A quick guide on how to stop worrying what people are thinking about you
They’re talking about you. You just KNOW they are. You see them, heads together and huddled in the break room. Your stomach is in knots. They are surely gossiping and backstabbing you. How could they possibly have anything good to say? How are you supposed to move forward when you know they’re standing in judgment, criticizing your every move?
If this sounds familiar, then you’ve fallen into the classic trap of worrying about what other people are thinking of you. Worse, you’re allowing it to affect your goals. After all, when you’re focused on what other people think of you, how can you possibly be keeping your eye on focusing and achieving your own dreams?
It’s time to stop.
There is absolutely no room for this kind of worry in your life. You don’t deserve to do this to yourself. Doubts will lead you to second-guessing every step of the process. It eats away at self-confidence and leaves you wondering if you’re ever going to accomplish anything significant at all. Don’t want to believe it? Think about this: what have the biggest successes in the world done that you haven’t?
Simple. At some point, they stopped worrying about what other people thought. Don’t believe it? Take a step back in time and remember what you thought the first time you heard of Facebook or Amazon. What about Uber? Or Airbnb? Every one of those ideas received hefty criticism when they were starting out.
So with this in mind, let’s look at some ways to stop the worry cycle so you can put your focus back on the great big idea you have.
Why Do You Even Care What ‘They’ Think?
No, seriously, why do you? If you find yourself caught up in the cycle of worrying about what a particular person or group is saying, it might be time to figure out why this is so terribly important to you. Does their opinion matter for some profound reason that might need to be addressed? Are you trying to impress someone? Or not let down someone else? Once you understand why you’re worried, it’s a lot easier to deal with the fear itself. Ask yourself if this is even a reasonable concern. Does it even have to do with what you’re doing? Could it be you need to have a conversation with someone who might resolve the matter entirely?
Live for Now
A lot of this kind of worry is looking too far ahead into the future. If you’re concerned you might let someone down in the pursuit of this goal, or that you might fail somewhere, it’s time for a step back. What about where you are right now? How are things seriously going? If you have a genuine concern about something going wrong, ask yourself if there’s something you can do right now to prevent this from happening later.
Make Sure You Keep Your Eye on the Prize
As mentioned before, worrying about what others think will take your mind off your goal. The simplest way to turn this around is to put your eyes right back on what you’re doing. Remind yourself of what you’re setting out to accomplish. Think about how you intend to go about doing that. Embrace the dream all over again, leaving no room for worrying about what anyone else is thinking.
Remember that what you think about you bring about. In other words where our energetic thoughts go, our energy flows. Keep focused on where you want to go in life and what you want to achieve, and the fruits of your positive thoughts will materialize into positive actions and outcomes. Consequently, if you spend to much time dwelling in the negative and other people’s thoughts about you, you will just keep bringing more of that into your life. You will perpetually fulfill that constant worrying about what others think.
Eyes on the prize. Don’t let anyone sway you from your life goals.
Whose Opinion Really Matters Anyway?
It’s time you realized only one person’s opinion counts when it comes to what you’re doing: YOURS. Dump the naysayers and focus on you. Are you happy with what you’re doing? Do you like your goal? Do you think it’s a good idea? If so, by all means, carry on!
On the other hand, if you’re starting to doubt yourself, you might need to take things on a little faith. You thought this was good before you started listening to everyone else. Remind yourself you’re a smart, confident person with good ideas.
Remember that some people will often project THEIR insecurities and lack of belief that they have about THEMSELVES onto YOU. Other people will often be unhappy with their ‘lot in life’ and also project that onto you. It really then doesn’t have anything to do with you and is only a mirror back at them and their bad attitude or lack in life. This is actually quite common and infects a lot of people with negative projections. Not everyone has your best interests at heart.
Find Your Own Tribe
It might be you’re just surrounded by the wrong people. If people around you are being negative, it’s time to seek out the company of people with a solid dose of positivity. Look for connections with those who build you up. Isn’t it better to be hanging out with someone who has your back instead of someone who would rather stick a knife in it?
