Ignore What Others Think Of You
As I mentioned in a previous article, “Choosing Your Friends Wisely”, that I would be sharing snippets from the book “Growth Living.”
Today’s article is about ignoring what others think of you. The author writes in the most simplistic way, nothing fancy yet direct in his explanation.
Here is an extract from his book.
Someone once said: “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.”
There is no way to avoid criticism from others, you would have to isolate yourself completely. There will always be someone who has a different view than you. This is a difficult one, because most of us get caught in the trap of what others think of us. Naturally, it is important for most of us to get validation from society, which is why social media is such a phenomenon, because we can get this feeling of belonging from others.
This aspect of our lives is also a form of jail that we unconsciously lock ourselves in. We often have certain views, or want to do specific things, but are afraid of what others might think of us. This system can paralyse our lives, we will live to please others while suppressing our own uniqueness. Often things that are “norms,” that we decide to conform to, are not actually healthy for us but because we don’t want to be judged or laughed at, we do it anyways. I must tell you that I struggled with some of this for a long time, I would be afraid to be judged for my views or ideas, and I would be afraid what others would think of me. In recent times, I started caring less and less. I realised that my life is my business and I will be living it on my own terms.
The thing is that if my friends are laughing at my interests, maybe these are not real friends? And I shouldn’t be wasting my time with them? Remember that those who are not aligned with you will disappear (if you let them) from your life and new people will come, who will listen and understand you. You definitely don’t want to wake up one day when you are 80 and think to yourself, “man I regret that I didn’t do this or that, only because I was afraid what someone would think of me.”
Let me share a quick story with you. You might have seen JP Sears, he is a blogger, comedian and coach. I watched an interview with him once, he spoke about how he tried to fit in, in the past. He started his videos with a serious tone as he believed that this is what people wanted. He was a coach and thought that he can’t be funny in his videos as people wouldn’t take him seriously, which was actually unnatural for him. Instead, being funny came naturally to him, so finally he decided that he will no longer pretend and just be himself and started creating humorous videos. Things just blew up and people loved his style of videos. He started getting so many views that large media outlets became interested in him and eventually he even attracted a book deal.
So how can we stop caring about what others think, you might be asking yourself? You start with acknowledging the fact that you, your life, views, and choices are your own business. Other people’s opinions are based on their own views and lives. What others want for you might be good for them but not for you, and this can make you unhappy or disrupt the journey you are taking on your path. You might consider changing your friends, if they don’t support you, and instead look for those that will.
There will always be people who will like who you really are inside. Let’s say someone points some negative comments out about what you shared online. This only tells you something about who they are, it is not about you, it is about them. Understand it, try to be diplomatic and if they persist, just tell them that they are free to go, unfollow you, etc.
Try building your confidence. The best way to do this, is to try to do what you are afraid of doing, if you do it a few times it won’t be scary anymore and you will start becoming more and more confident.
Let’s say you are afraid of public speaking, go to some local classes and just push yourself. You can find meetup groups or Toastmasters meetings (an organisation that teaches the art of communicating and public speaking effectively) in many cities around the world. Start small, with small groups, around just few people, and keep doing it until you remove the fear.
Learn to not get offended. If you easily get offended it might mean that you have low self -esteem and this is something to work on.
When you become wiser, you know that people who criticise you might just not understand you or have different views, try to be smarter and not be reactive, but intelligently responsive.
All these things are a matter of practice. You will learn to ignore those people that might try to put you down or discourage you, there will always be someone like that, but I’m sure you will also find new people who will like your authenticity. Just be authentic.
About Karin Kelly Lawrenz : I have a question for you. Are you ready to commit to a change?
I’m an International Transformation Coach & Executive Coach. Coming from a finance background and qualifying in the finance, NLP and coaching industry. I have spent for over a decade now, coaching, mentoring and motivating people. My practical, no-nonsense advice & life strategies provide tangible results & skills that help people resolve, eliminate the everyday challenges we all face in life, work & love and their core blockages or where they are coming from.
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