How I Stopped Caring About What Other People Think (How You Can Too)
Today, I want to dive into how it is I stopped caring about what other people think. You may not know this, but I actually used to be incredibly insecure, I used to really, really worry about what others thought of me. And it used to stop me from doing a lot of the things that I wanted to do in my life. It used to stop me from really being the person that I wanted to be. But through my own personal development journey, I have come to really find some tools and some strategies that have helped me to stop caring what other people think, which has inevitably helped me achieve more of what I want in life.
Recently, I sat down and asked my Instagram audience what the number one thing stopping you from feeling confident was and so many of the responses were centred around, a fear of judgment and fear of what others would think. Honestly, it just breaks my heart that so many of you out there aren’t taking the action necessary to achieve your goals because you’re afraid of what others might think of you. So today, I hope to impart some of my wisdom around this topic.
So before I get into my actual tips around how to stop caring what other people think I wanted to share my story with you a little bit because I think a lot of people have the misconception that I’ve always been this super confident person. And whilst yes, I’ve always had a side of me that is incredibly outwardly confident, what you may not realize is that before I started my personal development journey, specifically, when I was in my early 20s, I actually struggled massively with self-confidence and self-worth.
You know, I used to have a lot of friends, I used to really put myself out there a lot and meet new people. But the reality is that, in so many of my friendship situations, I felt like I was surrounded by people, but nobody really knew me. I never really was able to show who I was fully because I was just so concerned with my personal image. I tried to act way cooler than I thought I was or I tried to act more badass or whatever it may be. But I really did just try to act differently than who I actually was. I never really felt comfortable being myself in so many of these situations because I was so worried that people were going to judge me. And of course, when you act like somebody else, when you stop yourself from being who you truly are, from being excited about the things you’re truly excited about and from wanting to go after the things you truly want to go after, it becomes exhausting.
And for so long, I was so unhappy with who I was being because I knew that I wasn’t being my true authentic self. But the reality is, I started blaming all of these people around me, I started thinking that maybe these people aren’t good people, when in reality, the only person that truly needed to change was me. I needed to change the perception that I had of myself, I needed to use the tips that I’m going to share with you today to finally start loving myself. That was the way that I truly was able to stop caring what everybody else thought and finally start taking action towards my dreams.
So wherever you are right now, if you’re someone who’s just riddled with self-doubt and fear of rejection, please do know that even the most confident people that you follow online probably have some type of past with feeling exactly the same way that you’re feeling right now. And so hopefully that gives you some hope that you too can change it to start living a more authentic life and to start going for the things you truly want out of it.
1. FOCUS ON MAKING YOURSELF PROUD
Here’s the thing, I think where a lot of people get tripped up with this is they try to make themselves feel accomplished. They say to themselves, you know, I’m not going to care about what other people think when I have this or I achieve that or I do this. That’s such a trap. Goals and accomplishments and status, they’re always an ever-moving target.
Instead, I tried to really work on my sense of self-worth through the feeling of pride, feeling proud of myself for the person that I am, rather than all of the things that I have achieved.
I really got connected with my values. What’s important to me in life.Things like connection, fun, freedom, simplicity, contribution. And then I tried to align myself with these things: Am I being a good friend? Am I being a good family member? Am I making my life as simple as possible? When I truly started living in alignment with these values, I started to feel proud of myself.
When I started going for things in life, when I started working towards my goals and visions, whether or not I achieved anything or not, I felt proud of myself.
When I started challenging myself to do the things that I was most afraid of (like motorbike riding), and I started different hobbies, I felt proud of myself.
Pride doesn’t necessarily need to be contingent on an outcome and so you can feel proud of yourself, even just for trying something. The more proud I actually felt of myself, the less I actually cared what other people thought because I got truly connected with my own opinion. And when I got connected with my own opinion I realized that, at the end of the day, its the only one that truly matters. Other people’s opinions just didn’t have the same weight as they did before.
When you’re constantly seeking outward validation, and that outward validation means more to you than your own, you’re always going to care what other people think. And you’re always going to stop yourself from taking action. But when you can feel proud of yourself, and you can validate yourself through that pride, it’s a lot easier to just keep moving forward.
