Many of us struggle with the desire to want to be liked and accepted by everyone. Unfortunately, this causes us to spend too much time and energy worrying about what others may think. Why worry about what you assume others maybe thinking about you? Seems like unnecessary mental gymnastics if you ask me. These thoughts that we develop, may they be true or not, make us feel unworthy and remove our attention from what really matters, the present moment.
What I’m about to suggest to help you maintain healthy and happy relationships with yourself and others, may seem easier said than done. I assure you that by following these steps you will become more confident in the way you interact with others. I’ve used them myself to help me overcome my own insecurities. Finally, I have learned to trust and accept myself regardless if others do or not. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, and impossible too.
Okay, first things first, just like anything else in order to break the cycle you need to determine where the energy is coming from. It’s the norm for our culture to belong. Right from the beginning, we are conditioned to act a certain way and you’ll be liked better, dress a certain way and you will be liked better, purchase certain products and you will be liked better, and follow certain beliefs and you will be liked better. Now, with social media in the forefront, the popularity contest is in overhaul. With social media, you are judged based off of how many “friends” you have, and how much they “like” you, and it’s all on public display.
Not only that, it has become a job managing the real and the online relationships in order to ensure that those people continue to like and accept us. Most people spend a majority of their lives believing that a certain set of actions is what brings acceptance. Here’s a secret, there is not a specific formula of actions that will make people like you any more. Release yourself from this social conditioning!
What this all boils down to is the fact that you care too much about what other people think about you, something that you have absolutely no control over. I will say it again, you have NO CONTROL over what other people say, do, or think about you. Even if you go above and beyond, or if you completely stumble over every word, it doesn’t matter because you can’t control what other people think or how they will respond. The same goes for them, they don’t have control over how you will respond, right? Repeat after me, “What other people say, or think about me is none of my business!”
This concern for control over people’s thoughts and opinions comes from a place of ego. Honestly, what others think about you is none of your business! Think about it, would you want them knowing everything that comes to your mind about things they do. There is no room to be hypocritical here. Take a moment, and think about this. Repeat again, “What other people say, or think about me is none of my business!” How does this make you feel? You might have some resistance at first, that’s your ego. This is normal.
So now that you’ve freed up some time, by letting go of your ego, lets starts living in the NOW and experience your authenticity. Living in the NOW also breaks that cycle that we were, oh so well conditioned to perform. You no longer have to act a certain way to be liked better, dress a certain way to be liked better, purchase certain products to be liked better, and follow certain beliefs to be liked better. You will discover that true acceptance comes within. So instead of putting so much value in what someone might have said about you, pause…breath…and say after me “What other people say, or think about me is none of my business!” Had more power that time, didn’t it? Now take that energy and direct it towards something positive, such as doing what you love! If you don’t know what that might be, take this time to figure it out. Try a new activity, play music, create something, or just frolic outside. By spending more time doing what YOU love, and less time worrying about what other people may think, you will notice how happy and free you feel.
Now I’m going to throw in a twist. By living from a place of genuine love and acceptance, you will discover that what other people do, say, and think about you actually has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with them. And here’s the beautiful part, if you don’t like what they have to say, you have the freedom to walk away knowing that you are being true to yourself! Isn’t self-acceptance wonderful?
By regularly practicing self-love and acceptance, you release attachment to outcomes that you have NO CONTROL over, and you are able to maintain happy and healthy relationships. Many people meditate, do yoga, eat healthfully, or spend time in nature. Whatever you do, make sure that it’s something that you truly love to do, and that reminds you of how much you love yourself. By feeling more self-love and acceptance, it acts like a magnet and you will bring more of that positive energy into your life.
Remember, this isn’t something that happens overnight, so be kind and forgive yourself if you fall back into worrying about what others are thinking. I remember it took me a while to let go of what others thought, because it’s like breaking any bad habit, you go back because it’s what you know. One thing that helped me break the cycle was reminding myself that those people, just like myself, are on the same journey of healing and growth, and their attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts are personal to them…and none of my business!
If you would like to learn more ways to stop worrying about what others think and finding your authentic self, contact the Inner Door Center at 248-336-2868 for more information on our treatment programs or visit www.innerdoorcenter.com