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6 Steps to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You

6 Steps to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You

I remember when I was very concerned about what other people thought of me, and how devastating it was if I discovered that I was misunderstood and labeled incorrectly. It was debilitating, consuming and completely unnecessary.

If you find yourself worrying about what other people think of you, here is a plan to let go of that mental torture and adopt a more empowering (and freeing) perspective.

1.  Notice When The Worry Sets In

Chances are you don’t worry about what everyone thinks of you all of the time.

  • What’s going on in the times you begin to obsess over someone else’s opinion of you?
  • Who are the people who trigger the worry?
  • What power do they have over you? Is it real?

By being aware of when you worry, and over whom, you can start to see the impact it has on your peace of mind and ability to focus.

2.  Identify and Understand Why You Care

What makes what other people think of you so important?

Chances are, if other people’s opinion of you causes you to worry, you have a tendency to people-please. Being liked and favored has likely been a winning formula for you in the past.

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There are advantages to having someone’s high regard but if it doesn’t come naturally, by just being you, you are also paying a high price for their esteem. There will be a tendency to shuffle issues under the carpet and tolerate things that don’t work for you.

Understanding why you care will allow you to investigate if this is a formula you want to continue to employ and to what degree. You’ll have an ability to make a choice rather than fall into the same old patterns that may no longer serve you or your higher good.

3.  Understand you can’t control what other people think of you

Worry is a response to feeling out of control. The reality is you cannot control what another person thinks of you. There are too many variables at play.

What most people don’t understand is that we often form opinions of others based on associations we’ve had in the past.

I’m a coach. When I first meet people, if they have met other coaches, they are going to view and assess me through the filter of their prior experiences of coaches. I’m aware of this, and I accept it knowing that the more time they spend with me the more opportunities there will be for them to alter their opinion.

If they don’t spend more time with me, well, what do I care about their opinion anyway?

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And bottom line, it’s none of our business what other people think of us. That’s their private life.

What I’m concerned about is how they treat me. If I’m treated professionally and appropriately, then any negative opinion is, again, none of my business. If I’m not treated well then it is my responsibility to address it. Until then…

4.  Direct Your Energy to Positive Things
Focus on positive things

    People can sense when it’s important to you to be liked. This makes you appear to be trying too hard, insincere, and needy. In essence, you are working against your goal to have good relationships.

    Take the pressure off and focus on things that you are interested in that bring you joy or that come naturally to you. This will not only distract you from your worry, which is a waste of your time and energy, it will also start to attract the people who are interested in what you are interested in.

    When you are surrounded by people who share your interests and values you can let your guard down and enjoy the time you spend with them. Being your natural self becomes easy and effortless and you are less concerned about what other people think of you.

    5.  Practice Daily Self-Love and Acceptance

    Worrying about what other people think of us and people-pleasing stems from a notion that we are not as worthy as another person, our needs and wants are not as important as theirs. This perspective is the root of the problem but it’s just a perspective and can be changed.

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    Start your day recognizing you are equal to every other person on this planet. There is no one above or below you. We all have different roles but that does not make anyone more valuable as a human being.

    Come up with statements that affirm this truth. I have a friend who repeats to herself, “I have every right to be in this room. I have experience and a perspective that no one else has.” This statement allowed her to get over her nervousness when meeting with CEO’s and high-powered attorneys.

    What is your truth?

    6.  Live a Life that Pleases YOU

    Face it, if you worry about what other people think of you, your life becomes about their opinion and you will start to live in a way that is incongruent with the real you. This creates tremendous stress and will impact your relationships, your health, and your peace of mind.

    If you must worry, worry about your opinion of yourself. How can you hold yourself in higher esteem?

    What is the life you want to be living that will bring you the most joy?

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    In Conclusion…

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, or held in high regard. Building relationships and forming partnerships are essential to your success.

    If you stay true to your values and do your own thing, you will not need to be concerned with the few people who just don’t seem to get you. You can live your fulfilling life and they can live theirs.

    What other recomendations would you make to overcome worrying about what other people think of you? Add them to the comments below. I’m sure the community would appreciate any tips or suggestions.

    Featured photo credit: middle-aged-businesswoman-having-headache.jpg / Michael Jung via veer.com

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    Last Updated on September 30, 2020

    How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

    How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

    Learning how to live a stress free life may seem impossible, but the truth is that there are specific things you can do to begin eliminating sources of stress.

    No, it doesn’t look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesn’t look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your life—but without any self-created stress triggers.

    Here are 11 ways to help you live a stress-free life:

    1. Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Haven’t Happened

    The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. It’s easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.

    First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it won’t surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.

    If that’s really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.

    Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?

    If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.

    2. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems

    The whole advantage of other people having problems is that they aren’t your problems. When you frequently take on other people’s problems, you get into the habit of enabling.

