LETTING GO: OF WHAT OTHERS THINK
Have you heard the saying "what you say about me says more about you than me"?
Several weekends ago, someone made an out of context comment based off of a snapshot observation that was completely judgmental (and wrong!). I knew the accusation was ill founded but it still bothered me. I was so in shock that I just stood there and eventually walked away! I couldn't think of anything to say because it was completely out of the blue and like I said earlier, completely false. But yet, I still thought about it all day and was pretty bothered by the whole account.
I want to be liked for who I am and I'm also a bit of a people pleaser. When I feel judged or misunderstood, it really bothers me. But I can't let these feelings of "what if someone doesn't approve" hold me back from accomplishing the things that I believe in.
If we worried about what other people thought, we would never get anything done. Some of the greatest scientific and technological advances in our time were ideas that "couldn't be done".
When people pass judgment on you or criticize your decisions, behavior or ideas, they are usually coming from their close-minded point of reference that is based on their insecurities, fears, and ideas of how things should be.
How do we move past worrying about what others think so that we can move forward?
Be confident in your beliefs and decisions
I think we are most affected by what others think when we are unsure of our actions and beliefs. It's fine to seek out the opinions of others, but at some point you will have to make a decision and live with it. Do your best to make the most informed position possible and then move on.
Know that it's not about you
Wake Forest did a study and linked your emotions to how you perceive others. One of the lead authors said, "your perceptions of others says so much about your own personality".
Let it go
At some point, you are going to have to realize that everyone has different opinions, belief systems, and values. That doesn't make you more or less of a person. Unfortunately, society has a lot of definitions of what we "should" look like or what we "should" wear or how we "should" act in our roles as employee, boss, friend, significant other, family member, etc.... When we don't fit into the mold, people usually want to talk about it. And that's ok. People will talk regardless of what you do. Keep being the wonderful, unique individual that you are. Keep growing, keep learning, keep making mistakes. If I hadn't made some of the mistakes in my twenties, I wouldn't be where I am today.
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt