Following on from my earlier post this week about worry, I wanted to highlight a pretty common issue.
You’ve probably been worrying and caring about what people think of you since an early age, but it’s time to let go of this self limiting habit.
I think it stems from trying to impress people at an early age…
Our parents, school friends, teachers, sports coaches and more mean we feed the ego and create a belief that we have to impress other people.
I was a big worrier, especially when it came down to caring what people thought.
This self limiting belief stopped me from sharing my story, helping others, it halted my growth and affected my business… all because I worried what people might say.
The truth is it’s never them it’s you, so it’s time for you to do something about it and stop caring what people think of you.
Perception and a good image is something every man strives towards.
We want to be seen as an image we create, we think showing emotions is a weakness and if someone laughs at us or takes a dig it damages our ego.
Why do you workout at the gym? The typical response is to look good, and most importantly to impress others.
But looking at it from a realistic point of view, who cares about what other people think?
Why does a stranger or someone you know have so much control over what you do?
With this being said, I got told this over and over again for years… and I still worried what other people thought of me.
But after facing fear, working with mentors and dealing with the issues head on I’m here to share how I stopped worrying what other people thought and how you can too.
Sure I still do on occasion, but I recognise the stupidity behind doing so and manage it easier.
If you worry a lot about what other people think then letting go and working on the things I’m about to share will be one of the best things you can do.
When you do there’ll be a huge release of pressure, fear and you’ll be able to move forward in a completely different direction.
Fear of what other people think right now is holding you back from achieving what you want to achieve.
It’s as simple as that.
Let go of it and doors will open up…
The first important thing to do is stop comparing yourself to other people.
I love social media, but it now allows us to consistently compare ourselves to others daily.
There’s nothing more damaging than comparing yourself to others.
We can do it on so many different levels… the way they dress, look, the shape they’re in, the girlfriend they have, the car they drive, the job, the family, the house, the watch…
It effects our confidence, the way we see ourselves and it plays a part in how we move forward in life.
Typically we always compare the worst we know of ourselves as well.
You might be unhealthy, packing on the pounds and you’ll typically compare yourself to that friend from school who’s in the best shape of his life.
You might have settled down early and had an amazing family, 2 kids… but you compare yourself to that guy who’s your age, still single, traveling and spending time with more females you’ve ever had a conversation with.
Be happy with you.
There’s no problem using other peoples successes as inspiration for your own life. But that’s a lot different to consistently comparing yourself to others.
You can control one life, your life, but comparing yourself to others wastes time and energy focusing on their life rather than yours.
The best way to stop comparing yourself to others is to be grateful for what you have.
Yes that person might have a better job than you and have a yearly income 10 times the amount you do but is he completely fulfilled? I doubt it.
You might not have the job and the income but you’ve probably got numerous things which he hasn’t. Health, family, friends, a healthy mindset, experiences…
If you compare yourself to others it only defines your weaknesses.
Stop comparing yourself, appreciate what you have and make change.
You’re Really Not That Important
This was one of the biggest realisations I had…
I’m really not that important (and neither are you).
It’s a horrible thought at first but when you re-shift your thoughts to think like this you’ll start to worry less what other people think of you.
Lets say you’re at a event and you speak to someone.
They’re not that engaged with what you have to say and they quickly walk off.
You then start to worry what you did wrong. What did you say? What did you do?
The worry builds up and you think this person you’ve just spoke to is also thinking about you, judging you.
Be honest with yourself… are they?
On average a person has 50,000 thoughts a day.
You think you’re that important that this one person is going to be thinking about you?
Out of 50,000 thoughts, how many thoughts do you think they’re going to have of you?
Even if it’s 10 thoughts, 100… on the scale of what’s going on in their mind you don’t take up much capacity.
Sure you might have said something they disliked, or maybe because you were worried so much about what they thought you held back and didn’t build rapport…
But whatever happened, they’re not thinking about it like you are.
They might be dealing with relationship struggles, they might be shy or just having a bad day, they could have just lost their job or an important client, they might even be grieving a lost one…
You never know what people are thinking or dealing with emotionally, but honestly it’s not going to be about you as much as you think it is.
You can’t control how people think and act, but you can control your thoughts.
As soon as you realise that other people aren’t going to be thinking and judging you as much as you think you’ll quickly start to become more outgoing.
You’ll be more confident, and you’ll start caring less about what others think of you.
People Who Judge Others Judge Themselves
This works both ways…
If you judge others, you’re going to be judging yourself.
But also if someone is judging you, it’s their issues they’re not dealing with rather than anything to do with you.
So think about it…
Do you judge other people?
Are you the ‘banter’ starter, the joker, the one who judges others?
If so, this judgement is making you worry what other people think of you.
Drop the judgement of others and you’ll start to become less worried of others judging you.
On the other hand, the people that go out of their way to put you down, to judge you and make you feel small aren’t at the level of growth you are.
For someone to do that, for someone to go out of their way to put you down (unconstructively) they’re only doing it for their own fulfilment.
It’s not a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of them.
If you’re living on purpose and living by your values and someone judges that in a hurtful way… ignore it.
They’re the sad ones who have nothing better to do…
They’re the ones with more issues than you.
Have you ever seen Catfish?
The TV show where people meet someone online who they’ve never met in real life and Neev and his buddy track down the person to see if it’s actually them?
How many times has the person not been who they say they are?
It must be hurtful as hell to the person they’ve deceived but it’s not a reflection on them, it’s a reflection on the person who did it.
Typically they’ll always go and speak to the person who deceived and ask them why.
