Are other people’s opinions holding you back from the life that you want?
Let’s face it, every single one of us worries about what other people think of us every now and then. We can feel pretty self-conscious when doing something we are unsure of, especially when it’s in front of an audience. If it becomes something you worry about constantly, it really can affect your day-to-day life.
The Fear of other people’s opinions can stop us from doing things we want and need to do. Something as simple as raising your hand in class, standing up to speak in public or walking in to a room full of strangers. Most of us have been there at one time or another.
We have to realize that, no matter what you do, as you go through life, some people will like you, some won’t. That’s okay. The ones that don’t? Well, frankly, that’s their problem, not yours.
As blunt as that may sound, we’ve got to learn to focus on the people that matter, the ones that care about us and enhance our lives and not waste our time and energy on the ones that don’t.
“Care what other people think and you will always be their prisoner,”
Some signs that you worry too much about what others think are:
- You over analyze everything you say.
- You find it hard to say no.
- You feel you have to be “perfect” all the time.
- You are always trying to please everyone.
- You find it hard to make decisions.
- You’re afraid to say what you really feel.
- You think people have a problem with you, even when they don’t.
The fear of what others feel or think about us can have a significant negative effect on us. But only if we let it.
This article will give you advice on how you can stop caring what others think of you and have the confidence to live the life you want, and most importantly, deserve.
Try Minding Your Own Business.
Way too many of us seek other people’s opinions, and we can really take them to heart, instead of seeing it as just that, their opinion. We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking theirs is the only one that counts.
We often ask things like “Does my butt look big in this?” or “What do you think I should do?”
If we ask questions like this, we can get some great advice. But we also need to be prepared for answers that we don’t particularly want to hear. If the answer we get is negative, it can crush our self-confidence.
Remember though, it’s just their opinion. Sure, they are entitled to it, the same as you are to yours, but sometimes we have to take things that people say with a pinch of salt. We need to stop seeking the approval of others to feel content with ourselves and have the confidence to make our own decisions.
What you should really be concerned with is, what do you think?
Stop Playing Safe
When we care what others think, we hold back because we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. We are worried about being judged. We act differently and are not being our true selves because we fear that judgement so much.
Sadly, as a result, people may never see the real you, including you. Even you might not yet know what you are truly capable of because you’ve been holding yourself back.
Next time you want to say or do something but you feel you can’t, push yourself. Take a deep breath and do it, anyway.
Take a risk.
It will be uncomfortable at the time, but confidence is like a muscle, you need to “work it out” for it to grow. The more you take risks, the more used to that feeling you become. Sometimes it will go as planned, others it won’t, that’s life. The important thing is to keep pushing yourself until it becomes second nature.
It can take time, but once you’ve mastered pushing yourself at times when you feel uncomfortable, your confidence will grow, you’ll be more content with your decisions and people’s opinions of you will matter less and less.
Use Daily Affirmations
We care what people think of us because of a lack of self-esteem and confidence in our own abilities.
A great way to boost our self-image is to use positive affirmations. Examples of affirmations would be:
“I am a confident person.”
“I can handle any situation life throws at me.”
“I don’t need other people’s approval, I am enough!”
Saying these positive statements to ourselves daily can help us break through our limiting beliefs and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. It may feel silly at first, but it’s something you can do in total privacy so nobody else will even know you are doing them. It’ll just be our secret! 😉
Taking just a few minutes a day to say these affirmations will help you to see yourself more positively. With that positivity, your self-confidence grows and the less people’s opinions will concern you.
Realize You Can’t Please Everyone
Trying to please everyone can be exhausting. Not only physically, but emotionally. When you focus so much energy on what everyone else thinks, you can begin to lose sight of what you want out of life. You put your goals and dreams on the back burner in order to help others fulfil theirs.
Sometimes we just have to say no to people. It’s such a small word, but some of us find it incredibly hard to say. If the person you say no to tries to manipulate you or make you feel bad, then maybe it’s time to realize that they are the colleague or “friend” you could do without in your life.
