I speak with so many women who are more worried about what someone else thinks of them rather than what they do.
I think this is very sad.
And I ask them why do you care what someone else thinks of you or how you live your life?
I mean, think about it. Why would you want to give someone else that much power over your life?
When you put it like that, it seems crazy doesn't it. Yet we all do it to some extent.
We do it because we are historically programmed to seek approval from our pack. If we didn't fit in, we would struggle to find food or enjoy the protection of our community. But we are not prehistoric mankind anymore.
We can buy our own food, and we can protect ourselves, so we need to question why, if it's no longer valid, we are still choosing to do it.
Fear is the answer.
Fear of being different, fear of being ridiculed ,fear of being abandoned, fear of not being good enough or pretty enough, or clever enough.
So, to drown out the fear, we consume.
We have the nice house, the new car, the expensive holidays, the latest gadget , the trendy clothes but they're all very nice for a while but they never quite satisfy that emptiness that starts to show up time and time again.
So we consume some more, we spend hours on social media so we know the minutia of everyone's lives, we post and wait for the likes to appear to validate our possessions, habits and workstyles. But even here, we are seeking approval because if we say something out of the normal, the keyboard warriors will attack.
This constant seesaw of consuming and fear is responsible for the growing mental health issues that the world is facing. And if you are young and growing up surrounded by this insane pressure to be sanctioned, the chances of you breaking free and realising your full potential are slim.
The more you give of yourself, they more they will take. These people are not faceless they. They are your friends, colleagues, family, and peers, and some of them will love you very much, but they have been conditioned to judge and undermine because that is how society has been designed.
The thing is, it's not their approval that we need. It's ours.
The only person that you have to impress is yourself.
How to stop worrying about what people think of you
When we are authentic and know our worth, what other people think of us is far less important. Obviously, we still want to be liked, but we don't like everyone, so it's a bit unrealistic to expect everyone to like us. Some people will dislike us because they don't know us, or because to them we seem to have more than them or because we challenge their world view or because they don't like anyone much and that's pretty sad.
The thing is, it's not your job to change their opinion. It's your job to be true to yourself. It's your job to be the best version of you that you can be. It's your job to leave the world a better place than you found it. It's your job to be happy and fulfilled, compassionate, and kind and to be better today than you were the day before.
Our ego is a construct that has been formed since birth through watching how others behave and listening to what is said. It then puts us at the centre of all that information and devises a way for us to try and get what we think we want all the time and it really doesn't like it when we don't get what we think we should have. This results in our behaviour and how we interact with others.
We may have been told we are amazing all our lives, and so we have grown up with a sense of self-worth, confidence, and by result resilience.
Or we may have grown up being made to feel that we were never good enough or that good things never happen to people like us or that bad things will happen if we don't behave on a certain way.
This is not true. This is conditioning.
It doesn't matter what you look like, where you live, how much stuff you have.
What matters is knowing your strengths so that you can play to them. Identifying your weaknesses so that you can mitigate them, understanding why you make the choices that you make and think the way you do because once you start on the path of self discovery, you will cone to understand that you are a spiritual being having a human experience, that by focusing on the way you think, behave and act so that you can challenge and change what is not bringing you success and joy is the only way to make you feel whole and that what other people think of you is their business not yours and you shouldn't interfere in it.
All that energy that was previously wasted on trying to get other people's approval, can now be used to help you grow. When you hear a negative thought in your head, use your energy wisely. Don't allow it to trigger you and send you on an emotional roller coaster.
Stop, be mindful.
Is any of the thought true? Do you actually believe this thought, or can you hear other people saying it ? Does this thought make you happy? How does it make you act? What if you didn't believe this thought? How would your life be?
In this way, you can stop being triggered by past thoughts and events and you can start to see a glimpse of the beautiful being behind the conditioning. The real you. The one that has so much to offer this world if you would just let go of the fear and open yourself up to the truth of the potential you carry within.
And each time you go through this process, a little of the fear recedes and a bit more of who you really are becomes apparent and the more you get to know yourself and understand what you are capable of, the less you will need everyone else's approval.
I mean ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen if you dye your hair wear the outfit that makes you feel like you, come out, disagree with someone, express yourself?
If you would like to know more about how you can free yourself from fear and be true to yourself, then please get in touch.