Imagine being worried about what others think about you all the time, what you look like, what you dress like, what you say.
Imagine constantly being stressed and anxious about future events worrying about what could go wrong.
Imagine not saying or doing exactly what you want because you are so bothered about what other people might think or say…
Imagine always being busy with wondering if people like you or if they are being ‘off’ with you.
Imagine analysing the time you spent with friends or work colleagues to make sure that you were funny enough, or whether or not you said the right thing at the right moment… blah blah blah
Unfortunately, this is how most people think and what they deal with on a daily basis. There is another way to live that is the opposite of this and let me tell you, it is SOOO FREEE AND POWERFUL! It basically all boils down to not giving a sh*t about what people think and you doing you!
Easier said than done though right…? Let me help you reach this state of empowerment.
What people think
Everyone judges everyone else. Period.
People will think good things about you.
People will think bad things about you.
That’s just the way it is.
What does this mean? – That every single person in the world has their own set of opinions and values and what they think about you has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
What can you do about it?… NOTHING!
What other people think about you is none of your business! – Rachel Hollis
If you spend your whole life worrying about what people think then you’re wasting your life away. No matter what you do, you can’t control what other people think. It sounds so obvious when I say it like that but that’s what we spend most of our lives doing!
How many times have you not done something because of a fear of what others will think of you?
How many times have you been desperate for everyone to like you so that you are busy trying to please everyone and then over analyse things between you if you think you might have done something to upset or annoy them?
How many times have you been so worried about something bad happening that you have either not gone ahead with doing the thing you were worrying about or you caused yourself to have severe anxiety about it beforehand, all because you were worried what others would think of you?
Let’s face it, living your life worrying about what people think SUCKS!
The reality is, when we think and worry constantly about the worst-case scenario of something, 99% of the time it never happens or that’s not the case anyway! So all that worry for nothing!
Like if a friend didn’t say hi to you when you were positive she saw you, you start searching for reasons why she might be being off with you. Did you say something to upset her? Did your comment on so and so’s post annoy her?
You are making it all about YOU! It’s not about you. It most likely has absolutely nothing to do with you! You friend probably has all sort of valid reasons why she didn’t say hi. She could have been having a really shit day and simply didn’t see you. She could be dealing with something emotional and didn’t want to talk to anyone because it would get her upset. Whatever the reason, stop being busy with it and stop worrying.
The funny thing is, everyone is so busy with worrying about what you think of them, that they’re not thinking about you anyway!
What a wonderful (and true) thing to realise!
Another reason not to worry is that worrying and stressing raises your cortisol levels. This causes your body to go into flight or fight response. This means your body cannot rest, repair or relax. When you are constantly worrying and feeling anxious this causes chronic stress which has such a huge effect on your body and your health in a negative way.
What to do about it
Let’s take a future event as an example if you are anxious about something. If I feel fear creeping in due to what other people with think of me, I grab some paper and a pen and write down the best-case scenario and then the worst-case scenario. If you accept that both scenarios could happen and you realise that even if the worst-case scenario did happen, you would still be 100% fine anyway because let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that you’re going to die.
Think back to times in your life where you were worrying and panicking about what would happen. Then after the event when it all went well, you were like “I don’t know what I was so worried about!”… I bet you have loads of them… am I right?
Next time when you find yourself anxious about a future event, write down all of the times when you felt the same way and then wondered after what all the fuss and worry was about.
Anyone that has been following me will know that I have started to teach body pump at a few different gyms. (I actually manifested this into reality – check out my article – The Amazon Universe). I was really scared about taking my first few classes because of the language barrier and because I hadn’t taught a group fitness class before. So ultimately I was worried if I would do a good job and what people would think of me if I didn’t.
So here is my journaling of worst and best-case scenario and then my thoughts after:
Worse-case = I will mess up the moves and forget the sequence. Nobody will understand me and I won’t understand them properly. I will feel like an idiot.
What this means = IF this ended up happening, the worse outcome would be that I felt like an idiot. So What?
Does that mean everyone else in the room would also think I was an idiot? Probably, probably not – who cares?
I know that I am not my thoughts and emotions and I am not an idiot. So what if for a few moments I feel like an idiot..?
If it didn’t work, I could just try again until it did work or I could quit and continue life as before. No big deal.
Best-case = I will absolutely smash it and even if I forget some of the moves, I know what I am doing and I can just improvise, nobody will know or care. Most people understand English and I speak a little Dutch. My class isn’t a language class, they can follow my body movement. It will all be fine and everyone will love me.
What this means = (This is actually what happened by the way) – This would simply mean that everyone loved me and would come to my class again. This is a great result, but no biggie. It doesn’t mean I’m a better person because of it.
So looking at those 2 scenarios, can you do the same to something that you are worried about now? Try it and see how much it helps to reduce your anxiety and worry.
And remember, what will be will be and that is just perfect!
Ever wondered why you always turn to worry straight away? Our brains are negativity bias. This means that we are programmed as humans to look for the worst-case scenario. We are wired that way.
As cavemen if we didn’t look for danger we might not all be here today. Your brain is protecting you from predators but the problem is, preditors these days aren’t tigers and bears, they are other people’s nasty words or opinions or whether or not you will be socially accepted.
Your brain also likes to problem solve and so if it doesn’t have a problem to solve, it looks for one!
We can only change all of this by making a conscious effect to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. The more we do this, the easier it gets. Negativity and fear will always be there because we are human but it’s ultimately up to you to decide if you let it take over or not.
Everything starts and ends with self-worth
Let’s get to the juicy part, shall we..? Let me ask you a question…
WHY ARE YOU SO BOTHERED ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOU?
I will tell you why… because you don’t fully love or value yourself.
If you believed in YOU and stood by who you are and what you stand for in this world, then you really wouldn’t worry about what others thought of you. Of course, you would care about loved one’s opinions and if their opinions enabled you to realise something about yourself that you weren’t particularly happy, with then great! But if you value yourself and you are living in line with your values, it doesn’t matter what anyone says about you, no matter who they are.
People will think mean things.
People will say mean things.
You cant’ please everyone so, why not please yourself!
A close friend of mine told me some negative things that someone said about me the other day and it honestly didn’t affect me in the slightest. I listened, explored whether or not what she had to say had any truth in there that I could learn from, and then looked for reasons why she would think that way given the information I had. And then I moved on.
I am happy with who I am.
I am happy with what I do every day and what I am working towards.
I am happy with how I treat others because everything I do is from the heart.
Of course, I want to improve and learn all the time in all life areas, but that doesn’t stop me from being content with who I am and how I act.
So then beautiful, practice challenging those negative thoughts and journaling through your worries and ultimately knowing that:
- You cannot please everyone no matter what you do, so why even try?
- What people think of you is none of your business.
- What people think of you has nothing to do with you but everything to do with them.
- Everyone is too busy worrying about what you think of them whilst you’re worrying about what they think of you!
- Train your brain to think positively.
- Practice self-love and live to your values.
Good luck, if you need help, I am taking on one-on-one coaching clients this month.