Have you ever made an important life decision based on others’ expectations?
Staying in a toxic relationship because you’re worried about how others might judge you if you break off?
Or choose a career path influenced by friends and family?
I had wasted a precious few years of my life because I’d chosen a degree and career based on others’ expectations.
Every morning, I dreaded to wake up to go to work that I hated so much.
Only after I left to run my own business, I was truly happy, living the life I’ve always wanted.
Coincidently, that’s when I stopped thinking about others’ opinions of me.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about other’s opinions of you, read on and reclaim true happiness you deserve (and stop giving a toss about what others think!)
Below is how you stop worrying about other people’s opinions and live your life.
Others can’t Live Your Life for You
Your life is your own. Nobody can live for you.
Sure, your parents may support you and help you out in a time of need. Or your siblings. Your BFF.
But at the end of life trouble, it’s always you who have to deal with everything that happens in your life.
Just as none of them can live a jail sentence for you.
What’s more, if you let others’ opinions influence your decisions, you’ll start changing your behaviours to suit others’ expectations.
You sacrifice your own needs so you can make others happy.
In doing so, you also start expecting the same from others.
You may swear up and down that your actions are always altruistic.
But it’s human nature (almost unconscious) to expect something in return for our selfless act.
So when they don’t behave as you expect, you resent them. You get frustrated and unhappy.
Which is why it’s so unreliable to depend for your happiness on others. You can’t control others’ behaviours and bend them to your will.
The good news is, by the same token, nobody can make your life amazing.
So you need to focus on you.
Get to know yourself really well and do the things that make YOU happy.
Make a decision for you. Take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Own it all – good or bad.
Others don’t Care as Much as You Think They Do
You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Think about your recent trip for grocery shopping.
Do you remember anyone you’ve come across?
A cashier who had a tattoo all over his arms? Maybe you had a brief chat and found out his grandpa just passed away (true story!).
You may have expressed your sincere condolences.
Even then, by the time you returned home, it’s highly likely you forgot about him.
Sorry. Most people don’t care about you as much as you think.
Those who do?
They’ll probably think about you for a few seconds and go back to thinking about their own life.
Just as I forgot about the cashier until now.
Maybe you’re very self-conscious about dining out alone in fear of how other people think of you and judge you.
Next time you go out, keep a journal for your thoughts.
Jot down each thought and the circumstance you’re in.
Review the notes and have a rational conversation with yourself.
When you catch a dinner’s eyes in a busy table, you might instantly think:
He must think I’m a sad person, eating alone.
Now is the time to have a rational conversation… (not with the guy staring at you – no, don’t do that – but with yourself!)
Is that a fact?
The Rational You know it’s not a fact.
It’s your irrational mind playing tricks on you and interjecting a wrong assumption.
He might think:
I wish I could enjoy food in peace like her!
By analysing and rationalising your thoughts, you’ll start seeing an error in your thoughts and correct them.
We Only Live Once
No, not in the way of the marketing ploy:
“Treat yourself. You only live once!”.
We’re talking the fundamental truth of life, that is, we have one chance at this thing called life.
The simple truth of our time-bound existence in this lifetime naturally takes us, rational and intelligent peeps, to the next questions:
Do I want to live the way I want?
Do I want others to dictate how I live?
Because, according to The Top Five Regrets of The Dying, you’ll highly likely wish you’d chosen what made you happy.
You’ll likely regret the fact you’d cared too much about other people’s opinions of you on your deathbed.
So why don’t we be rebellious.
Yes, let’s do that.
Here’s how you do it.
Choose one thing you always wanted to do but gave up because you were afraid of others’ opinions.
The examples: start a blog, travel solo, take a class, dining out alone or start a business.
Pick one and do it.
By doing so, you’re proving to others (and yourself) you don’t care what they think.
You’ll also quell your insecurity by taking up one thing that scared you.
Your self-doubt, fear and insecurity will start losing power over you when you take action.
You’ll feel free, liberated and happy designing and living the life you want, not what others expect you to.
Life is really too short to do things we hate or care about what others think.
Consider the above and take action TODAY on the one thing that scares you.
The moment you do so, you’ll find confidence within you.
You become more confident with yourself and the choices and decisions you make from here on.
And start reclaiming true happiness you deserve and live your life.
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