How often do you think about what other people think of you? Let me guess… A LOT. And I know, I know this is much easier said than done. Trust me, I get it! It’s HARD.
- What will people think of what you ordered or brought for lunch?
- When someone asks you to do something or be somewhere or attend something, and you say “no”?
- When you’re in line at the grocery store – what will people think of that chocolate bar you just threw in your cart?
- What you’re wearing today, especially if you got a little more “adventurous” than you might normally be or you didn’t get ready?
- When you met with that new client, and they decided not to work with you? What’d you do wrong?
- When you were out to dinner, and you said that thing that you’re embarrassed about?
- When you’re in Zumba class, and you have no idea what you’re doing, and you’re probably the worst dancer there, and an 80-year old lady turns around and high-fives you mostly for pity because it’s SO obvious that you don’t know what you’re doing? Oh wait, was this one just me? 😉
How much energy do you spend thinking about what other people think? In what ways does it paralyze you?
I’ll be the first to say that I’ve spent more time in my life worrying about what other people think of me than I would like to. You too? Like I shared, this has not been my easiest struggle to overcome.
However, there are things that I do when I am worrying about what someone else thinks of me, that help me. As I share them, just know I am a normal girl just like you who also struggles with this. So I can totally relate. We’re hanging out together, girl!
First I want to say that MOST of the time, it does not benefit me to worry about what other people think. If I had to choose the times where it does benefit me to think (think, not worry) about what others think of me, I would say it’s these three ways:
- It helps me to be nicer and understand people (empathy)
- It helps me to work hard and do quality work (meeting expectations I set up)
- It helps me to say “sorry” when I’m wrong (keeps me humble)
And that’s about it! Other times, it’s a waste of energy and doesn’t benefit me at all. In fact, if anything, it KEEPS US SMALL.
Ways that worrying about what other people think of us can keep us small:
- Not asking for that raise or promotion
- Not going to the beach with our friends
- Not eating when we go out with our friends
- Not putting ourselves out there and growing
- Not creating that thing that will help so many people
- Not asking for help
- Not sharing our humble opinions
- Not speaking up or standing up for someone
- Not standing up for ourselves
- Not sharing good things we’re experiencing
- Not being open with our best friends about our struggles
- and so many more…
To let go of worry so we can move forward and GROW, the things that help me most are:
- Understanding that everyone has their own personal experience of life and people’s reactions to you have very little to do with you and a lot to do with themselves
- Making sure I check myself for error. For example, if someone thinks I’m being mean, I want to check in with myself – I don’t want to just move on from that. If I was being mean, I want to apologize and grow from it, and own my mistakes. If I wasn’t, then I can let go and move forward
- Remembering that worrying will never add another minute to my life (it’s worth it to let go of worry unless I ACTUALLY need to be worried about something – you know what these things look like)
- Being KIND to myself. For example: if I know that I’m going to do something scary/outside my comfort zone, I’m surely going to worry about “what if I fail?” If I’m mean to myself, I’m going to FREAK out about failing. If I’m in the habit of being awesomely kind to myself, I’ll trust that it’s still worth a shot, and who cares if I fail? At least I gave it my best – I don’t have to worry about what OTHER people think because I’ve got my own back
What do you all think? Do you find yourself worrying about what other people think of you? How do you deal with it? I feel like this is a conversation to continue having, and I’d love to hear from YOU! Leave a comment.
You are unique and special, and that’s what makes you incredible. Own your uniqueness, be yourself, and aim to live more authentically. You never have to apologize for who you are. Be kind, be yourself, and give yourself permission to live your life more fully. Don’t keep yourself small. Be your own best friend and greatest encourager.