6 Ways to Care Less About What Other People Think
‘Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.’ – Lao Tzu
Now be honest, how much of your time do you spend worrying about what other people think?
On some level, we ALL care what the people around us think. As naturally social creatures, it is a completely normal and human desire to want to be accepted and loved for who we are.
But there is such a thing as caring too much. And there are ways you can care less about what other people think.
Do you wonder if someone’s talking behind your back? What other people think about your looks, your clothes, your job or the decisions you make? Are you always seeking approval from the people around you?
Because when you care what others think to this extent, you’re making yourself volunteer for a trapped existence of misery and discontent.
The truth is, if you want to blaze your own brilliant trail through this life and to be happy, you’re going to have to learn to not care quite so much. After all, no one ever achieved extraordinary things by listening to every opinion and judgment that ever came their way.
So how do you get past wanting to ‘fit in’ and the worry of what others may or may not think?
For your own happiness and sanity, it’s time to start feeling good about your decisions and your life, regardless of what others have to say on the matter.
Here’s how you can start to care less about what other people think:
1. Stop apologizing.
An easy way to spot whether or not you spend too much time worrying about what others think is if you find yourself constantly apologizing to others for the way that you are.
If you’ve done something wrong and an apology is well warranted in that situation, then go ahead, say sorry! But don’t get stuck in the habit of apologizing just for being who you are. Standing out from the crowd, expressing different opinions or caring about something that is important to you are no real causes for an apology.
2. Remember what is important to you.
Have you ever made choices or followed a specific path because it’s what others wanted for you, or because you felt that you ‘should’? If so, then you’ll already know that doing this rarely ends well. It doesn’t matter if it’s landing a job you can’t stand but that makes your parents happy, or turning down a big opportunity because you think your friends wouldn't ‘get it’ – it’s virtually impossible to be happy as anything other than your most authentic self.
You are your own person; use this freedom to take action driven by your own goals. You shouldn't be out to impress anyone, this is your life remember, so concentrate on what’s important to you.
3. Get out of your head.
Do you have a tendency to over-analyze everything? When we’re worried what others think of us, we can fall into the trap of constantly second-guessing and worrying about our every word and action. Make the decision to stop this immediately. Stop giving away your energy on things you cannot control.
People will judge you. That’s life. But it’s also important to remember that people are judging you nowhere near as much as your head would lead you to believe.
But why worry about what you can’t control anyway? It’s how YOU feel about your choices that is important, so concentrate on making them the very best that they can be, for your own happiness.
4. Be really conscious of who you surround yourself with.
What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? It’s always easier to be yourself and feel good about life when you’re surrounded by people who uplift and inspire you, rather than spending your days surrounded by naysayers and negative people who suck the energy out of your dreams.
Obviously, you’re not always going to see eye to eye with everyone that you meet. And why would you? Life would be boring if we all shared the same ideas and beliefs. However, having at least a small group of people around with whom you can be your absolute self can be hugely beneficial. After all, the more time you’re able to spend as your absolute authentic self, the happier you’ll be. The ultimate goal would be to live every second as your absolute authentic self, but all progress, no matter how small, is something to celebrate.
5. Learn to appreciate and embrace the individuality of others.
Once you’ve learned how to start living your own life free from the worry of what others think and secure in your own individuality, don’t forget to show others the same courtesy.
Try to accept and encourage others in their own uniqueness. Avoid gossiping, thinking negatively about those you don’t understand – and most importantly of all, avoid being quick to judge.
6. Remember – those who don’t care, DO.
Imagine how much simpler and more productive our lives would be if we stopped caring so much about the things that don’t matter, and instead, directed more of our time and energies caring about the things that do. What a happier world this would be!
Understand that your time is limited and use this as the wake-up call you need to start caring less and doing more. So what if your friends think your new business idea will be a big flop?
If it’s important to you, to your happiness, and you believe that it can have a positive impact on the world – why does it matter what others say? If you know in your heart that you’re on the wrong path and want to change direction, why are you worried what others might think?
With the right attitude, the right support and lots of action, you can create and achieve anything that you want. What might be right for one person may be completely wrong for another. We all have different needs and different paths to pursue, so don’t let your fear of what others think stand in your way.
Can you think of a time when you proved the naysayers wrong or had to overcome your fears about what others might think of you?
Share your thoughts with everyone in the comments below =)
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