What other people think ……
Isn’t that the one thing we tend to think of first…what are other people going to think about me? If we let it, that one thought will steer the entire course of our lives.
"What will they think if I speak up, what will they think if I post this, what will they think if I start selling this product or start my own business, what will they think about this relationship, and ultimately...what will they think if they knew the “truth” about me."
It's the biggest reason we do or don't do many things...because of what other people might think. Some of us don't record ourselves because of what other people may think. But some of us are consumed taking selfies all day because we care about what other people think! “What other people think” can drive every decision, every choice, every action, every relationship and steer the entire course of your life. And it’s not even “their” life!!
What other people think. Sounds absurd doesn’t it?
Why is “what other people think” so important to us? When the truth is….. other people’s thoughts are none of your business! And honestly, they’re likely not thinking of you anyway, because they’re thinking about themselves and what others think about them!!
If you google this topic – no one gives you really great advice because they don’t teach you the WHY of this concern. In my years of business and training I’ve discovered some ways that all of our brains are wired that is fascinating! Well, it fascinates me. Obviously, I’m writing about it but I hope it is helpful to you too.
Here's the WHY....of worrying what others think:
Your brain is wired for safety at all cost.
It will do anything to make sure you are nowhere near danger. In caveman days that came in handy, but the instinct today isn’t as necessary for most of us. No lions and tigers and bears out the front door.
So, it will avoid what could threaten your social acceptance
Your brain doesn’t know the difference between physical danger and the possibility that someone might judge the shoes you’re wearing, It will view social acceptance the same as an intruder with a gun. With that in mind, what other people think starts to become really important.
Our brain can just work against us sometimes.
It's the basis of self-sabotage. Come to think of it, it's also the birthplace of bad hair days!
That is unless we know how it’s wired and we do a mindset hack to stop it!
So here are my TOP 6 ways to forever get rid of "What other people think" syndrome:
1. Take a break from social media.
A total fast isn’t necessary but how about limiting your interaction. Shut off the notifications and limit yourself to a couple times of check-in a day. It’s a ton of fun staying in touch with friends and family, I agree, but wow, talk about a perfect trap to get wrapped up in the self-absorption and psychotic mess of other people! If you work on facebook, try Chrome's Newsfeed Eradicator. It limits you from seeing your newsfeed while working on one device and then you can allow yourself check-in time on another device. We become concerned about what others think because we've allowed social acceptance to become more important than self-acceptance.
Taking a break from social media is the first step to stopping the madness by stopping the input.
2. Avoid anything and everything negative.
This seems obvious but negativity is EVERYWHERE! And our brains don't filter good and bad, it just files it all. It's up to us to do the filtering.
We all have a habit of letting negative people and circumstances spend too much time around us so try something novel like shutting off the news - that'll create some instant peace!
Staying away from the break room is another great idea, and avoiding the phone calls you know don’t benefit you. It’s ok, if it’s important, they’ll leave a message, I promise!
Ultimately, it's up to us to do the filtering and recognize that allowing negativity into our head just breeds negative thoughts about ourselves. You're in charge of what you feed your brain. Make sure it's a diet you really want.
3. Stay out of it.
Other people’s perceptions are none of your business – that’s right, stay out of it, you stalker!
Total co-dependent behavior! What other people think or say or do is none of your business. Unless of course you're parenting a child, then everything is your business!
You don’t want other people up in your stuff so stop worrying about what you think they might be thinking about you. You have no evidence, only a scaredy-cat story you're telling yourself.
Which brings me to the 4th way to STOP CARING about what other people think.
4. Tell a new story
When we don’t know an answer, our brain will make one up. Truth.
Your brain is wired to find an answer so if you’re wondering “gosh, I wonder if she likes me?” (again, none of your business) – since you don’t know the answer….your brain will make up stuff!! “She might think I’m weird, he might think I’m stupid”, blah, blah, blah…..
Instead of all that…make a new story! Better yet, make a TRUE story (see #5).
Then you don't have to worry about anyone else's "story" about you.
When you have a true story about you, other people's perceptions don't matter. You also start to attract the people who are a perfect match and not have to worry about the entire population's thoughts! Don't let someone else write your story!
5. Discover more great things about you.
There’s mountains of strength, gift and personality tests out there. Go find out the wonderful world of you!
It’s the most fun stuff ever. Start making a list of all the great attributes you know already and then new things you learn or realize along the way.
The more you know about you, the less concerned you are about others (see #3). And the more productive, joyful and peaceful you become. In fact, it's going to be hard for others to stay away from you. They're going to want what you have!
And to wrap up 1 through 5 in a nice little package, here's the secret to any of my training...
a. Release what you think others might be thinking (they’re not, they’re thinking about themselves!) (#1, 2, 3)
b. Retrain your brain to believe the truth about the wonderful world of you (#4, 5)
c. Repeat over and over for the rest of your beautiful life! The life of being FREE from what other people think!! Forever!!
I hope this helps you STOP CARING about what other people are thinking and get on with enjoying your life!
Stay tuned for our next blog post to help you manage your mindset and Play Tall Today.