    Let’s get crystal clear about the definition of enabling: enabling is the art of continuing to take responsibility for other people, thereby disallowing their personal responsibility[1].

    It is of no service to other people to take on their problems because they can’t/won’t/don’t know how to fix the problem.

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    It is of service to empower others to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, to encourage, teach, and motivate others to address their own problems. So stop enabling, and start empowering.

    3. Get Present in the Moment

    Being present in the moment involves being in your body and feeling your feelings—two things that lots of folks actually don’t know how to do.

    Ask yourself these two questions: What does fear feel like in your body? What are you afraid of?

    If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you probably aren’t present in the moment. Being present involves vulnerability, humility, and openness[2].

    How to live a stress free life by being present

      The past and the future stop being so relevant and intriguing when you’re able to get in your body and feel your feelings. When you can do these two things, you actually want to be in the present moment.

      To get started, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and watch your stress levels drop. Then, try these tips: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

      4. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t

      The easiest way to stop focusing on what you don’t have is by not watching TV commercials. Marketing teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and advertising campaigns spend millions of dollars convincing us that we must have what we don’t yet have.

      Can you think of a marketing campaign that teaches you to enjoy what you already have without buying something to enhance it? Odds are you can’t.

      In a world dictated by Super Bowl commercials and Facebook ads, it takes stalwart focus to recognize what you have more than what you don’t. If you want a stress-free life now, get stalwart, and stop letting other people dictate your focus.

      In order to do this, try cultivating a gratitude practice to help refocus your mind toward what is good in your life. You can get started with this guide.

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      5. Stop Surrounding Yourself With People Who Don’t Make You Happy

      Honestly, what kind of people do you really like to be around with? People who get you, who see you clearly, who accept your flaws and all; people you can be yourself with; people who have shared interests?

      How many of those people are in your life? What characteristics do all of the other people in your life have?

      If you find that the people in your life aren’t adding anything positive, it may be time to make some changes. If you find that other relationships you have are downright toxic, start working to cut out those relationships immediately.

      6. Find a Job That Makes You Feel Good

      You don’t have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a week—or 2,000 to 4,000 hours a year—working. That is a significant investment!

      If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something (or someone) that wasn’t going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You won’t be stress-free unless you don’t learn this[3].

      Here’re 11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job.

      7. Only Take on What You Can Handle

      Busyness is an addiction. Slowing down can actually be terrifying because it causes you to notice that you have feelings that you now have time to feel.

      I get it.

      By the time I slowed down, I had decades of busyness under my belt. I went into a tailspin depression because I didn’t understand how to be in the right relationship with my own emotions.

      When I finally figured out that feelings are just feelings and allowing them to express themselves is healthy and natural, I stopped experiencing withdrawal from my addiction to busyness and started figuring out the pace of life that felt best for me.

      Remarkably, I discovered that I don’t actually like being busy. What will you discover about yourself?

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      8. Let Go of Grudges and Anger

      For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!

      No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.

      One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably haven’t been affected at all.

      Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.

      Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

      9. Stop Reliving Your Past

      To live a stress-free life, you have to stop reliving your past. I know it seems like fun to compare everything in your present to your past, and to experience the present through past-colored glasses, but it actually isn’t.

      When you wear past-colored glasses, you can’t truly experience the present for what it is. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets compared to a list of expectations and failed relationships rather than recognized for the unique blessing they are in your life.

      Your boss gets compared to all the bosses who came before her/him. Your friends’ ability to parent gets compared to your parents’ ability to parent.

      People, including you, deserve to stand on their own past-free merit.

      10. Don’t Complain About Things You Can’t Change

      There are always going to be people elected into office whom you don’t like, taxes that you don’t want to pay, idiot drivers who refuse to move out of the left-hand lane, and a person ahead of you in the check-out line who won’t stop chatting with the clerk.

      The great benefit of being human is that we get to experience all of what life offers us. To live stress-free is to learn to deal with this fact.

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      Dwelling on your frustration with something that can’t be changed doesn’t do anything other than drag you down. You are the only person who will ultimately decide how to respond to what is.

      11. Stop Living Through Other People’s Lives

      Someone else’s life is not your life. Your life is your life.

      What that means is you get to live your life in the way you want. You get to make ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person.

      Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.

      Stop living through social media, trying to soak in all of the experiences everyone else is having. Focus, instead, on what it feels like to be you in this moment. You may find you like it.

      Final Thoughts

      An astounding thing happens when you reduce stress and anxiety, get into a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, and just be yourself without judgment.

      Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You begin to live in each moment, and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.

      You move fluidly, steadily, calmly, and gratefully. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born through improved mental health. And this is how you live a stress-free life.

      More Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

      Featured photo credit: Drew Coffman via unsplash.com

      Reference

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