We all want to be liked and appreciated. But when we start to rely on what other people think of us, and we make their opinion pivotal to our success, we get into trouble. We start tailoring our lives to fit the expectations of others, and from there it’s a vicious cycle. To feel accepted is a nearly universal human desire. After all, we evolved to survive better in groups, where fitting in and having the trust and respect of our peers are the measures of success. The need to belong is in our DNA. But sometimes that need takes center stage, and what others think about us takes on more importance than what we think about ourselves.
When we give over our power to others and allow their actions and thoughts to affect how we are perceived, we lose out on who we really are. The only reality we can see is how we believe others see us.
Here are 8 effective ways to eliminate the worry and free yourself to be yourself.
1. Focus on what matters
When you concentrate on what’s important, you think less about your individual role and more about the bigger picture. It takes the glare of people’s spotlights off you individually. So look for what truly matters to you, the goals and targets that you consider valuable.
2. Remember, people are caught up among themselves
People spend more time thinking about themselves than thinking about others. They don’t spend as much time analysing you as you think. If they’re expressing an opinion about your life, it’s probably not something they’ve given much thought to but just a passing thought.
3. Have perspective
Perception is the goggle through which we see the world. Someone rightly said that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Another person’s opinion is often based not on your beliefs and behavior but on theirs. What’s good for them may be terrible for you, or vice versa. Be who you want to be from your own perspective.
4. Mind your own business
Stop asking people what they think of you. Stop worrying about their opinions, especially if they’re critical, unsuccessful, or unhappy. Most of the time, negative feedback is coming from negative people. Minding your own business will not only keep you away from futile judgement but also it will save you a lot of time and energy.
5. Are you overthinking?
Overthinking leads to unnecessary troubles. Overthinking can lead you to think you’re being judged even when that’s not the case and even if not, it can set you down in your own way. Learn to recognize overthinking and replace it with positive thoughts.
6. Look for constructive feedback
If you really want to take people’s feedback seriously, take those that can improve you. For important decisions, you may want to seek out a few opinions from people you trust and then forget the rest. Pick people who know how to give feedback that’s constructive and specific.
7. Stop pleasing everyone
You can’t make friends with everyone. It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations, so don’t burn yourself out trying to do so. Please yourself and let the rest fall where they may. You can’t please everybody, so why try to please anybody. Some people may dislike you. That’s OK. Focus on yourself, work hard, and one day, people who matter will respect you.
8. Focus on the moment
When you’re fretting about what other people are saying or thinking, you tend to miss some very important present moments. Living in the moment enhances the experience of whatever it is that we are doing, we are able to live our lives full bloodedly. Conversely, when you truly focus on the present moment, you tend not to worry about what will come later, including judgment. Accept yourself for who you are and be present in the moment.
Sow what you want to reap. Life is an echo; what you send out comes back. Too much worry about what other people think of you can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that eventually governs your behavior and thoughts
The bottom line is we truly have this one life and life is short. Do you really want to spend even a few precious moments of that time worrying about what other people think? To live a life where others tell you what you want? Or should you decide for yourself who we are and what you want and how you plan to go out and get it? So stop being fearful of being judged.
Look to someone whose self-respect you admire to help point you toward your own. A guide can help dispel your lack of confidence and help you envision your best future.