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….