Many people suffer from an inability to stop caring or worrying about what others think about them. This concern with what others think can be helpful in certain circumstances, but in many others, it can be crippling. So many people lose confidence in themselves because they think others will think poorly of them based on actions they take. These worries are based on faulty thinking that can easily be overcome.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” Lao Tzu
1. Realize that most people don’t actually care or think about you [very much]
It may sound harsh, but the reality is that most people are far too busy thinking about their own problems to devote any thought to what you are doing.
So, next time you look around a room and wonder how many people there are judging you, remember that they likely aren’t thinking about you. They are more likely to be thinking about far more important things, like how they are going to pay their bills, what they are going to do on the weekend, etc.
2. Consider the lens through which they view life
You have been giving your power over to strangers, worrying what they think before even knowing if they view life through the same lens that you do. Imagine you are a die-hard Yankees fan, a dark chocolate lover, and a pacifist. Is the opinion of a Cubs fan who hates chocolate and who is a warmonger, someone who shares the same values as you? In the aforementioned areas, they clearly do not. Why would let someone who has a totally different life view dictate how you behave? Before you even consider someone’s opinion of you, at least know the lens through which they view life.
3. Don’t give others power over you
Remember that when you allow other’s thoughts to dictate what you do, you are giving them power over you. You are the only one who should be dictating what you can and can’t do. Now, it is perfectly legitimate to stop and think to yourself “how will people react to what I do” and then incorporate that into your decision-making. However, you should never assign too much weight to that. Never avoid doing something that you think is best for you because you assume people won’t react positively to it. For example, never pass up an opportunity to speak at an event that could be good for your business or pet project, because you are afraid people will judge you or think less of you.
4. Know yourself
When you get clear on who you are and what matters to you, you eliminate a lot of unnecessary worry and angst. Being honest with yourself and knowing your values and your goals is a simple way to uncover the necessary actions you need to take in life and in business.
This intuitive knowledge of what is right for you provides a sense of clarity and self-confidence. It also helps eliminate worry about how others will perceive you or your activities, as you know you are following a path that honors you as you are living your truth.
5. Learn to have confidence [and trust] in yourself
At its root, a fear of others judging you is related to a lack of confidence in yourself. You may worry that you are unable to do something, and you assume others will pick up on it. The best remedy for this scenario is to learn to stop judging yourself. We are often harder on ourselves than others, and we owe it to ourselves to learn to love ourselves and trust our intuition. Once you learn self-love and you build confidence in yourself, you will never have to worry about what others think of you again.
You will be surprised how much less stressful your life is once you learn to stop paying so much attention to what other’s think about you. Always remember that there is only one person whose opinion really matters, and it is yours. If you are confident in yourself, the right next steps will be clear. So just go do it. You’ll wonder why you ever gave a bleep about what others thought of you.