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11 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Stop Caring What Other People Think

11 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Stop Caring What Other People Think

Where would you be if you learned how to stop caring what other people think?

Would you be fulfilling your childhood dream of being a garbage man?

Would you be traveling the globe, helping out those in need?

Would you become a rapper?

As humans, we have a primal need to fit in. In order to be initiated into the tribe, we try to come across as “normal” people. We often express ourselves conservatively, in order to not come across as weird or awkward.

The truth is everyone is normal (average) until you really get to know them. Owning your actions and making yourself vulnerable in front of others can be incredibly difficult at times but in the end it is healthier for you and for those around you. Here are 12 reasons why you should stop caring what other people think.

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1. You use less energy filtering your words and actions, and expend more energy on creating relationships

If interacting with others is like driving a car, then filtering your words and actions is like putting speed bumps all over your highway of interaction. The more speed bumps you have, the slower you have to go to avoid losing control of your car. It becomes incredibly difficult to gain momentum, and takes a long time to reach your final destination (making an emotional connection and mutually benefiting each other). Isn’t that why we interact with people?

The more you filter yourself, the less people will truly get to know you. You might be a Mercedes Benz in your head, but as you constantly filter yourself, you’re going to come across as an old, beat-up Ford Pinto.

2. You become much more attractive

There is something inherently attractive about someone who doesn’t care what other people think. I’m not saying that more people will like you; there is a difference between being likeable and being attractive. Having an indifferent, carefree attitude is refreshing and contagious, and is a great way to help others break out of their “autopilot”.

Think of it this way. If you’re confident and don’t care what others think, people are going to want to be noticed by you, not use you to feel better about themselves.

3. You attract people that are good for you, and eliminate the ones that aren’t

Having a mindset of not caring what others think is a self-weeding garden. The people that appreciate your opinions and enjoy your company will stick with you, while the people that don’t like you will stay away from you.

The feeling of being well-liked is great, but having too many “friends” can be stressful and difficult to manage. You have to ask yourself if you want a wide array of shallow relationships with acquaintances, or a more concentrated group of deep and meaningful friendships.

4. You don’t feel obligated to change yourself for people

You don’t have to wear a ton of hats for all your different social situations. Trying to fit into a variety of groups can be exhausting, and is not a worthwhile endeavor. It is healthier and less stressful to simply be respected for being who you want to be.

5. You please yourself instead of trying to please everyone

Who are you really living for? It’s not selfish to please yourself at times, because after all, you are at the center of your own universe. Doing things for others is a great way to boost your self-esteem, but you have to ask yourself: am I getting what I want out of life?

6. You feel free

When was the last time you truly felt free as a bird? Free from the fear of failure? Free from the bondage to a life chosen for you by others? Free from social constructs that prevent you from doing what you want to do?

Not caring what other people think is a great first step on your way to this nirvana.

7. You start enjoying interactions more

It is easiest to get the most out of interactions with others when you are outcome-independent. When you aren’t trying to convince others that you are a really cool person or trying to sway their opinion on something, you can spend time basking in the beauty of a mentally-stimulating interaction.

When you genuinely don’t care whether someone likes you or not, it is easiest to be yourself and paradoxically this makes it easier to connect with people!

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8. You rely more on yourself for happiness, not others

When you look inward to gain happiness as opposed to judging your own value based on others, it is significantly easier to obtain a sustainable happiness that stays with you, regardless of how other people’s lives affect you. Other people’s happiness comes and goes, and it is not healthy to rely on others when trying to maximize your own happiness.

9. People will feel more comfortable around you

Living with an intense fear of social judgement can lead some people to a shy demeanor that severely limits their social contributions. Being more of a quiet type is not a negative thing, but it can cause some apprehension at times.

According to recent studies, we have about 50000 thoughts per day. If you don’t share any of these thoughts, people can get nervous. If you never share anything, how do they know you aren’t an ax murderer? How do they know you don’t run science experiments on small animals in your free time?

These examples are a bit extreme, but the fact is you feel more comfortable around people that you know and understand. When you live silently, you may know that you aren’t a crazy person, but others may be left with an uncomfortable apprehension about you.

10. You subconsciously allow other people to stop caring what other people think

Emotional contagion is a powerful tool.

When you have the mindset of not caring what other people think, it is easy for that mindset to become contagious and be adopted by others. When people know that they aren’t being silently judged, they can feel more comfortable in their own skin, and they anchor that feeling to the person who allows them to obtain that feeling – You.

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11. You can fall in love

One of the greatest ways to bond with members of the opposite sex is to so show not only confidence, but vulnerability. A 1997 study on love at Stony Brook University found that: “Escalating reciprocal self-disclosure under conditions of mutual vulnerability can have rapid, dramatic, long term romantic consequences.”

In other words: when you share and escalate embarrassing stories/details about your life to a member of the opposite sex, you can actually fall in love. By sharing intimate details about yourself, you show that you don’t fear their judgement and are not overly concerned with their opinion of you, which is an incredibly attractive trait.

It is important to note that not caring what other people think is NOT the same thing as being selfish or self-centered. It’s about being self-confident and owning yourself, and not fearing the social judgement of others.

As soon as you realize that people’s judgements of you are not going to harm you, it is much easier to feel free and become your best self.

Featured photo credit: Anton Petukhov via flickr.com

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Nathan Adlam

Professional Boss

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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