Does your decision making depend on what other people think? I want to change careers, but what will my family say? I want to leave this relationship, but what will they think of me? I want to write, but what if people don’t like it? I want to speak up about this issue I’m passionate about, but what if they judge me? These are some of the thoughts that we have become accustomed to and a common problem we all face in our life: we worry about what other people are going to think.
We are born into this world that defines us by the opinions of others and this makes us too paranoid. As human beings, we all want to feel loved, accepted and connected, and as a result, we shrink to fit, don’t become who we’re destined to be, and miss out on opportunities.
We then feel frustrated with who we are because we’ve allowed the opinions of others to drown the voice of our spirit, and poison our own heart and mind distorting our self-image.
Many of us grew up with the programming of, “What are other people going to say?” You may be thinking, “But aren’t we suppose to accept that people have every right to their opinions?” Yes, but there is a difference between receiving helpful feedback and when it’s a projection from someone else.
No matter what you do in your life, there will always be people who will try to put you down, gossip about you, judge you, be jealous of you and belittle your dreams. And some people will formulate their own opinions about you based on your past and not see you for who you are today – this is human nature. Try to not take it personally, unless of course, you believe what they are saying about you is true.
It’s impossible to have everyone like you, or agree with you, and why would you want that? What’s the purpose? So here’s what’s really important, the next time you find yourself worrying about what others think of you, instead of saying the familiar quote, “What other people think of me is none of my business”
(because deep down you do care what others think), get to the core of your emotions by asking yourself these questions:
- Why does it bother me so much by what other people think?
- Why do I want everyone to like me?
- Am I looking for others approval of me so that I can love myself?
- Who’s approval am I desperately seeking?
- Do I think that I need to be approved to be lovable?
Asking yourself these questions will help you stop being a slave to others opinions and you’ll get to know yourself better. Usually, when we are seeking approval from others, it’s our younger self that didn’t receive the approval and attention from the mother and/or father when growing up.
And so now as an adult, your inner child is still seeking this approval. This is when you need to nurture and bring healing to your inner child.
Sometimes what we think others are thinking about us is a projection of our own fears. It’s a lot more difficult for someone’s perception of you to affect you if you fill yourself up with your own approval, and are at peace with yourself.
I once heard from a spiritual teacher that when you work towards building a high dose of healthy self-esteem, someone could say something negative about you but all you would hear is, “You’re a vacuum cleaner…” exactly, it will make no sense to you or have any impact on your feelings.
In the end, the last thing you’ll be worrying about is the opinions of others. The only opinion that will truly matter will be yours and God.
So go out and do your thing! After all, life is only but a moment more.