Today I wanted to talk about something that often stops us from reaching our full potential. What is that? Well, it is constantly worrying about what people think of us.
So on this page I will be discussing how exactly to stop worrying what people think.
Many times we start to do something that we really want to do, but then we hold back on it for fear of people’s opinion.
Or maybe we had begun doing something, let’s say a new hobby like –knitting club. But then the moment someone voices their (negative) opinion about knitting club we cringe inside and wish we weren’t a part of it.
Have you ever noticed that before? Has it ever happened to you?
You are with a group of people, you begin talking about a subject, then your friends start to say how much they dislike something. Then you say that you don’t like the same thing.
Why? Because you do not want to have the ‘odd’ opinion.
Sad isn’t it? Obviously it isn’t always extremely serious. Sometimes all we are talking about is whether we like cheese puffs or not. So if our opinion get’s held back, in favour of what our friends think, it isn’t exactly the end of the world.
But the point is, at times fear of what other people will think just paralyses us. It can stop our growth, our self-expression and hinder our confidence.
If you have that kind of attitude towards everything in life, it could turn out quite disastrous for you.
Many times we actually need other people’s opinion to help us do things right. Constructive criticism and advice is good right?! It just makes us a better version of ourselves.
It is like when we ask our friends if a dress or pair of trousers looks OK on us because we need another viewpoint or a bit of guidance.
But what we should avoid is letting fear of what others think to stop us going for what we love, what could benefit us, what could enrich our lives.
Especially if we plan on doing something like learning a new skill, but we start to shy away when we learn that no-one else is currently into it, or that it could make us appear slightly geeky.
If everyone had the same skill set, things may not be as interesting. But the fact that we have different aptitudes, likes and dislikes, and interests is what keeps things exciting and diverse.
Wondering what others think can also stop us from giving our best performance.
Have you been asked to sing in front of your friends? You may have started to sweat the moment you were asked to do it. Nervousness might have gripped you and shaken you hard, until you could only mutter a weak no.
But is this always because you can’t sing?
Not necessarily. Maybe you have the ‘voice of an angel’ and you actually quite enjoy singing. Then what makes this time different from those daily grand performances in the shower? Fear of what people will think of you. Even if you know you can handle it.
We start to interpret insignificant gestures as disapproval or negative judgement even when it is not.
Perhaps you are on stage. You have spent a great amount of time preparing for a theater production or several hours preparing your act.
But then as you before you begin, you look around.
You scan the audience.
Then you try to think about what it is you were trying to do.
You rack your brain for your opening lines. Or you might know your words, but fear of the audience stops you from giving your all, from performing the way you spent hours preparing.
Why do we let other people’s opinions have so much power and control over us?
The funny thing is, we actually draw more attention to ourselves and more critical opinions when we give less than we should. When we don’t try as hard. Sometimes we forget, that if we do try our best and be ourselves, people will judge and form opinions, but for the right reasons.
The best way to drown outside noise or unnecessary worry is by doing what we need as if no one is watching.
Close your eyes, and do it for yourself.
Dance as if no one is watching, Sing as if no one is watching. Act, speak, perform as if no one is watching.
Improve your skills in private, and build your confidence for the public stage. And then, when you are finally performing in front of hundreds, give it your all, as if you were in your bedroom at home, as if it is just an excellent practice, as if you were alone.
So that is for the performing aspect of this subject. But as we have seen, people’s opinions come up in many different aspects of our lives. So here are a few things I like to go by, that help me stop worrying about what people think in pretty much any situation.
Things to remember to help you stop worrying what people think:
1. We cannot control what people think. So what is the use of worrying about it?
2. People are going to think what they are going to think regardless of what we say and do. Sometimes people just get stuck in their own opinions.
3. Try not to be too focused on yourself. Just because you worry does not mean that there is reason to. More often than not people are too concerned about their state of affairs to be concerned about our lives, anyway.
4. People’s ideas and opinions are not always accurate. And their words are not always a valid thing to completely mold your world around. If someone thinks you are stupid, let them. That’s their judgment.
5. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone does not like your choice of music, is not into reading like you, cannot understand your standards?
Would you really sacrifice the things that build you up and warm your heart just so you can fit in?
Food for thought.
I hope you enjoyed reading my page on how to stop worrying what people think and start achieving...How to dance like no one is watching and not to be afraid to have the ‘odd opinion’.
I’d love you
to share how you maintain your confidence in spite of outside opinions in the comment section below.
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