Why do we care so much what others think? Where are we letting others opinions of us change what we do or how we think of ourselves? Why do we do this? When we let others tell us who we are and what we “should” do, we take ourselves out of our life to live their version of our life. 

Give yourself permission to want what you want. If you didn’t read last week’s blog, go back to read of the three steps you can take to know what it is you want. Get to know the most important person in your life: You!

When you start doing more of what you want and what you need, there will be supportive people around you to cheer you on and reinforce your actions. There will also be people who judge you and criticize you. It is up to you to surround yourself with more of the first group of people and distance yourself from the second group. The second group is standing in their own shit; judging you based on their own stories. They probably have a really bad habit of not taking care of themselves which builds up resentment and anger. That’s their business and there’s no need for you to change who you are or how you show up in the world based on it. Move away. Let others think what they’re going to think. It’s time to care more about what you think of you than what others think of you. 

How can we move away from worrying about what other people think? Three Tools:

1) Gratitude: Stopping to feel grateful helps us move away from caring what others think about us in two significant ways. First, in recognizing what we have and what we do well, we build confidence in ourselves and our decisions. This confidence helps us build some armor around others’ criticisms. We worry about what other people think when we’re not feeling confident in ourselves. When we doubt our decisions or our actions, we find things to think about to beat ourselves up. Choose to think of what you do well and what’s going well in your life and leave the others to their own drama.

Second, it brings us back to the present moment to focus on what really matters in our lives. Does it matter if our mother thinks our daughter’s grades stink? Not when I’m feeling grateful that my daughter is standing next to me helping me make the sweet potato casserole. Does it matter if my neighbors think I take crap care of my lawn? Not when I’m sitting in a warm house with a cozy blanket and cup of tea. 

2) Reality Hit: We don’t know what others are thinking and we can’t control what others are thinking! You don’t have some crazy super power that allows you to read other people’s minds and people aren’t walking around with a ticker-tape on their forehead. Since you have no idea what they’re thinking, how about you save the mental energy of trying to figure it out. Either ask them what they’re thinking or move on. What will they think of my dress? What will she think if I don’t volunteer at the class party? What will they think if I don’t go to book club? Even if they did stop to think about our dress or if they had an opinion about us not going to book club, we can not control what they’re thinking. How do I know this? Think of walking into a room of ten strangers. If you could control what they were thinking, they’d all think the same thing. Does that happen? No! Their thoughts will vary based on their own life experiences. Thoughts will range from: “Love the colors of her skirt”, “hate the colors of that skirt”,  “I have good vibes about that woman because she reminds me of my sister”, “Ick, she reminds me of my sister”, etc…. Since we have no control over what others think, leave them to think their thoughts and form their opinions and you can live your life. 

3) Move Energy: Sometimes we are too deep into the “What if she thinks this” or the “I wonder what he’ll think if…” to use the first two tools. If that’s the case, get up and move. Run up the stairs one time. Go stick your head out the window. Go lock yourself into your office’s bathroom and take three deep breaths. Change your surroundings, even if for 10 seconds. Do not go on social media to see the perfect lives others are pretending to live. Do not go lie in bed and think of all the other things that are going wrong in your life. Do not call a friend to complain. Get out of your head and into your body. Rake. Rearrange your garbage and recycling bins. Fold laundry. Sweep the floor. A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Just get up and do it. 

If you’re ready to take yourself and your life seriously, sign up for a coaching session. If you’d like a quick jump start, for the price of a daily lunch out or one coaching session, sign up for SMB’s 10-Day Cleanse for Conscious Living.