I happen to be a chronic worry-about-what-people-will-think-of-me-er. I’m working on it though, and learning some things about the topic has helped me SO much. So I thought I’d share. The information isn’t really new. Many people have talked about this over the years and countless quotes about it have been shared on social media. I first started internalizing it though, when I heard my mentor Jody Moore talk about it. So I challenge you to start internalizing this stuff too, even if you’ve heard it before. Below are 3 reasons that you should just stop putting so much stock in what other people think of you.
You can’t control their opinions anyway.
We like to think that we can do this, but it’s literally impossible. You can’t make someone have a certain opinion of you. They will decide what they think of you based on their thoughts, not on your actions or words. You know it’s true! How many times have you said something to someone and they completely take it the wrong way? You might have chosen your words and body language “perfectly”, and they still got angry.
But that has everything to do with them, not you. Their life experiences, how they view the world, and their upbringing is what they use to inform their opinions, so it will often be totally different than yours. You don’t have any control over their thoughts and background, so you literally CANNOT control what people think of you.
You’re holding back on being you when you try to please people.
I’ve often tried to fit in with whatever group I was part of at the time in my past. Belonging was so important to me that I would quickly agree with other people or just stay quiet rather than say my opinion. I thought I had to change how I felt about things in order to fit in, and I did this all the way through college and the first years of my marriage. After I had kids, I started to feel like I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I cared more about how I was perceived than showing up authentically.
Life is too short AND too long to spend it trying to be somebody else. Once you start showing up as your true self, you will find your people. This is a big world, and we are more connected than we ever have been before. But you won’t find the people that are like you if you’re always hiding.
You will always feel some level of inner turmoil as long as you hide your true self from others. And you will ALWAYS feel an immense amount of relief when you start internalizing this truth and living by it: other people can be wrong about you, or disapprove of you, and it doesn’t have to change your opinion of yourself. Which brings me to the last point.
The opinion of you that should matter most to you is your own.
One of my other mentors, Brooke Castillo, was talking on this subject recently, and she gave a great example of this. Imagine that you’re introducing a good friend of yours to a group of people. You KNOW they’re going to love her, because you love her and think she’s amazing in every way. If they end up not liking her for some reason, it won’t change your opinion of her, and you might even think the group is crazy for not liking her, because you know how you feel about her. And you think she’s incredible.
So start thinking about developing that kind of relationship with yourself. One where, if someone said something cruel to you, you wouldn’t change your opinion of yourself. You’d just be like, “That’s weird that they said that. I like me, and I think I’m SO cool. Oh well.” Have a relationship with yourself where even when your inner demons rise up and try to tear you down, you know in your core that you’ve got your own back, just like a best friend would. I love that analogy so much.
So what do you think of you? That’s WAY more important than what other people are thinking of you. It’s tough to let go of worrying about that (trust me, I know), but I’ve been practicing it and it’s brought me SO much peace. Discomfort at times, yes, but even then, the underlying feeling is one of peace and gratitude that I showed up as myself and said what I thought.
Did this idea help you? If so, share it with a friend! And if you want help finding kind thoughts about yourself, reach out to me! I’m becoming an expert at it, and I’d love to help YOU.