Are you concerned about what others think of you and how you go about your life? Are your decisions influenced by how you anticipate others will see them? Are you worried about reviews? Does ridicule bother you? Why are you concerned about someone else’s thoughts or opinions anyway?
We grow up learning to care about what other people think. How many times have you heard, “What will the neighbors think?” », « What will your friends think? “, “What will the relatives think? or “What will people think?” in response to something you did or wanted to do?
When you adjust your behavior to conform to what others think, you stifle your goals and restrict your happiness. Continually striving to achieve someone else’s goals instead of your own causes you endless frustration.
Too many people structure their entire lives in response to their concern for the opinions of others. Where they live, who they marry, their profession and who they associate with, are just a few of their decisions determined by what other people think.
Why do we fall into this trap and what can we do about it? It starts with our desire for acceptance. As children, we seek approval from our parents. Over time, this need spreads to friends, relatives and even strangers. Moreover, the thirst for acceptance is combined with the search to avoid criticism, ridicule and rejection.
These are powerful emotions because they are based on the fear of “what if”. What if people made fun of me? What if I’m not included? What if no one invites me? What if people don’t approve of what I’m doing? The list is endless but the result is the same: conforming to what others might think ends up making you unhappy.
The irony is that even when you do what you think other people want, they don’t care or aren’t happy anyway. So, after adjusting your life, nothing has changed except the fact that you are continually unhappy. So in the end it doesn’t matter what other people think.
Today is the day you need to break free to start living on your terms. You start from where you are right now. There is no point in complaining about past decisions. Your goal is to avoid repeating past mistakes while moving forward.
It doesn’t matter if you’re criticized for taking control of your life. After all, trying to avoid criticism didn’t work very well. There is no obligation to explain why you are changing direction. You don’t have to convince anyone that this is the right course for you.
Where you want to go from here is based on an honest assessment of yourself. What are your strong points? What are your weaknesses? What do you like? What do you not like? What are your goals? If you do not know the answers to these questions, it is essential that you take the time to understand them.
Then you need to formulate a step-by-step plan to get where you want to be. Each step should be small enough to be manageable. If a step seems too big, break it down into smaller substeps.
Now is the time to act. The formula for success is to take one step at a time. Don’t worry about what other people think. The direction of your life and your happiness is your responsibility.
Setbacks are an integral part of achieving goals. Yet that’s when you’ll be inundated with negative advice, criticism, and even ridicule. Ignore all of this. When you stumble, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on your way. You will be very pleasantly surprised at how much joy you get from not caring about what other people think.
Bryan Golden is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits”. Contact Bryan at [email protected] or visit www.DareToLiveWithoutLimits.