You are an amazing, sparkly human being with a wide range of skills and abilities… but I’m sorry to tell you, mind-reading is not among them.
Yet, how many times have you held yourself back from doing something or trying something new because of what somebody in your life will think?
Even worse — a lot of the time, we’re not even worrying about what someone in particular will think, but what some vague, unspecified group of “people” might think. Who, exactly?
Yet, we can feel so sure that there’s all these people ready and waiting to judge us.
Here’s the thing. In the absence of evidence, we are literally making all this up. We are taking our own doubts and insecurities about ourselves (our “inner critic”) and imagining their words in the minds and mouths of other people. Because then, it seems somehow more legitimate: “Oh, it’s not me thinking these nasty things about me, it’s that person.”
So today, let me offer you three ways to short-circuit that thinking. Whenever you find yourself hesitant to do something, or wear something, or try something because of what others will think, remind yourself:
- you actually don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s head or what they’re thinking. It’s you who are making up the mean thoughts and attributing them to others.
- most people are too busy living their own lives to be paying attention to what you’re doing with yours. In reality, they’re thinking about you far less than you think they are.
- even if someone does disapprove of what you’re doing, that’s up to them. As one of my coaches put it, “their opinion of you is none of your business”. It’s not like you can control that anyway.
Let me leave you with a final thought: It could be that there really is someone in your life who regularly shares their disapproval of your life with you. If this is the case, it might be time to consider the value of that relationship. But that’s a topic for a different day.
If you need help learning to worry less about the opinions of other people so that you can express your full, sparkly self, send me a message and I’ll be happy to chat more. (Let’s practice on some of the mean things you actually imagine people thinking about you!)