Always remember that you deserve to look after yourself, and your mental health and wellbeing are a huge part of that.
There is a very relevant quote by John Lydgate that goes:
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
This is so true, so don’t exhaust yourself trying to. Make a point of saying no more often and put your needs first. The more you do it, the easier it will get and the better you will feel.
Stop Being a Perfectionist
Perfectionism can be an issue when we really take to heart what others think about us. You could spend your entire life trying to be “perfect” but as was mentioned above, you will never please everyone because everyone has a different idea of what “perfect” actually is.
What you should realize is that none of us are (or ever will be) perfect, and that is actually a good thing. That’s what makes us all unique. We all make our own mistakes and learn from them, it’s how we grow as a person.
All you can do, is try your best at whatever you set your mind to. Instead of seeking perfection and other’s approval, you should strive for happiness which will always lead to a much more contented life.
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Work on Your Self-Esteem
Quite often it can be how we see ourselves that can be the problem, rather than how other people see us.
Having low self-esteem can really affect your self-confidence. It makes you very critical of everything you say and do, because you fear what people may say and what reactions you’ll get.
You can improve your self-esteem by doing little things every day.
- Learn to say “no” more often.
- Be more assertive.
- Focus on what you can change. Don’t dwell on what you can’t.
- Learn from your mistakes and move on.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself, give yourself a break.
- Recognize your strengths and celebrate them.
- Surround yourself with positive people that will lift you up.
Building your self-esteem can be the most beneficial thing you can do to stop caring what others think. Improved self-esteem will give you much more confidence in your abilities and the decisions you make. When you have that confidence, you won’t lose any sleep over what others think of you.
Keep Things in Perspective.
It’s so easy to let your mind run away with itself. When you’re anxious and worried about being judged, you may be in a state of panic and not thinking rationally. You can go from 0 to “freaking out” in a matter of seconds, and your head has already come up with the worst-case scenarios.
What you need to do when you feel that anxiety building is to take a few deep breaths and step back from the situation for a few minutes. Allow yourself to see the situation objectively. What is it you think they will judge you about? And realistically, what is the worst that can happen?
You’d be surprised just how little people do actually concern themselves with what others are up to. They normally have a whole load on their own mind and are just trying to get through the day.
If you know for a fact that someone is saying something negative about you or makes a snide comment, it’s up to you how you choose to deal with it.
Or just put it down to the fact that they were just an opinionated moron that hasn’t got anything better to do with their time.
Remember That Life is For Living
When we’re stressing about the small things in life, it’s important that we stop for a moment and think about whether it is really worth it. I’m willing to bet that 99.9% of the time, it’s not. We can easily build up catastrophes in our head that, in reality, aren’t even half as bad.
We are only here once, this ain’t no dress rehearsal. That may be a bit of a harsh dose of reality for some of us, but thinking like that can help us gain some perspective at times. I mean, do you really want to spend your days worrying about what others think of you? Or do you want to be living your life to the fullest without a care in the world?
Don’t allow anyone to have that hold over you. Once you choose to quieten that voice in your head and block out all the negativity other people are trying to throw your way, you will live your life exactly how it should be, on your terms.
It’s Ok to Ask For Help
Sometimes when you worry about what others think, it can get out of hand and may affect your mental health. When this constant worrying takes over your life and you are struggling to simply function day to day, it may be time to ask for some help.
There’s absolutely no shame in admitting that your excess worrying has become a problem. It’s actually the best thing you can do, because once you know there’s a problem, you can work towards a solution.
For some, this may be just opening up to a close friend or family member and telling them how you feel and how your worrying is impacting your life, it may be all you need is a little extra support from them and it will help you through.
For others, it might mean seeing a therapist or other professional so you can have a more structured way of working through the worry. Either way, it will do you good to get it out in the open and start to taking positive steps to improve your mental health. From this point, the only way is up.
