Why do we worry so much about what others think of us?

Photo by Andrew Nicholson

Now there’s a question – why do we worry so much about what others think of us? Have you ever really thought about this? Realistically, how logical is it to do so?

If you were to walk into a room of 20 people, they would all have a different perception of you. Which one would you choose to define who you are? Your own, or randomly any one of the 20? And if you did choose one of the 20, would it be a positive one, or a negative one that you’d choose?

Ultimately, would you really give away so much of your energy as to allow someone else’s perception of you to become more important than your own? I guess they must know you better than you know yourself, right? Of course not.

Logically it makes no sense whatsoever to spend your life worrying about what others think about you. The truth is that most people are not thinking about you anywhere near as much you think they are. I remember some years ago a very wise lady telling me that when we’re in our 20’s, we spend all our time worrying about what others are thinking of us. When we reach our 40’s, we stop worrying about it so much and fall more in love with who we are. Then, when we reach our 60’s, we realise that no one has been thinking about us the whole time, because they’ve all been worrying about what everyone else is thinking about them.

Oh how cruel life can be…

And here’s the biggest piece of this jigsaw; an individual can only make judgements according to what’s happening inside THEMSELVES.

The judgements you make about another individual define who you are, not who they are. For instance, would you agree that on good days you have nicer things to say about those around you, whilst on bad days you generally find yourself judging others more?  This applies to the whole of humanity – we can only give what we have inside of us. Perception really is all in the eyes and heart of the beholder.

So when you put these things together, you begin to see that people judge according to their own soul. So say for instance you’re in a relationship and your partner tells you that you’re worthless? Does this mean that you actually are, or does it mean that their perception of you is simply a reflection of who they are inside?

And yet, imagine instead choosing to believe that you are indeed worthless, and then making your next partner pay for it by having to work twice as hard to make you believe that you’re not. An exhausting game, which may ultimately mean that they’ll choose to leave the relationship, which will… yes, you’ve guessed it… re-inforce your belief that you’re worthless. And the only reason they’ve left, is because you THINK you’re worthless, NOT because you are. And all because someone who does actually feel worthless chose to project their stuff onto you in your last relationship, and you chose to accept it.

And this is how we create our lives.

But here’s the thing. Would you agree that if you shifted all your self-limitations, and your awareness and understanding of others’ behaviour, whilst connecting with your own strengths and purpose, that you would significantly change your life, relationships and how you show up in the world?

Yes, of course you would… there is little doubt about that.

Because the life you create CAN be a very beautiful picture indeed, when you embrace and apply full self-awareness. Everything changes… absolutely everything.

You see, there are always, always going to be people out there who want to judge others. If you want to spend your life trying to be liked by all of them, then you’ll never achieve your dreams, simply because you’ll have no energy or time left to do anything else. You will also probably become a master at acting, because you’ll be a different person for each of them.

This comes at huge expense: that of discovering yourself and living a life which is authentically true to you.

Your job is to let them be who they are, and to simply focus upon being the very best of who you are.

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