Do you spend too much time worrying about the opinions of others? Do you feel inhibited because of your concern about what others might think of you? You’re certainly not alone. Nearly everyone is worried to some degree about how they appear to other people. It’s a very common phenomenon.
But, just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it isn’t silly. Worrying about the opinions of others greatly detracts from your life and your happiness.
There’s simply no way to impress everyone. There’s always someone against whatever it is you’re doing. The only logical conclusion is to do your own thing and allow everyone to think whatever they like.
Live your life on your own terms with these strategies:
1. Recognize that most people care less than you think. As much as we worry about the opinions of others, it’s hard to believe that most people simply don’t care. We imagine others laughing at us and talking behind our backs. Maybe this had a grain of truth when you were in high school, but you’re an adult now.
◦ Enjoy the fact that no one cares. You’re free to do as you please and to mess up as much as you need to in order to be successful.
2. Keep your eyes on your own life. When you avoid judging others, you’ll worry less about people judging you. Stay in your own lane and allow others to live as they choose.
3. Become an expert at mindfulness. Mindfulness is maintaining an awareness of your surroundings and current task. It means you’re not thinking about the past, the future, or daydreaming about anything. Your attention is on your individual present moment.
4. Surround yourself with supportive people. When you have people that support you, you’re less worried about those that don’t. Be selective of the people you allow into your life.
5. Remember that life is short and getting shorter each day. Think about how fast the last five years have passed. They only pass faster as you age. There’s not enough time to be worried about the opinions of others. There’s no time to waste!
6. Remember that it’s the unique parts of you that are the most valuable. You wouldn’t pay to watch a stranger walk or breathe. Why not? Because it’s a common sight. Nearly anyone can do those things. It’s the unique parts of you that are the most valuable to the world.
◦ How can you worry about the opinions of others when it comes to the most valuable parts of you? What do they know?
7. Keep your plans to yourself. There’s no reason to broadcast your big plans to everyone you know. You’ll catch more grief and negative opinions than you need. If it’s important to you, you won’t care what anyone thinks, so keep it to yourself.
◦ Broadcast your successes if you like, but you’ll still get a few negative comments!
8. Try doing something that others won’t approve of and see what happens. What exactly are you worried about? What do you think will happen? Find out for certain. Do an experiment.
◦ Do something that you know will generate some negative opinions. Wear a truly awful shirt. Let your lawn grow four inches too high. Then, just sit back and see what happens. Notice how you can handle it without any problems. Show yourself that you’ve been worrying about nothing.
Today can be the day you begin living your life without concern for the opinions of others. Worrying about what they think can be a hard habit to break, but you can do it!