Human mind keeps craving for acceptance and as social animals, we feel a need to listen to others and learn what’s being said about us. We feel scared to lose our place in that social circle if we don’t do what’s expected of us. Caring about what others think isn’t an inbuilt characteristic, but is something that is taught to us right from the beginning.
Isn’t it weird how we grow up believing in others’ opinions of us rather than doing what we really want to do? We refrain from asking questions in public because we think that people may in turn question our knowledge. We fail to voice our opinion because we think that it might not be something that people would want to hear. And when the same people choose to comment on our appearances or thoughts, we start pinpointing things that are wrong within us.
Truth be told, people will have opinions, even if you do what they believe to be right. You will be judged for failing to comply with what people expect of you and you will find yourself trying to please others because it makes it easier to handle them. But is it something that you want to do to yourself? Are you willing to let go of your own dreams and expectations only because you are afraid to attract negativity if you don’t? Well, a lot might do. But it’s only until the realization hits that you are doing no good to yourself by letting others control your life.
Letting others hold an opinion about you is only acceptable until it starts affecting your confidence and self-esteem. When you hold yourself back because you are afraid to be rejected, you are simply depriving yourself of happiness and self-fulfillment. In order to be happy and contented with your life and to realize your full potential, it’s important that you let go of what others think about you.
Here are some very useful ways that can help you to stop caring about what other people think:
1. Avoid people who keep judging you: If you have been thinking too much of others’ opinions about you, it’s highly likely that you have put those people on a pedestal which is why you think that what they believe is true. You need to avoid people who make you feel shallow about yourself thereby impacting your life in a negative manner.
While it’s alright to take into account others’ point of views, make sure that you don’t hand them over the right to decision making in the matters concerning your life. Choose wisely as to who you surround yourself with and make sure that your interactions with them impact your life in a positive way.
2. Stop glorifying perfectionism: Stop treating ‘Perfectionism’ as a badge of honor that you need to win in order to please others. Perfectionism often makes you set unrealistic goals for yourself which, if gone unmet, can make you feel anxious and depressed. Take every day as an opportunity to be better than yesterday rather than striving to be perfect.
The more you will try to please others by trying to be perfect in everything that you do, the more you are overburdening yourself with the unrealistic expectations. So ditch that desire to be perfect and focus on realizing your true potential.
3. Decide what’s best for you: Before you ponder over what society believes or thinks, decide what’s good for you. It will help you be clear about why you need to prioritize your own dreams and goals over others’ opinions. Tell yourself that it’s only you, and not others, who will have to bear the brunt of what you decide for yourself.
Once you’ll learn to put your own well-being over others, you’ll find yourself reaching a new level of confidence that others will feel envious of. Remind yourself that being your own priority isn’t an act of selfishness but the much needed act of self-love.
4. Stop being a People Pleaser: In an attempt to win over others, you will be tempted to do things that others want you to do rather than doing what’s good for you. The act of pleasing others might help you retain your place in that peer group but you will never be happy within if you are not being yourself in front of others.
You definitely want to reconsider being with people who want you to please them by trying to be someone that you are not. Avoid those who are just too reluctant to see the real you, and be only around those who you don’t need to please.
5. You have no control over other’s opinions about you: There are things that are beyond your control and there are things that are within your control. You must realize that what others think about you comes in the former category and no matter what you do, you can’t match up to everyone’s expectations. In your attempt to please some people, you are definitely going to disappoint others. So why not focus on things that are in your control – the decisions pertaining to you, your well-being, your health, your career.
6. Involve only those whose opinions really matter: Choose your own people to have a say in your life. Choose who you are going to include in the decisions that will affect you in the near future. Be it your friends or family, include only the ones who really care about you and are willing to accept you no matter how things turn out to be. Realize that only the important ones are worth focusing on and listening to.
Don’t find yourself buried in regrets by listening to others and letting go of what you believe to be right for yourself. Trust yourself and prepare your mind to accept whatever that happens if you are following your mind. Always know that it’s your life to live and the only person you are answerable to is ‘you’.