2. EVERYBODY IS STRUGGLING
The reality is everybody is on their own path and everybody is on their own journey, so most people are thinking about themselves.
We’re out there in the world thinking “I can’t go live on Instagram”, “I can’t start this business”, “I can’t try this hobby” because we’re so worried about what everybody else is going to think. But the reality is and the research shows that most people are thinking about themselves. So what you’ve got to do is put yourself in other people’s shoes.
I know a lot of people are afraid to do things by themselves, for example, or they’re afraid to try new hobbies because of the way that they look.
You’re not out in the world, judging other people for being out by themselves or something that they are wearing or something new that they’re trying, and they aren’t judging you either. When you can truly understand that people aren’t as focused on us as you think they are, you can free yourself from feeling like the focus is on you.
3. FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF
Falling in love with yourself is one of the best things that you can do. Not just because you have fear around judgment and caring what other people think, but it will just seep into every area of your life.
The way that I see it when you fall in love with someone and you know, you’re so just enamoured by them, you just adore them and you just want to spend all of your time with them…Well, that’s how it gets to be with yourself. But the reality is, when you’re in love with someone and when you truly admire someone, all of their negative qualities, all of the qualities that may be judged by others, you just don’t care about. If they try something and fail, you still adore them. If they make a mistake, you still adore them. You probably adore them more for going out there and being brave enough to try that thing. You’re not going to judge them because you love them and you adore them. That is the point that you need to get to with yourself. You need to do the self-love practices.
I know for a lot of you that might not have a great relationship with yourself, being inspired by yourself is something that seems like light-years away, but I promise you, you can get to that point. I really didn’t have a great relationship with myself, I used to be so incredibly judgmental of myself. I used to judge myself for everything, everything that I thought, everything that I wanted, I used to be so mean to myself, in my own mind.
If you want to not care about what other people think, your journey to self-love is one of the most important things that you can do for that.
But also, in addition, I do have a book recommendation that really helped me: it is called Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given. It is one of those books that is just like the Bible for self-love, and also the Bible for not caring about what other people think. So definitely go check that one out.
4. HAVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHO LOVE YOU
You have to have people around you that you know are gonna love you no matter what. The reality is that the fear of rejection is a very intuitively primal thing. You know, way back when we were in the hunter-gatherer stages, if we got rejected, or if we weren’t accepted, then that could have been a matter of life or death. And so it is very intuitive to us to worry about what other people think. But the reality is, we just don’t have the same kind of dangers these days. Going live on Instagram, starting a YouTube channel, starting a business, no matter the outcome, are matters of life or death. And yet, we still treat it in that same way.
The only reason I’m so comfortable with opening myself up to criticism and judgment is that I know that I have a solid group of people in my life, my bunker buddies if you will. I have this solid group of people in my life that I know are gonna love me and care for me, no matter how weird I am. The reality is, we really don’t need anyone to survive but I think that we all have this deep desire for connection. And so knowing that no matter what you do, there is still going to be this tight-knit group of people, whether they be friends, or family or loved ones, you know, we choose the people that we connect with within our lives. When you have those people in your life, it’s a lot easier to stop caring what all of the other people think.
And then when it comes to stop caring about what that close-knit group of people think that work is on you. And that comes down to self-love, realizing that they’re thinking about themselves just as much as you are thinking about you and getting yourself to the point where you feel proud of yourself, so whatever anybody else is thinking is none of your business and it shouldn’t really matter.
REMEMBER, IT’S A PROCESS
This is definitely a process. The more that you actually put yourself out there and the more that you realize and prove to yourself that it’s not as bad as you thought it was going to be, the better it is, in the long run.
Before you start anything new, of course, you are going to have a lot of fear, particularly fear of rejection and fear of what other people think. But the more you do something, like with anything, the easier It becomes.
You really have to just go out there and fall in love with yourself. Be proud of yourself, realize that other people aren’t so focused on you because they’re focused on themselves. And be sure to surround yourself with that tight knit group of people that love you.
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