Under Armor clothing for the gym – Check
Finalize that random morning selfie from 15 different shots – Check
Carefully choose your words for that one on one meeting with the boss – Check
You want to look rich, be the smartest in the room and impress the world with your uniqueness. Sounds fantastic, but let’s face it, you are living in the heads of others. From what your everyday gym-goers think about your clothing to how your boss would react to a silly question, you have to make sure it’s perfect.
Unknowingly and unintentionally, you have built a small prison in the heads of the people around you, and you live based on the perception and standards defiend by society.
I may write my best blog post and there will always be someone who won’t agree with my point of view, dislike my content, hate my images or even leave a nasty feedback telling me how horrible I am for what I do. It stings and makes me question my abilities and beliefs and sometimes even ponder over an alternative path. But you know what ?
The opinions of others is NONE OF MY BUSINESS !
And neither is it your business to define yourself based on the perception of others. Every opinion has nothing to do with you, and has everything to do with others. You will never be able to please everyone around you, and that is the honest reality of your being.
No, don’t go crazy and have your arm tattooed with the words ‘ I don’t care what you think ’. You will still need to fake a few pleasantries, be mindful about your choice of words during meetings and certainly not post inappropriate slander just because you want to Be You.
The point here is to stop acting in order to uplift yourself in the heads of others.
How do you actually stop caring about what others think ?
1. What Do You Stand For ?
I had a hard time saying NO to projects at work, often sacrificing my personal time over commitments I never really wanted in the first place. Expressing my discomfort was hard because my mind was overwhelmed with the perception of my colleagues.
The biggest reason why you easily get affected by the perceptions of others, is because you lack clarity in your own personal beliefs. Think about the qualities or values that you are attracted to and what you stand for. This will allow you to express your opinions and beliefs with confidence without the fear of being judged.
Prioritize your values and stand by them. Whether it is loyalty in friendship, the need for personal time, the courage to persevere and achieve results, stop worrying about what the world thinks about you.
2. It’s OK To Make Mistakes
The first time I went to the gym, I froze looking at myself standing next to someone who must have trained for years. I was too insecure to even do a bicep curl for the fear of appearing as a weak little rookie who couldn’t lift.
The truth is nobody is born perfect, and we all make mistakes before reaching a stage where others look up to us. Being too scared of making a mistake will only prevent you from acting at all, leaving you at the starting line forever !
Now it’s up to you whether you wish to jump through some hurdles of mistakes to achieve your goals or simply stay at the starting point for the rest of your life.
3. You Have Control
There have been times when I have felt ignored, and this would often leave me upset for days together wondering what I had done wrong to deserve this. Being ignored was beyond my control, but staying upset was a choice I made.
You have complete control over your feelings and how you react to a situation.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds and requires some work on your part to reflect on yourself before you beat yourself up over someone else’s behavior. Every time you are faced with a situation beyond your control, ask yourself a few questions:
- Is there anything I can do to change someone’s behavior ?
- Can I do anything differently on my part ?
- Have I been on the wrong side all along ?
If the answer to all the above is a firm NO, you know it’s not your fault and there’s absolutely no need to fret over someone else’s actions. Stop giving ownership of your feelings to others and get in the driving seat to take charge.
Your feelings are in your control when you Reflect before you React.
Stop worrying what the world thinks about you. It’s YOUR Life, and nobody has the power to depreciate its value.
Carpe Diem !