Why Its Time To Stop worrying About What Other People Think
Worrying about what other people think about me is something I have learned to care a lot less about. I’ve heard that as you get older you get more comfortable in your own skin and care less about pleasing others. I do not know if that is true. What I do know is that focusing on what matters to me rather than others makes me happier. Understanding the negative effects of worrying about others reactions helped me to let go of the pressure I felt. Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about worrying about what other people think about me.
You don’t actually know what people think unless they actually tell you to your face. Most of the times that I worried about what others thought, I was focused on my beliefs of their opinion. I spent way more time thinking about what they might think or say than actually dealing with anything anyone had ever said. Our perception and doubt are often much more stressful than the reality of what people say. Save your energy and stress for when someone actually gives you their unwanted opinion.
None of us can really know what someone thinks unless they choose to share that with us. Who knows maybe the people around you are secretly rooting for you. Furthermore, they might simply be wrapped up in their own insecurities, too busy in their heads to notice you.
No one else gets to decide what is best for you. Ultimately, your life isn’t anyone else’s business. You are in charge of what you get to do and the decisions you make. After all, you are the one who has to live with the consequences of your choices. Unless you are breaking the law, no one else’s opinion really matters.
Worrying about what other people think discredits your friends and supporters. We imagine other peoples negative reactions more than positive ones. Understandably we fear people reacting negatively to us or judging us. We want people to like us. For the most part, the people who love us are in our corner. They want the best for us and what makes us happy. Assuming that your friends and loved ones actually does them a disservice. You are assuming that they are criticising and judging you rather than rooting for you.
By this same logic, worrying about what the people who do not care about you think is a waste of time too. Doing this gives these people immense power and influence. Effectively, you are giving them a seat at the table in your life. A seat that they have not earned or deserve. That is far too much headspace and influence for someone you do not care about. If they aren’t in your corner don’t put them in there!
It uses up energy and headspace. Doing something new, scary or demanding takes energy. Worrying about what people think about you also takes energy. I know what I’d rather save my attention and energy for. When you consider that you do not actually know what people think with 100% certainty it feels even more pointless. If your life is busy then you not waste precious time on what others think of you. Save that energy for the moments where you need to be brave and bold or for what really matters to you.
Loving yourself means cherishing your own opinions too. What you think matters. Your opinions and decisions are valid. No one has more right to decide what you do and don’t more than yourself. Loving yourself means putting value and respect upon your own ideas and opinions. Letting them guide you rather than focusing on what others think.
Letting go of what other people think of you isn’t something you just wake up and do. It is a process that takes practice. I care a lot less about what other people think but there are still days when those creeping doubts return. Knowing that my worries are a waste of energy and a lot and power and influence that I don’t want to give to others is helpful. Knowing these things helps me prioritise my own opinions and decisions. It reminds me to focus on what matters to me rather than worrying about what others think about me.
Originally published at https://www.lynnemcleanbrown.com on August 21, 2020.