“Imagine when you get to heaven God asks you what you did with the talents you were given, and you say nothing because you were scared of other people’s opinion of you?”
Here’s the thing. We all know how detrimental it can be to constantly consider other people’s opinions of you. We try to fill in the answers and pre-empt them with our actions. It’s exhausting, to say the least. Yet, in some way, all of us are disturbed by this problem to some degree. We all want to break the cage and live freely, so that one day, we may finally live freely.
It’s easy to sing the song of how to stop caring, but just how practical is it? Here are a few practical ways to get over the fear of what people think of you.
- Concentrate on what matters
Focus on yourself. What matters to you? Success is not by any definition measurement of what other people think about us. This should not be your concern. What should be, however, is building yourself in all aspects: mentally, physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually…the list is endless. That should be your primary focus. That’s what matters in the end. Once you internalize this idea, you will find yourself being more productive, and in the long run, happier.
- Understand that no one is paying that much attention to you
The paradox of this life is that we’re sometimes so concerned about what people think about us, that we forget that everyone is constantly worrying or thinking about themselves. No one is paying that much attention to you. It’s not limiting. It’s actually quite liberating, to think that people are too busy focusing on themselves to put that much thought into you.
Ryan Fan puts it this way, ‘I knew that no one really cared and that I was free to be my own person and live my own life. You, too, should realize that no one cares as much as you think to give yourself license to take risks, be yourself, and stop holding yourself back.’
- Mind the business that pays you
People spend hours worrying about other people’s opinions, when, at the end of the day, those opinions do not pay the bills. Those opinions are not always nourishing to the soul. The business that pays you comprises self-awareness, boldness, action, and profit.
In a powerful article on Psych Central, the author says that there are three types of businesses. The first is nature’s business. Whether it will rain or not, or whether you will be alive in the next five years or not is nature’s business. The second is other people’s business. What they do is their business. What your neighbour thinks of you is his business. What time your coworker comes into work is her business. If the driver in the other car doesn’t go when the light turns green, it’s their business.
Then, lastly, we have your business. What we do with our lives is solely our business. So, it’s up to you to determine your business. What you wear is your business. How to improve is yourself is your business. How to react to situations is your business. That’s the business that you should place all your focus on. You only have one business to concern yourself with – yours. What you think and what you do are the only things you can control in life. That’s it.
- Don’t try to please everyone
Is it entirely possible to please every single person in the world, all the time? You could walk into a room with two hundred people, and ten of them will not like you because you look like their mean stepmothers. Another ten will be intimidated by your confidence. One hundred and fifty will be indifferent about your presence, and twenty of them will like you because of what you’re wearing. How can you control that? How? Every day you get out into the world to meet people, remember that you cannot actually be everyone’s favourite. This will help you to stop considering everyone’s opinion in everything that you do.
- Desensitize your triggers
“That moment you realize that embarrassment is a social construct and when you start doing things to embarrass yourself purposely, your social anxiety starts to fade away.”
This quote seems a little too extreme, but sometimes the reason why we care so much about what people think of us is that we are hyper-sensitive about their reactions. We take so many things to heart and fail to laugh at ourselves even when it’s funny. Being over-sensitive will make you triggered even when people say false things about you. It’s easy for a sensitive nature to blow things out of proportion, but try to build the thick skin that lets you shake it off.
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