Do you find yourself constantly doubting your decisions? Are you fretting over other people’s reactions to your actions or opinions?
In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks to help you stop worrying about what people think of you. Learn how to use constructive criticism to your advantage. Then, simply filter out any negative judgment.
This will leave you less anxious and less overwhelmed. As a result, you can stay more focused on yourself and the best ways to achieve your goals.
Let’s get started.
Are People’s Opinions Holding You Back?
Worrying about what others think and feel about you is a normal part of our DNA. We’re programmed to seek others’ approval.
Studies show there’s a reward center that’s activated when we’re given a compliment. Even if you just sense other people’s recognition of your hard work, your brains fire up those same reward centers.
So, we feel good about ourselves when we’re accepted. Yet, we can’t always be accepted and liked by everyone.
Problems start when we start pivoting our lifestyles to fit people’s expectations. We give others power over our lives and how we should live it. Consequently, we lose out on being who we truly are.
After that, things go downhill and can start spiraling out of control. Being stuck in that mind frame can be destructive to you and those around you and your self-esteem can be negatively affected.
How Can I Stop Worrying About What People Think?
Do some serious soul searching. Do you feel that your reality has shifted? Have you started to believe in other people’s version of who you are as opposed to the real you?
If so, it’s time to step up and take some action. You owe it to yourself to share the real you with the world. They don’t know what they’re missing!
We rounded some simple, yet effective, ways to help you break this vicious cycle. Read on to learn more.
1. Focus on What’s Important
Has someone said something unkind about you? Instead of letting it fester, don’t let it go to your head.
Chances are, that person won’t recall what they said in about ten minutes. Plus, what they say reflects who they are as a person. If you think about it, it has very little to do with you.
In other words, their perceptions of you come from them. And you’re not responsible for how they feel or what they think, neither can you change any of it. So, why waste your time fretting over something you have no control over?
Instead, channel that energy into something productive. You can learn a new skill, take up a class, or pick up an old hobby, or do some huff and puff exercise! Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you enjoy.
Below are some things more worthy of your time than worrying about what people think:
- Spend quality time with friends and family
- Smile at the barista serving your coffee or hold the door for someone
- Surround yourself with people who encourage and support you
- Volunteer at a local shelter or food bank
- Take a walk through the park
- Have dinner at that restaurant you’ve been dying to try
2. Highlight Your Accomplishments
We’ve all been through difficult times in our lives; some more than others. At the same time, we’ve all accomplished one thing or another.
It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose or elaborate. It just must mean something to you, like filing your taxes on time or making home-cooked meals for an entire week. Be proud of yourself and all the hard work you put in.
You can even write down these accomplishments and hang them up on your fridge or vanity mirror. Then every time you catch a glimpse of one of your achievements, say to yourself, “I did that!” Say it over and over until your subconscious takes it in.
Another way to boost your confidence is to practice saying encouraging statements. These will help build up your self-esteem and improve the way you view yourself.
Here are a few statements to get you inspired:
- My self-confidence is on the rise.
- I’m worthy of all good things.
- I can’t control what happens, but I can control my reaction to them.
- My ideas are great.
- I’m blessed and appreciative of everyone and everything in my life.
3. Train Yourself to See the Positive
Our brains are wired to see the negative. We complain, we blame others, and we dwell. That needs to stop today!
You can train your thoughts to be more positive. But not in a deluded, naive sort of way; in a healthy, productive way. As a result, you become less anxious and more resilient.
A couple of great books to read to sort your thinking out are:
Change your Thinking, by Sarah Edelman, ABC Book, and
Feeling Good, by David Burns MD, NAL PENGUIN Inc.
If you think more objectively, you get a more positive perspective, especially when it comes to your weaknesses or flaws.
We all have them. Some are just better at acknowledging and improving them than others. Why can’t that be you?
Write down a list of five things that bother you about yourself. Then, set some realistic goals to change them and reward yourself each time you reach one of your set goals.
Make sure you start small and work at your own pace. The point is to feel good about yourself, not overwhelm or burden you. It kind of defeats the purpose. Remember to be consistent in your changes, otherwise the old bad habits will re-appear.
4. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are becoming popular because people are realizing the importance of self-care. These techniques aim at reducing stress levels and improving your overall health. They also teach you the value of savoring the present.
When you focus on your today, you stop worrying about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. These techniques can also help you stop worrying about what people think about you. You may even feel compassion for them.
The great thing about them is that you can do them anywhere. Whenever you start to worry, remind yourself that you could be overreacting. Your colleagues aren’t judging you as harshly as you think they are.
Take a few deep breaths and focus on anything around you: your coffee mug, a cloud, or your nails. Anything that can steer your thoughts to the present moment will do the trick!
Then, lo and behold, you’ll notice that your pulse is slowing down and so is your heart rate. Your anxiety will start to recede, and you’ll realise you don’t care about what people think as much anymore.
Check out these marvelous relaxation techniques. You can even do a couple of them as you’re reading this post.
- Mindful meditation
- Guided breathing
- Chi gong or Tai Chi
© Kathleen Crawford Nov. 2021