5 ways to stop worrying what other people think
It’s natural to want to be liked by those around you or appreciated for your skills and talents. For some of us this constant concern about other people’s opinions can hold us back from expressing ourselves fully or doing what we enjoy. When you worry about other people’s perceptions of you, you create a mask – a persona shaped on how you want to be seen rather than be your authentic self. You soon find yourself tailoring your life to fit the expectations of other people.
If you’re guilty of the above and you feel that it dictates your behaviour or has an impact on your mental well-being, here are a few things you can do to alter your mindset and stop caring so much about what other people think of you. Furthermore, once you achieve this, you’ll be free to live your life authentically, without the pressure to constantly please others.
1) Understand why other people’s opinions matter to you
To successfully change the way that you think, it’s helpful to first understand why you are thinking that way. Why does it matter to you so much what other people – often strangers – think of you?
Pay attention to your thoughts and question them. If it’s a case of always overthinking things or blowing things out of proportion, learn to recognise when you’re doing so and replace the negativity or anxiety with positive thoughts.
2) Focus on what really matters
In a similar vein, identify what really matters to you? What are your core values and who are the most important people in your life? If you’re satisfied with the person you are and have quality relationships with people who love and respect you, what other people think of you becomes significantly less important.
By looking at the bigger picture, you will be able to put things into perspective. People have insecurities of their own and therefore spend a lot more time worrying about themselves than about anyone else, including you. Furthermore, we are all busy people and don’t have the time to dedicate time to judge other individuals. After all, we are not that special in other people’s eyes, unless of course you’ have done something that directly affects another individual which will focus their attention on you.
3) Don’t try to please everyone
Trying to please everyone is an impossible task as no matter what you do or say there will always be someone out there who will judge you. Hence this is reflective of their character rather than yours. Negative people have negative thoughts which you have no control over how they think or behave. Negative people are a drain on our energy and can be toxic if you allow them to influence your thoughts, behaviours and life. You can’t stop them making judgements about you or behaving badly but you can take action to exclude them from your life.
Once you realise that people will judge you no matter what, you might actually feel more confident and free to share your true opinions, to stand up for causes you believe in and showcase your personality in full.
4) Direct your energy to something positive
Think about it this way – with all the time and energy that you waste fretting about what other people are thinking about you (when they’re most likely not!) you could be achieving something positive.
It’s possible this insecurity is holding you back from pursuing a hobby out of fear of being judged, but once you alter that mindset you could find a new passion, be it painting or ballroom dancing. You’ll be amazed at how much happier and relaxed you feel when you channel your energy into doing something you love.
5) Find yourself
This might sound clichéd, but you’ll never be truly free until you have discovered your authentic self. Furthermore whilst you are wearing the mask of the person (imposter) you are holding yourself back from living authentically. .
Be honest with yourself and figure out your passions, what you believe in, who you like, what you want from life. Finally, if you are making life decisions based on pleasing or impressing somebody else, now is the time to stop. If you feel like you need assurance or a second opinion, ask the people close to you who know you well enough to answer honestly with your best interest in mind. Most of all, there will be people out there who will appreciate you for you and won’t expect you to conform to what they want. Surround yourself with people to project positivity and optimism rather than people are negative and put you down.
You can read more about being your authentic self and living by your true values in my new book ‘Behind the Mask’ which will be available in paperback very soon on www.behind-the-mask-book.com It will also be available in paperback and kindle e-book via Amazon.
To learn more or have a chat about working with me, contact me by filling in your contact details on this website. Alternatively you can email me at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you.