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

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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

More by this author

Nathan Adlam

Professional Boss

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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