Why Do You Care What Others’ Think?
Really; Why Do You Care What Others’ Think?
I used to worry so much about what others’ thought that I was paralyzed by fear. I put off doing things I loved because I might look foolish. I rarely tried new things for the same reason. I felt like I was walking in a spotlight, like everyone was watching, judging my every word and movement.
You might imagine the havoc that creates. How can you ever learn new things or improve when you’re terrified of trying because, “Someone might see me mess up…”
When I remember what it was like to live that way, I’m dumbstruck. Seriously, the energy it takes to constantly worry about what others’ think is exhausting! It’s hardly living. It’s like I was a prisoner, shackled in the cell of my fear!
Maybe you can relate to how that feels, maybe you can’t. I hope you can’t honestly because life is too short to let fear of people’s opinions rule you.
Here’s an example of how I used to let fear of others’ opinions control me:
About 10 years ago I was working out almost every day. I’d go to the gym in the morning and exercise for two hours and then go to work. I was in great shape and I loved my time in the gym. For over a year I was a regular.
Then I missed a few days because of a family vacation. No big deal, right? Just get my butt back in the gym as soon as the vacation was over.
That’s the logical thing to do. Is that what I did?
Not so much.
I’d only missed five days, less than a week… I got up, got my things together, and drove to the gym. But when I got there, waves of fear and anxiety washed over me. I gripped the door handle in my car. But I couldn’t bring myself to open it. I wanted to, desperately. But the voices in my head were louder than my desire to workout.
I knew that my friends would think I was a fool for missing my workouts over the past few days.
I knew I’d let them down.
I knew I’d failed at my goal to get in the best shape of my life.
I knew they’d talk behind my back about my lack of dedication, that they’d point and jeer when I wasn’t looking…
After about 30 minutes sitting there, I tucked tail and drove to the office, defeated.
After that it became easier to miss my workouts. I was in a self-defeating cycle. I wouldn’t go to the gym because I feared others’ opinions. Each day I missed at the gym strengthened my fear of what they thought. You certainly understand the problem with this pattern. Soon I’d rationalized that I didn’t want to work out at the gym anyway. And because we moved before I learned to overcome my fear of what others’ thought, I never set foot in that gym again. In fact, I stopped working out for a few years after that and ended up in the worst physical shape of my life, which I overcame later—but that’s another story for another time.
I eventually overcame my fear of, what others’ thought, and learned some valuable lessons:
- People’s opinions are their own. They have more to do with them than you (or me).
- People are rarely watching us, judging our every action. And even if they are, So What? Who Cares What They Think!
- You only control your actions. What other’s think is outside your control. So do what you know is right because its right and let others worry about themselves.
- Relax your rules about being perfect. If you miss a day, or two, or ten doing something you want to do, then just stop the slide and take action. Get back in your routine as quickly as possible. Face it, life happens. Sometimes things are going to get in the way of what you want to do. Accept that up front and it’s easier to navigate through distractions and obstacles.
- Every time you take action in the face of fear, the actions get easier. In time you forget that you were ever afraid.
Hopefully you’ve never experienced this type of fear personally. But if you have, that’s okay. You can get past it.
Start by asking yourself the following question…
What would happen if I stopped being afraid of that?
Then break the thing you want to do into the smallest possible step And Do That Step Now!
Keep repeating this process and you’ll soon discover your fear has vanished and you’re taking action on your dreams!
You Are The Master of Your Destiny!
Copyright © 2013 Roland Byrd — All Rights Reserved