Has caring what other people thought ever stopped you from trying something new?
Has it stopped you from quitting something you hate?
Maybe it prevented you from speaking up because you were afraid to look stupid or wrong?
Well, you’re not alone. I am a recovering care-aholic of what other people think. It gives me anxiety and makes me nauseous before I have to give presentations. One time I had to speak in front of a group of about twenty people unexpectedly and I was so embarrassed and afraid. My entire body was shaking so hard my knees were literally knocking together. I had to hold onto the podium for dear life so I wouldn’t fall over. My voice was cracking so bad I sounded like I want to cry the entire time. Good times.
The funny thing is being afraid to look like a weirdo became a self-fulfilling prophecy and I probably looked like a huge weirdo.
Now the question becomes how does one go from caring too much about crap like that, to not caring? Let’s be real, in order to be aware of social cues and considerate of others you need to care a little bit. This isn’t an article on how to be a sociopath.
The point is how do we prevent letting the fear of what others think stop us from living our life, not being afraid to make mistakes, and showing up unapologetically for who we are?
The first tip might seem counter-intuitive…
Care more in order to care less
When it comes to speaking in front of others, whether in person or on a social media platform, the trick to not care about what others think about you is to care more about them.
Wait, what? Yes, care more about them and their needs versus caring what they think about you. When you are so focused on at least doing your best to give them what they need, asking them what they need, and then trying to deliver on that need, you stop caring what they think of you and focus your heart on being of service to them.
I’m usually more of a small group or one-on-one kind of person. This shift in perspective has helped me so much when it comes to speaking at retreats, conferences, or at work. I believe the first person who taught me this trick was Ursula Mentjes – she is an awesome soul who promotes being of service to others in her work.
Have a loud and clear why
In order to be able to not care what others think you need to believe in what you are doing and WHY you are doing it so loudly it drowns out the “noise” from others.
Workout and eat healthy portions
Seems like an odd and unrelated tip, but I find that my mind is more clear, I feel better, and more confident when I feel healthy and stronger.
When I feel good about myself, I don’t worry as much as what other people are thinking about me.
You see, we are our worst critics, and I believe the reality is most of the time we actually don’t care what others think of us. When we think we care about what others think of us, it is usually just us projecting our own fears and thoughts about ourselves onto others.
Be of service to others.
Believe in what and why you are doing something.
Treat yourself (mind + body) right so you’re confidence comes from within.
You don’t need to worry about what others think because the loudest critic you are afraid of is actually yourself.
Did you find this useful? Don’t keep it a secret. I would love it if you would share it with a friend, colleague or loved one. It is the biggest compliment you can give me.