To live a successful life that feels like your own, you have to stop caring what other people think.
So many people make life decisions based on other people’s opinions. You care so much about what your mom, dad, siblings, or friends think that you’re allowing them to dictate your actions in life.
We live in other people’s heads.
And all it does is make us judge ourselves more harshly. It makes us uncomfortable in our own bodies. It makes us feel apologetic for being ourselves. It makes us live according to our perception of other people’s standards.
It makes us feel inauthentic. Anxious. Judgmental. Not good enough. Not likable enough. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough.
Fortunately, once you get past caring what other people think, life can be really good, really fast. You can love people and not care what they think, and that is freedom.
Take Feedback with Context
The best way to take feedback is to understand where the feedback is coming from. What is the agenda behind the feedback? What’s the intent?
For example, so many parents tell their kids what direction they should go in their lives. But parents have an agenda too. Many parents are insecure, and use their kids’ success in an attempt to increase their own self-esteem. They may tell you tell you to go in one direction, not because it’s necessarily best for you, but they can brag about it or use it to feel better about themselves. How your parents (or anyone for the matter) feel is not your fault or your work. Understanding intent and agenda helps make this very clear.
The truth is, no one has 100% context on your life outside of you. The reason you can not value your spouse’s, sibling’s, friend’s, or parent’s opinion more than your own is because they don’t know 100% of everything.
Go up to older people and talk to them. Ask them to tell you about their life. Often their opening line is, “I wish.” Many of them start with what they wish they did differently.
They wished they worked harder. They wished they spent more time with their family. They wished they didn’t listen to their family and did what they wanted to do. They wished.
Don’t let your life’s choices be dictated by the opinions of people who you won’t care about when you’re 92 years old. The truth is, you have nothing to prove to anyone so live your life the way you want to.
Don’t Judge Yourself
Sometimes, people tell me that the negative voice in their head isn’t someone else’s — it’s their own. The truth is, someone else put that negative voice there. I like to call it the critical inner voice.
Your mom, dad, aunt, uncle, teacher is being negative towards you and it gets in your head until one day you think that negative voice is your own.
So many people judge themselves for “underachieving” even though they’re in normal positions.
Twenty-somethings judge themselves for not having their life “figured out”, even though virtually no 20-somethings know what they want to do yet. Parents judge themselves on how they’re raising their kids. Entrepreneurs judge themselves on how they’re running their business.
Be your own biggest fan, instead of criticizing every move you make.
Surround Yourself With People Who are Optimistic
One way to help you build the confidence you want to live your dreams is by surrounding yourself with people who are optimistic. People who believe anything is possible. People who listen to you. Who you spend time with is sooo important and most people don’t take it seriously enough.
It’s what happens on any team, traits like confidence and passion get passed around, just like negativity and pessimism. Surround yourself with winners and learn.
Cutting out negative people is difficult. This is especially true if it’s your mom or dad or a friend you’ve been hanging out with since 4th grade.
If your Mom’s bringing you down, talk to her less. If your friend from your old neighborhood is draining, hang out with him for 3 hours a week instead of 7.
If you can’t cut people out, spend less time with them. You’ll be stunned how your life changes.
Know Your Values
Knowing your top core values is like having a brighter flashlight to get you through the woods. A duller light may still get you where you need to go, but you’ll stumble more or be led astray.
With a brighter light the decisions you make become clearer and easier to make.
For years I had no idea what I truly valued, and I felt lost in life as a result. I never felt confident in my decisions, and I questioned everything I said and did.
Doing core values work on myself has made a huge impact on my life. I came to realize that “freedom” is my top core value. Now when I find myself questioning my decisions because I’m worried about being “too irresponsible,” I remind myself that “freedom” means doing what you want, when you want, as much as you want, with who you want.
When you know what you value, you don’t feel like you need to explain yourself in order to move forward.
Mind Your Own Business
Another way to stop caring about what other people think is to understand that there are three types of business in the world. This is a lesson I learned from Byron Katie, and I love it.
The first is God’s business. If the word “God” isn’t to your liking, you can use another word here that works for you, like the Universe or “nature.”
The weather is the Universe’s business. Who dies and who is born is the Universe’s business. The body and genes you were given is the Universe’s business. You have no place in the Universe’s business. You can’t control it.
The second type of business is other people’s business. What they do is their business. What your neighbor thinks of you is his business. What time your coworker comes into work is her business. If the driver in the other car doesn’t go when the light turns green, it’s their business.
The third type of business is your business.
If you get angry with the other driver because you now have to wait at another red light, that’s your business.
If you get irritated because your coworker is late again, that’s your business.
If you are worried about what your neighbor thinks of you that’s your business.
What they think is their business. What you think (and in turn, feel) is your business.
Whose business are you in when you’re worried about what you’re wearing? Whose business are you in when you dwell on how your joke was received at the party?
You only have one business to concern yourself with—yours. What you think and what you do are the only things you can control in life. That’s it.
Let go of caring what other people think and just BE YOURSELF!!!!