9 times out of 10 it’s simply due to their own issues and they used this as a way to mask the issues they were dealing with.
Low self worth, bullied at school, cheated on, revenge… these are all common reasons behind the person deceiving on ‘Catfish’.
What normally happens is the show then taps into this, and following up with them months later shows once they’ve dealt with their issues they no longer see a need to deceive people like they did.
The person who got deceived normally forgives them because they realise, like you should that it’s always their issues not yours.
I can’t believe I used a ‘Catfish’ reference but you get the point…
People who judge you is no reflection on you, it’s a reflection on them.
Keep living your life as you want being who you are.
On the other hand if you judge others, stop, because this judgement is making you worry what others think.
You Can’t Be A People Pleaser
I was a people pleaser, I still am.
I don’t like to p*ss people off.
About 8 months ago I found out it’s impossible though.
However much I tried to please everyone, there was always someone p*ssed off at me.
It’s important to be true to you.
Live by your values, express how you feel and share your opinion.
We’re not purposely trying to cause conflict, create arguments and annoy people but refraining from being who you are to please others leads to you worrying what others think.
Self reliance is one of the best things you can work on.
Do you need anyone to make you happy? You shouldn’t.
People will always have a perception of you but you shouldn’t try to control it.
Be you, if they don’t like it then they’re not someone you need in your life anyway.
Typically when you have this shift you’ll start to find that the people you surround yourself with starts to change.
When you stop playing the part of someone you’re not and you start living on purpose the people around you might dislike it.
It’s normal, and it’s for the best.
If someone isn’t in alignment with your purpose and your values then they serve no reason to have an impact in your life.
Building a group of like minded people around you aids your growth.
People who support you and people who can take you to that next level.
Don’t let someone who has no positive impact on your life affect what you do.
You probably found this out when leaving school…
You keep a few close friends but out of all of your friends from school you drift apart.
Why? Because people go their own way, live to their own values and have a different purpose to you.
It’s better to be loved by a few people you care about than liked by everyone you meet.
Stand up for yourself, your values and opinions and don’t try please everyone… you can’t.
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
Tell someone how you feel, approach a stranger and start a conversation with them, do some public speaking…
What’s the worst that could happen?
Like I mentioned in my recent post about worry, when you start to realise that you need to stop creating stories and scenarios of ‘what might happen’ things will change.
Shift from ‘what might happen’ to ‘whats the worst that could happen?’
It’s normally pretty minor.
Don’t forget, these stories and scenarios you believe could exist if you faced your fear don’t exist and they probably never will.
It’s just your thoughts, and you’re in complete control of your thoughts.
Take some inspiration from this old Dr Pepper advert.
Would this really happen?
It’s just fear, creating scenarios of the worst possible outcome.
Lets say you see someone you like the look of in a Coffee shop but fear talking to them. Think to yourself… what’s the worst that could happen?
She might not want to talk to you but who cares?
As soon as you remember that afterwards she really isn’t going to be worried or thinking about the man who approached her, she isn’t going to judge you or make you a laughing stock in front of everyone in the coffee shop…
You’re not going to be carried out butt naked like the guy in the Dr Pepper advert.
What you think could happen won’t.
Who’s Holding You Back?
Another thing you can do is think about who it is who’s holding you back…
What I mean by this is typically some people won’t let a strangers opinion affect them, but there’s someone or a group of people who do.
Friends, family, your partner, co workers… who is it who makes you worry what they think?
A common one, especially with younger men is their group of friends.
They hold back from being who they truly are and who they want to be because of ‘lad culture’ and trying to protect their ego.
They shy away from making change, pushing comfort zones and being who they truly are because they believe their group of ‘mates’ will judge and laugh.
Be honest with yourself, does it matter?
I remember saying this to someone and asking them how to overcome it and they said this…
‘Your mates will take the p*ss out of you if your Football team loses, it’s what they do. So don’t try and protect yourself from it’.
If you have a close group of mates who enjoy ‘banter’ you’re probably always going to get some jokes made about you.
You can either accept it, throw some back and know that it’s just what you do as friends or remove them from your life.
At the end of the day your true friends, the mates who are close to you will respect you for whatever it is you want to do.
Sure they might have a laugh at first, but the respect will always shine through and they’ll typically become more personal with you and they’ll have a deeper interest in what it is you want to do.
If you’re trying to protect your true identity from your partner, open up and tell them.
The same applies to anyone who’s holding you back from being you.
Pinpoint who it is whose opinion you worry about and deal with it.
Trust Opinions Of A Few People
Even though becoming completely self reliant and doing what you want to do in life is hugely important, having a network of people you can trust will aid your personal growth.
It’s important to create a network of people around you who you trust, who can give you constructive criticism, feedback about how you can improve, alongside people to confide in and people to take you to the next level in all areas of your life.
Typically the people you trust and opinions you take on board should be your closest companions.
You don’t need a lot, normally you should only be able to count them on one hand but it’s important to have a small network of people to help you grow.
Self reliant and selfish are two different things.
Now I don’t care what people think, I don’t let anyones opinion shape me.
But there’s a few people I trust and care for and I openly listen and take on board their opinions.
These few people I know push me to become a better version of myself and it’s important to have them there to do so.
All It Takes Is Action
Remember, you control your thoughts.
If you struggle with this, if you’re a people pleaser and you care what other people think of you… stop.
It’s down to you.
Use this advice and start taking action on it now.
Soon you’ll have less fear, more confidence and you’ll be able to attract more success.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, if it resonated with you don’t forget to share it and I’m a message away on Social Media if you need anything!