Worrying What Other People Think
By Stephanie McPhail, MS
Do you ever feel self-conscious?
Do you ever feel awkward or uncomfortable in social situations, especially around people you don’t know well?
Are you ever hurt by the criticism of others, even when it’s constructive?
Do you ever find yourself in relationships where you feel like you can’t be yourself?
Do you only feel valuable and worthy when other people praise you?
I used to be there for a long time myself. I used to get bullied and picked on for being different. It got to the point that I was always so worried about what other people thought, I eventually lost myself. I became so tied up trying to be what I thought other people wanted me to be that I lost sight of who I was at a deep level.
If any of this sounds familiar, I want to share some important insight I gained in my process of emotional healing and growth. Once I understood these principles and more importantly integrated them into my personality, I had access to much more happiness and peace of mind.
I think we’d all agree we can’t have too much of those things!
As I mentioned, one of the reasons we worry about what other people think is that we base our self-worth and value as a person on whether or not we meet others’ expectations.
It’s understandable, because on some level we crave the attention, appreciation and love we get from others when we speak and act in ways that they like.
There are two problems with this – either we suffer when our words and actions don’t get these positive reactions from others, or we experience the constant stress of trying to keep up with what others want and expect from us, and the strain of not being our authentic selves.
So here are a few points to consider:
1. Someone once told me “opinions are like a**holes – everyone’s got them, and they all stink!” It’s important to remember that opinions are not facts. They are simply a reflection of the individual’s preferences and biases, the filters through which they process the world. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but in no way does that mean you have to adopt them as your own.
2. Criticism from other people generally reflects a subconscious sense of lack within themselves. After all, in most cases if a person has emotional intelligence and healthy self-esteem, they can allow others to live their lives how they choose whether they agree or not, and gain nothing from being critical of others.
3. The only person’s opinion about you that matters is YOUR OWN. Now let me be clear – we all have work to do, nobody’s perfect. But that doesn’t mean you have to have a negative opinion of yourself (or an arrogant one). The choices you’ve made in the past do not have to determine the choices you make now and in the future. You can decide to do the best you know how – then when you know better, you can do better. Harsh self-judgment is not helpful, but noticing whether your habits of thinking and acting are aligned with the higher virtues of self-
acceptance and love is.
So the lesson here is to pay more attention to simply being a little better today than you were yesterday, based on YOUR OWN standards, not anyone else’s. You can accept yourself as you are, while embracing your purpose in becoming all that you can be.
When you become free of the so-called “good opinions of other people”, you can experience a level of joy and personal freedom that is priceless.
Emotional intelligence, impulse control and healthy self esteem are valuable assets when it comes to living your best life. Even though we suffered with low self-esteem for years, my husband David and I discovered a way to reprogram the subconscious mind to support healthy self esteem literally in a matter of minutes, just like editing a Word document.
The value of peace of mind and deep self-acceptance that comes from healthy self-esteem cannot be overstated. It affects every area of our lives. The degree to which we fundamentally view ourselves as worthy, deserving and capable is the extent we access our power to create a life of balance and expansion into our full potential as human beings.
Stephanie and her husband David have created a free training where you’ll discover the simple 3-step system any professional woman can use to stop people-pleasing and attract their perfect love relationship. You can sign up here: https://www.go.beinglovedshouldnthurt.com