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What will you think if I don’t go?
Will she be mad if I say no?
What did they think when I said that?
He’ll be upset if I tell him what I think.
How often do thoughts like this go through your head?
Guess what? You’re human. Part of our DNA wires us to want to belong to a group; to fit in.
That said, too much thinking about what other people think or about other people’s reactions is unhealthy. It keeps you stuck in people pleasing mode. Not only is that not good for your confidence, it holds you back from what you’re here on earth to do.
We make ourselves CRAZY trying to control what people think. Stop holding your thoughts (+life) hostage by making decisions based on what others might or might not think. I spent waaay too much of my life trying to control what others thought of me (usually these were people I didn’t even like). How NUTS is that? I’d do something I didn’t want to do so someone I didn’t like might think something about me that wasn’t representative of my true self. #crazymaking
One great way to start moving away from caring so much about what others think is to remind yourself of these Four Empowering Truths:
1) You can’t control other people’s opinions of you.
Seriously, stop and think about it for a second: We actually can not control what others think of you. Humans do not have the ability to manipulate others’ brains. Want proof of that? Have you ever picked out an outfit with the the thought: “They’ll think I look so professional or hip if I wear this?”. Sorry but it doesn’t work. If it did, then when we walked into a room with 10 people, they’d all be thinking the same thought about us (“Look How Hip Susie Looks”). Does that happen? Uh, No! First of all, of the 10 people, only 3-5 might even notice I walked in the room. Of those that do, one might like me because of the earrings I’m wearing, one might dislike me because I’m wearing earrings. One might think I look nice because I remind her of her friend from high school while another might instantly dislike me because I remind her of her mother-in-law. Maaaaybe one person has the thought “Susie looks hip” but even that is doubtful. We have no control over other’s opinions of us, warriors. Let’s let it go.
2) Other People’s Opinions Are Not More Important Than Yours:
It’s not your job to make sure other people’s needs and wants are met. Period end of story. That’s part of their job in adulthood.
When we think another person’s thoughts and beliefs are more important than ours we put our thoughts and beliefs on the back shelf. We tend to tell ourselves that it’s our job to make sure other people’s needs and wants are met. It is not.
It’s up to us to take care of us and them to take care of them. This is a big truth bomb as our society teaches us differently. We are consistently taught and told that we are responsible for others and their feelings. We are not.
Why do we do this? Again, human nature. We want to avoid the pain of someone having an unfavorable opinion of us but the subconscious message we are sending to ourselves is that our thoughts and beliefs don’t matter. We’re essentially telling ourselves that what someone else wants, feels or needs is more important than what we want, feel or need.
The sooner you can shift to take care of yourself and your needs and let others do the same, the deeper and more peaceful all of your relationships will actually be.
3) It’s Okay for Someone To Think Negatively of us
Oooh yes, this is a tough truth but a true one. Not everyone is going to like you. Yes, even sunshine-y, wonderful you. But, wait a sec, let’s be honest: Do you like everyone? I mean come on; we are all so different. We’re not all meant to like everyone. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them or that we have to spend time actively unliking them: it merely means they’re not for you.
Same goes for you. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to agree with the decisions you make. Not everyone is going to agree with your point of view.
How often do you stop yourself from doing something because you think: “What if he’ll be mad?” Or “What if she thinks that’s rude?” Consider this permission to stop that. If someone else is mad, that’s on them. Did you intentionally do something to piss someone off? Were you rude? If the answer is no, then let them have their own opinion about you. You are responsible for the intention in which you deliver your message, not how they receive it.
We are so uncomfortable with someone else not being happy with us that we do most anything to make them happy instead of sticking up for ourselves.
Instead of asking yourself “Will she be mad?” Or “Did he think that was rude”, the question to ask yourself is “Am I proud of how I showed up?”. If you acted in a way that was in alignment with how you wanted to act, you can let them have their reaction and their opinion of you.
You gain confidence and power when you stop believing the thought that “If someone is unhappy with me, that means I did something wrong.” Nope. You be the barometer of you. Did you act in a way you’re proud of? Then move on.
4) Final Awesome Truth: Other people Aren’t Thinking About You
Sorry to break it to you but other people aren’t spending nearly the time thinking about you as you think they are. That makes this probably the best truth of all The fact that people don’t think of us as often as we think is freeing! It liberates us to BE US!
I heard a great rule called the 20-40-60 rule. At age 20, we think everyone is watching us, thinking about us, and caring a bout what we do. At age 40, we start to wonder if anyone is watching us, thinking about us, or if anyone cares what we do. At age 60, we don’t care if anyone is watching or thinking about us! Let’s live like 60-years olds!
The next time you find yourself wondering what someone is thinking about something you said or did, please remind yourself of this rule.
What do YOU Think About what You Did or Said?
Do you know how freeing it feels to stop thinking about what others are thinking or doing? Whether they’re thinking about me or not? Liberating with a capital L!
When I allow others to think what they want about me, two beautiful things happen First, I spend a lot less time and mental energy trying to read other people’s minds. Second, I spend a lot more energy digging into my desires and my passions which are the reason why I’m here on this planet. I feel better about myself and show up truthfully. If others want to think something of me, they can. If you’re ready to start the journey, take one small step this week.
Wear what you want to wear, write what you want to write, say what you want to say, do what you want to do. If you attune yourself to your core values, not only will you feel better, you’ll also attract people who are your kind of people.
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Thank you so much for this! I really needed it this week. I have always been a people pleaser and am in over my head with helping and worrying about what people think of me. You are right, I am not going to please everyone no matter how hard I try (and I try hard!). “You’re responsible for your intention, not their reception” is my new mantra.
Thank you so much for the feedback! I also love keeping in the front of my mind that I’m responsible for me, how I handle myself and how I deliver messages. I get to let go of what others do. I also love the idea that boundaries are all about “Letting others know how you expect to be treated”. Again, thanks for letting me know what resonated. You’re never alone!