Celebrate Small Successes
When you have a success, however small it may be, don’t forget to celebrate it. Every time you do something out of your comfort zone, celebrate it. All these things add up and will really contribute to improving your self-esteem.
Every day you should note down what you did that you are proud of. Things like starting a gratitude journal can really help you see what you already have to be grateful for but by also making a list of your achievements and having something visual to refer to so we don’t forget in moments when we have a wobble.
The Benefits Of Not Caring What Other People Think
We can see just how much caring what others think can impact our lives, but here’s the good part. If we just look after ourselves and put our own needs first more often, we can achieve great things and live an amazing life. There are many benefits of not caring what others are thinking of you.
It Improves Your Self-Esteem
It’s true that you have to work on your self-esteem first to stop worrying so much about others, but once you’re in a place where you don’t care, your self-esteem will just get better and better. Each time you say “no” and regain control over your life, the more empowered you will feel.
You Try Things You Were Afraid To Before
When you have got that self-confidence, you will try new things and set new and more challenging goals. If it doesn’t work out the first attempt, so what? Just try a different way. It can be scary at first, but the point is, if you don’t take a risk you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of, right?
Just imagine what you can achieve if you’re not held back by yours or other people’s limiting beliefs. It’s all there for the taking, you’ve just got to go for it.
The Real You Will Get a Chance to Shine
When trying new things and reaching for new goals, you will see just what you are really made of. Not only are you going to surprise others, but also yourself with what you can do.
It might be as simple as answering a question in class or putting your point of view across in a meeting at work rather than being the quiet one sat at the back.
Maybe you’ll go into the weights room in the gym you’ve been avoiding because you’ve been worried what people would say, or go for that promotion in work you know you’re ready for just but haven’t had the confidence to apply for, until now.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will just become second nature. The benefits of doing it lead to a much better place than where you’d be if you’d never tried.
You Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are
When you say “no” to people, get ready for some of them to push back, some may even get nasty. If you’ve been doing things for someone for years and they have been manipulating you, and you have also felt you can’t let them down, they won’t like it if you don’t jump to attention when they say so.
This will be a tough part of your self-development, but it will also be one of the most important. Your true friends will always understand why you need to do something for yourself and will give you the space to do it.
The users in your life will show their true colors, they will try to make you feel terrible that you won’t drop everything for them, using every trick in the book to try and get you back under their control. Don’t let them. Explain to them how things are now, and if they can’t see it from your perspective, then maybe it’s time you parted company.
Surround yourself with positive people, they will lift you up when you need it and understand when need to do your own thing. They are your true friends.
You’ll Feel More Comfortable in Your Own Skin
With your self-esteem and self-confidence riding high, you’ll feel like you can take on the world. Just by adjusting a few positive thought patterns, you can literally change your life.
It does take effort, and it is something you have to be mindful of most of the time to begin with, but the result is that you feel content with who you are and what others think of you will just be water off a duck’s back.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that you will always come across negative people, some of which will be complete jerks. What they say may be hurtful and quite upsetting, but remember, how they carry themselves in such a tactless and negative way is just a reflection of how sad their own lives are.
If all they’ve got to do is spend their days trying to drag others down, you’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty sad life. Honestly, we should actually feel sorry for them, because it must be hard being so bitter all the time.
Charles R. Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”, which I think really applies here. People will say negative things, but it’s how we react to them that matters.
To begin with, it can be a real challenge to stop caring what others think of us but we have to keep in mind that sometimes it can also be our own insecurities that play a big part in how we feel, so working on our self-image is very important.
You have to rise above the negativity and stay focused on what matters to you. As long as we don’t let other people’s negative thoughts affect us, we will live much happier and fulfilled lives.
As Bernard M. Baruch said:
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
The world is full of people that are anxious about other people’s opinions.
Don’t be one of them.
Let the negative people be negative. Just focus on yourself, walk your own path and don’t give two hoots about what other people as saying!
Life is too short, so get out there and enjoy it!