By Kristen Brown – Certified Empowerment Coach/Mentor, Kelsey Shane – MA, LPC, Chris Adams Hill – LCSW
“What other people think of me is none of my business.”
~ Wayne Dyer
Seeking others’ approval is a plague on the planet and unfortunately something that continually leads us to repressing our authentic nature and living mediocre or unfulfilled lives.
We worry so much about how others are going to perceive us, that we play small, fly under the radar, and definitely, definitely, do not push any limits.
You see, the way we have historically showed up in the world is a conglomeration of all the judgments and condemnation we experienced as children up into our adult years.
We believed the words spoken over us and have made others the authority of what is right and true. We then replay the words we heard and consider them truth thus, attaching a certain negating energy to our lives.
The problem with this is we can never manifest our dream life when we are choosing not to be seen. However, we can overcome this paralyzing place by making the marked decision to retrain our minds.
It’s time to take your power back and here is how to do it:
1. Know yourself better than others know you.
With this others cannot convince you of much because you already know in your core who you are and what you believe in.
2. Understand that judgment from others is fear-based.
If they cannot see and celebrate your light, it’s because they cannot see or celebrate their own.
3. You were not designed to play small.
You are a brilliant expression of life! You came to this world with innate gifts and talents that could help heal the world. Every person on this planet has purpose. Know your worth! We need you!
4. It’s not personal.
What others do and say is an expression of their inner knots. No matter what, someone is going to turn their nose up at you and it’s not because you suck, it’s because you shine!
5. Always do the best you can.
When we do our very best, there can be no argument. I did the best I knew how at the time. The end.
6. Stop judging yourself.
When we love and accept ourselves holy and wholly, our entire world softens. It’s not to gain acceptance first then love yourself. It’s love yourself first then gain acceptance!
What we focus on we manifest in our lives. All empowerment work begins within by changing our thinking, patterns and unserving beliefs.
I did it and I know you can too!
Kristen Brown, Certified Empowerment Coach/Mentor – www.kristenbrown.org
In my business, I work almost exclusively with members of the LGBTQ community.
So many of my clients come to me because they are so concerned with what others might think of them or how others might react to them that they find themselves struggling to find happiness and authenticity.
I spend several of my hours, every single week, asking people one simple question: “Who would you be if there was no ‘they’?”
Of all the questions I’ve ever asked my clients, this one seems to be the most valuable.
And I almost always get one of two types of response.
Either the client knows the answer immediately, which in turn instantaneously enables him or her to recognize that the answer to his or her happiness lies within him/herself, and the trick is to just become it, or the answer is a long pause followed by a “I’ve never thought about it”.
It is these clients that truly break my heart.
These individuals have been so caught up in worry about what they THINK others want them to be, that they have lost all sense of who they actually are.
Who they are, then, becomes a reaction to their perceptions about others.
This enables us to have conversations about what life would look like if we lived off of perceptions.
What happens if I perceive an interaction with a boss as negative, so I quit my job reactively, when in reality my boss was testing me to see if I was up to the task of being promoted?
In this case, my perception, coupled with my reaction to it, led to me quitting a job that I was about to be promoted in.
There is a saying “what others think about you is none of your business” and this couldn’t be more true.
Others too, base their reality off of perceptions.
Each of our lenses is a reflection of our past combined with our values, belief system, goals, etc.
We are each unique, and to be successful in living a life focused on how to be what you think someone wants you to be to me seems about as easy as holding air.
So the trick is to actually be who you are if there was no “they”, because the only way you can possibly be the best YOU is to actually be you.
Because everyone else is already taken.
Kelsey Shane, MA, LPC – www.lookinsidecounseling.com
There are many reasons we can worry what others think of us, but most of them aren’t helpful. These worries hold us back from being our authentic selves and reaching out to achieve goals or passions.
There are a few things that can help if you want to learn to worry less what others think about you.
1. Build up your self-esteem.
If you feel good about who you are, you are less likely to worry as much about what others think.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, no amount of praise or acceptance from others will increase your self-esteem!
And if you feel good about yourself, being judged, unaccepted, or criticized will hurt, but you will bounce back more quickly, remember how awesome you are, what you’ve overcome and move on!
2. Prune toxic, judgmental or mean individuals out of your inner circle!
You may still have to work with them, see them at gatherings, etc, but you can surround yourself with caring, accepting people who like you just as you are!
Your inner circle of people who have earned your trust and to whom you can speak your mind might start out as one person, but as you work on loving yourself, you will find others who can join this elite group.
3. Stop mind reading.
We all do it! We think we know what someone else is thinking, but that doesn’t mean we’re right.
- If you trust the person, then check it out and ask what they’re thinking. Ask for feedback and let them know why.
- If you don’t trust them then work on noticing your thoughts and fears about the situation.
Coach yourself through the situation as though you were your own best friend.
For example, “If someone thinks badly of me, it doesn’t mean they’re right. It doesn’t mean I should be silent! It may mean we disagree, it may mean they’re being unkind, it may mean they’re trying to feel better about themselves by making me feel worse.”
4. Get input from people you love and trust to see how they deal with these situations.
The vast majority of us have felt this way at one time or another! If you want to feel better, seek out ideas from people you respect and see what helped them. You may find their ideas helpful or they may spark an idea more suited to your situation.
5. Use your voice!
You have a right to speak your truth and be yourself! As you begin speaking up, you will learn that having someone disagree with you doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You will learn about what’s truly important to you and that will guide you in your life.
As you speak up and share your authentic self, you will find others who do the same and cheer you on.
You will find that you are stronger and braver than you ever thought you could be. You might even help someone else who is afraid have the courage to be themselves as well!
Fear doesn’t have to hold you back! You have a right to be yourself, use your voice and build a supportive inner circle who isn’t there to judge you.
Practice these steps and take special care with the first one – building your self-esteem. Loving yourself will free you from the fear that has you withdrawing or behaving like a chameleon.
Chris Adams Hill, LCSW – www.southvalleytherapy.com