General Life Skills

When do you quit caring what others think?

Big question here… when do you quite caring what others think and start caring about what YOU think?  When does this happen?  When does what you think and/or know about yourself take front stage?  When do we quit trying to “fit in”?  When does it become OK to be “outside” of the box?

I am convinced that people live their lives (from early childhood) trying to overcome two things – their insecurities (fear of failure, success, what other think of them, etc.) and their need to protect their self image so they won’t feel like a failure.  I am sure I am simplifying this, but…   Maturity is when you can set both of these aside and truly live for the pure joy of living.  You can enjoy life as it comes and every pothole does not have ominous consequences that are mentally played out before anything every happens.  This is not to say that bad things don’t happen, cuz they do, but to live on the edge and live afraid of everything is not healthy mentally or physically and ultimately leads to self fulfilling prophecies.

Having said all that as a disclaimer, the most common form of insecurity is people pleasing  —  living to make others feel good about you and about themselves.  It has a variety of conditions, so there is not one identifier, but the end result is the same – loss of self.  Spending way too much time concerned about what others think or say about you.

What to do??? Oh my…. First off, I would suggest you make a list of your strengths.  All the qualities you really like and feel are admirable – honesty, integrity, transparency, candid – those types of things.  If you are good at certain skills, job, etc, write those down, too.  It is like a personal resume; something to look at when you start to feel lost or swallowed up by those around you.  Once you have made your list – make a list of the triggers that make you give up self to please others.  Things like, wanting to be liked, wanting to be accepted, wanting to be respected, not wanting to disappoint, etc.

Now you have two lists – your personal resume and your triggers.  Now for the hard part- pick the trigger that most annoys you. The next time your trigger is “hit”… look at your strengths list… keep looking at it… you will find your strength far outweighs the annoyance. They key here is to realize there is nothing to fear.  Someone else does not have control over you… 

Isn’t it time that you care enough about what YOU think about YOU?  Well, I say – today… the NOW…. Is a good place to start….

7 thoughts on “When do you quit caring what others think?”

  1. What? No coffee?!? 🙂 I knew when I read this it was for me. I’m going to give your method a go & see if it helps. Funny how even thinking of a current trigger now sends me right into it. But I felt a flicker of hope too, reading the above, so maybe it’s time to begin to let it go! Thanks Diane!

  2. 😀
    I have been working diligently on this for quite some time now and feel that I mostly have this worked out!

    Tho….from day to day I find that there are things that I still do to please others or things that I do because I am conditioned so….things that are not REALLY what I want to do! 😀 But you know hindsight is always 20/20!

    So your exercise is great timing as just this morning I realized I hopped on someone else’s bus recently and did what they wanted to do and not what I wanted to do! So that little realization boosted me in that direction of clearing more out and paying more attention to my decisions!

    Thanks a TON! 😀

  3. Took me far too many years to figure that out. Spent most of my life people pleasing – did that ever work? Am now in my 70’s and truly like ME. Don’t want to slip backwards – thx for the reminder.

  4. well let your new friend jump right in and offer my opinion…

    Too many of us live our lives with respect to something outside ourselves. What others think, what marketers offer as what is the way we should look, eat, drive, etc… All these things have become so common we hardly know our lives have become controlled by them and by extension the way we feel about ourselves… Because we desire to be loved and accepted we live a reactive life, looking for others response to us, looking for their acceptance, viewing the TV and magazines to see if we “fit in” and if we don’t becoming disturbed, changing and living an ungenuine life. One that is not a true reflection of who we really are…

    The remedy to this is simple yet hard to put in play. We must first learn who we are, learn the nature of ourselves, our own minds, the way we respond to all this stimuli, and how to view it but not take it for a ride…

    I can go on and on about this. If anyone wants to go round with me about it please feel free. I love to talk…

    I wish you all well… Drs.. thank u soo much for your invitation. It looks as if we’ll find each other often in conversation about sweet things such as this..

    smiles…gi

  5. Excellent post Diane! When we start living authentically, not worrying about what others think, while being true to ourselves the doors of all possibilities open! Thanks again for a very insightful article!

    ~Maryann

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