How To Stop Worrying What Other People Think
You know when you meet someone for the first time and you just instantly click?! You have everything in common and feel like you have been best friends for years?! Well I recently experienced this unicorn moment after meeting Oli Coulthard. I had been admiring his creative eye and the attention to detail from his photography and film work for quite some time, so we finally decided to meet up and go exploring together.
Now usually I am super hesitant with meeting people for the first time, I get major social anxiety, I stuff up my words, and I just freak out and start worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong. I start to overthink things, I worry what they may be thinking and get self-conscious. I know I'm not the only one who experiences this...
And it's this constant worry about how we’re perceived in the eyes of others, that can cause us to miss out on awesome opportunities. It happens far too often for me. I get handed some incredible opportunities but my first instinct is always filled with fear and worry....
We worry about having the right clothes, about how our bodies look, how cool our car is, how smart we are, are we good enough, whether people will laugh at our ideas, whether someone will “like” our photos or posts. This takes up so much mental energy and puts us in a negative mindset. Sure, we can tell ourselves that “other people’s opinions don’t matter” or “no one is really thinking that way” but it won’t stop our brains from worrying about it.
So what can we do?
Start your day recognising you are equal to every other person on this planet. There is no one above or below you. We all have different roles but that does not make anyone more valuable as a human being.
We can learn to be aware of these anxieties as they come up. We can realise that the anxieties aren’t a command but rather just something that arises, like clouds coming over a mountain. They’ll pass, float away, if we just watch them without too much attachment.
Worrying about what other people think of us and people-pleasing stems from a notion that we are not as worthy as another person, our needs and wants are not as important as theirs. This perspective is the root of the problem but it’s just a perspective and it can be changed!
The second I start to get worried, I make myself aware of it. I stop and slow down and figure out why I am worried and ask myself if it is really necessary...
So I encourage you to take a minute right now to contemplate this. Step away from what you are doing. Put your phone away and get to know this goodness in yourself. It is always there, and you can tap into it when the worries come up.
Because no matter what other people think of you, you’ll know that this goodness is there, you just have to believe in yourself and remember that we are all equal. And you will find that often times, the things you were once worried about, the so-called fears, are found to be unnecessary, to be baseless, to be holding you back from achieving something great.
And by letting go, and not worrying about what other people think, you will begin to realise how many awesome opportunities are out there.
STOP WORRYING. STAY DRIVEN.
Because people can sense when it’s important to you to be liked. This makes you appear to be trying too hard, insincere, and needy. In essence, you are working against your goal to have good relationships and to take on new opportunities.
Simply take the pressure off and focus on things that you are interested in, that bring you joy, or that come naturally to you. This will not only distract you from your worry, which is a waste of your time and energy, it will also start to attract the people who are interested in what you are interested in.
When you are surrounded by people who share your interests and values you can let your guard down and enjoy the time you spend with them, and this is exactly how I felt when hanging with Oli. When you stop caring so much, your natural self becomes easy and effortless and you are less concerned about what other people think of you.
If you stay true to your values and do your own thing, you will not need to be concerned with the few people who just don’t seem to get you. You can live your fulfilling life and they can live theirs.
And if I kept the worried, self-conscious mentality, stayed indoors and decided not to meet up with Oli, then I would have missed out on an amazing adventure, which has now sparked us to create a million more for you.... and that may involve YouTube!