I realize this is something that is sometimes easier said than done. But oftentimes we can also outgrow people because we have new goals and aspirations and our friends want to stay stuck in the past. They don’t want to share and grow with us. This is perfectly normal. It’s also ok to move on and be around people who share the same goals and objectives with us. It fosters a shared commonality and interest which is what we humans tend to bond over. So, don’t feel bad for moving on. If your old friends truly valued your friendship they would respect, admire and cheer you on, right?
Are You Being Too Quick to React?
We all get triggered sometimes. Worry and over-analysis of the situation are common reactions. Take a minute and ask yourself if maybe you’re overreacting to something. Was there criticism that was perhaps meant more kindly than you heard it, the sort of thing with an actual basis in fact? Back up a minute and really examine yourself. If you find you’re indulging in hurt feelings and the surety of ulterior motives, you’re likely triggered. It’s time to take a deep breath and step back until you can think rationally again.
Why are you seeking the opinions of others in the first place? This is an important question to ask yourself. If you’re looking for approval, you’re only wasting your time. On the other hand, honest feedback is a great idea, so long as you’re asking someone who knows what they’re talking about, and you can take constructive criticism without obsessing about it later.
Think About Where They’re Coming From
Your great big idea might be the worst thing in the world for someone else, but perfect for you. By recognizing where the criticism is coming from, it becomes much easier to deal with. In this case, gently remind the naysayer this is about your life, not theirs, and walk away. Remember, you know what’s best for you.
No, you can’t make everyone happy. Someone somewhere is bound to hold a dissenting opinion. That’s part of living surrounded by people with diverse views. Here’s some news for you: not everyone is going to agree with what you’re doing. Focus instead on the people who do believe in you, who think what you’re doing is excellent. The rest simply don’t matter.
Beware the Flip Flop Fakers
One minute you’re offered a piece of criticism for doing it all wrong, the next, you’re being told you have the best idea ever. When someone blows hot and cold (usually because they’re changing their opinion to match the view of those around them), there’s no use in even trying to listen anymore. This kind of person doesn’t actually have an opinion; they’re only mouthing what everyone around them is saying. They’re definitely not worth worrying about.
Are you Thinking Too Much About the Situation?
When someone says something negative, it’s very easy to hear a lot more than what was said. It’s like a kid who misses hitting a ball and being told they need to adjust their stance, and them deciding they’re a terrible hitter and need to quit baseball. Overthinking the situation is very easy to do, especially if you’re holding any shred of self-doubt. Here’s where you need to grab at a little self-confidence and consider what’s being said if you take the other person’s comments at face value.
Recognize People Really Couldn’t Care Less
A lot of the time we’re positive the talk is all about us, when in fact it’s not. The truth is, people are so caught up in their own lives that the majority of them give very little thought to you or what you’re doing. Why worry about people who aren’t worrying about you?
What About You?
You’ve probably heard it said you should treat others the way you want to be treated. This has a lot more truth than you might realize. If you don’t like people talking negatively about you and your dreams, ask yourself if perhaps you’re only getting a dose of what you dish out. If you’re being negative and talking down others, how do you expect those same individuals to react to your dreams and goals? Instead, start cultivating an air of positivity and see if perhaps it’s possible to change the tone of the conversation around you.
Ask if This is Really What You Want to Do with Your Time
The truth is you only have 24 hours in a day. And since no one knows just how many of those days they have left to live, you might want to rethink just how you’re spending your time. Is it really worthwhile to spend time worrying about the opinions of others? You have better things to focus on. Concentrate on things that matter, put your time and energy where you will receive the best payout. Your time is way too precious to waste on someone who doesn’t believe in you or what you’re doing.
There’s really no need to worry about what people are thinking. In the end, your goals and your dreams are way more important than anything anyone else has to say. Remember this as you follow your path in life. After all, this is your journey, not theirs. You’re on the way to somewhere fantastic. Why spoil the journey with the words of someone whose opinion doesn’t even matter?