We all want to be liked and appreciated for our many talents, our ferocious intelligence, our good nature, our sparkling personality.
But when we start to rely on what other people think of us, and we make their opinion pivotal to our success, we get into trouble. We start tailoring our lives to fit the expectations of others, and from there it's a vicious cycle.
When we give over our power to others and allow that their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are. The only reality we can see is how we believe others see us.
Here are 15 sure-fire ways to eliminate the worry and free yourself to be yourself.
1. Focus on what matters. When you concentrate on what's important, you think less about your individual role and more about the bigger picture. It takes the glare of people's spotlights off you individually.
2. Remember, most people aren't paying much attention. People spend more time thinking about themselves than thinking about others. If they're expressing an opinion about your life, it's probably not something they've given much thought to but just a passing thought.
3. Keep perspective. Another person's opinion is often based not on your beliefs and behavior but on theirs. What's good for them may be terrible for you, or vice versa. Be who you want to be from your own perspective.
4. You know best. Nobody else is living your life. They might have opinions or ideas, but the only person who knows what is best for you is you. And that means you need to learn about yourself through your own mistakes and failures.
5. Mind your own business. Stop asking people what they think of you. Stop worrying about their opinions--especially if they're critical, unsuccessful or unhappy. Most of the time, the negative feedback is coming from negative people.
6. Desensitize your triggers. Are you too sensitive for your own good? Do you get triggered when people say things about you that you know aren't even true? It's easy for a sensitive nature to blow things out of proportion, but try to build the thick skin that lets you shake it off.
7. Stop overthinking. Overthinking can lead you to thinking you're being judged even when that's not the case--and even if not, it can set you down in your own way. Learn to recognize overthinking and replace it with positive thoughts.
8. Seek constructive feedback. For important decisions, you may want to seek out a few opinions from people you trust--and then forget the rest. Pick people who know how to give feedback that's constructive and specific.
9. Don't try to please everyone. It's impossible to live up to everyone's expectations, so don't burn yourself out trying to do so. Please yourself and let the rest fall where they may. Some people may dislike you. That's OK.
11. Opinions are always changing. Never allow the opinions of others to get too deep, because people can change at any given moment. If you've overinvested in an earlier opinion, it can leave you in the lurch when the person changes their mind.
12. Sow what you want to reap. Life is an echo; what you send out comes back. Too much worry about what other people think of you can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that eventually governs your behavior and thoughts.
13. Focus on the moment. When you're fretting about what other people are saying or thinking, you tend to miss some very important present moments. Conversely, when you truly focus on the present moment, you tend not to worry about what will come later--including judgment. Accept yourself for who you are and be present in the moment.
14. Find a role model. Look to someone whose self-respect you admire to help point you toward your own. A guide can help dispel your lack of confidence and help you envision your best future.
15. Life's is too short. The bottom line is we truly have this one life and life is short. Do you really want to spend even a few precious moments of that time worrying what other people think? To live a life where others tell you what you want? Or should you decide for yourself who we are and what you want and how you plan to go out and get it?
You must make a conscious effort to let go what other people think. It's a skill that needs to be practiced, like meditating. But once you truly understand how to let go, you will see the world as entirely different.
People will love you, people will hate you, and none of it will have anything to do with you. Make your choices and live by those decisions, taking full responsibility for what you do and how you do it. When you do, you'll gain the self-esteem you need and the power to give yourself what you want, without blaming anyone for your mistakes.