m assuming you’re reading this article because you want to stop caring what other people think about you.
And for that you get extra Healthy Selfish points. Because Healthy Selfish means that in order to go beyond yourself, you have to put yourself first.
The world needs YOUR original thinking.
And dare I ask the question:
If you’re not putting yourself out there, making yourself feel vulnerable, and developing yourself, what is the point?
But you know that deep down, don’t you? But still the voice of what other people think is persistent and pervasive.
So does it have any value?
To answer that, we need to really understand who the ‘people’ are…
And they might take on different forms in different situations. On social media it might be potential trolls, or your ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend. It might be the strong voice of one of your parents or some judgemental friends, or if you listen very carefully, it might be the voice of no one very important but who made you feel something really uncomfortable that you never want to feel again.
And that leads me to my next point, which is WHY we all seem to have this inbuilt function that stops us from doing things for fear of what other people will think.
Well it harks back to the days of our ancestral mammoths, who absolutely NEEDED to be part of and accepted by a group to ensure their survival.
So it’s actually an outdated evolutionary survival mechanism. And that’s why we need to be mindful of it, because when we know why we’re doing it, we can remember to challenge that thinking. It’s also our way of keeping ourselves safe. So when we experience pain or discomfort, our body remembers that feeling and wants to avoid it again at all costs, so it recognises the triggers (shame being a huge one) it will warn us with a tummy ache or racing heart.
So when you stop yourself from doing something because you’re worried you might offend, put someone else out, make another person feel they’re not important, or inferior because you happen to be really good at something they’re not. And when you even spend money, time or emotional energy to avoid the possible fall out from someone else’s negative opinion of you, just remember.
Healthy Selfish: To Go Beyond Yourself, You Have To Put Yourself First.
Love Rosie x