Are you constantly worrying about what others think of you? Do you let this fear hold you back and stop you from doing what you want to do? Do you try to stay invisible, hoping no one will notice you? If so, you are not alone.

We are all guilty of caring a little too much about other people’s opinions and seeking approval from others instead of listening to our inner voice. However, when you allow other people’s ideas to dictate your life, it’s time to make a change.

Caring too much about what other people think is not only exhausting, it’s one of the most disempowering things you can do. You will never live authentically and feel true freedom until you learn how to stop caring what people think. But, before we dive into how you can do that, let’s discuss WHY you need to put a stop to this right now.

No One Really Cares

The truth is, you are creating a story in your mind out of nothing. More times than not, what you believe other people are thinking has not even crossed their minds. So in that sense, you literally create your own suffering.

Remember that everyone has their own problems, and this is what occupies their minds. So, if you said something stupid in public and worry that everyone thinks you’re an idiot, realize that most people are so wrapped up in their own thoughts to notice or care about something you said.

What Other People Think About You Is None of Your Business

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What someone may or may not think about you isn’t actually your business. You cannot dictate what other people think, and trying to do so is simply a waste of time and energy, so why bother?

So, now you see how ridiculous it is to worry about others’ opinions, let’s look at how you can address this social anxiety and move through your life without fear.

Figure Out Why You Care About Others Opinions

It has a lot to say about our self-esteem when we value the opinions of others over our own. If you’re always cautious of how you act around others, likely, you do not feel comfortable in yourself.

Before you can learn how to not care what people think, you need to figure out what is causing you to care so much in the first place. Reflect on when you first started to feel this anxiety, what prompted it, and ask yourself, why is it so important what others think of you?

Know Your Value

Think about what matters the most to you in life. By reflecting on this, you’ll realize that what other people think of you is pretty low down your priorities. So, when someone says something that hurts you, come back to your values. Remain focused on what’s important to you and where you are heading.

Then start to work on building your confidence. Make a list of all the things you are good at, along with your positive qualities and past achievements. Focusing on your strengths and qualities will open your mind to how much value you have to give and that when you stay small, you deny the world of your value. The more confident you become in yourself, the less you will care about what others think.

Accept That You Can’t Please Everyone

There is not one human being on this planet that is liked by every single person. For example, think of a celebrity that you believe brings a lot of good into the world; I’m sure you’ve heard people say negative things about them, too. Therefore, accept that you cannot and never will please everyone, which is ok because no one is supposed to be liked by everyone anyway.

Embrace Uncertainty and Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Similarly, there is not one human being that has never made a mistake. The perfect person does not exist, so let go of the need to get everything right all the time and embrace your failures and mistakes.

When we care what others think, we hold ourselves back, fearing that we will make a mistake and look stupid. This comes both from our low self-esteem and our belief in perfectionism.

However, the best way to grow is to make mistakes, which is also true for getting over the fear of embarrassment. So put yourself out there, embrace the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen. When you make a mistake, be grateful for the lesson learned and know that making mistakes makes you human.

Seek Constructive Feedback

There is a difference between constructive feedback and spiteful, unnecessary opinions. One way to build self-assurance and stop worrying about the latter is to seek constructive feedback from those you trust and look up to.

Perhaps you feel that you act awkward in public because someone once made a passing comment. If so, ask friends and family for constructive feedback on how you can improve. Whatever it is that causes your social anxiety, tackle it by getting advice from those you trust.

If you want to go a step further, find a mentor. Seek out someone who oozes the qualities you desire and ask for feedback on how you can develop those traits. When you make personal growth your priority, you’ll soon realize that other people’s unwanted opinions have no value.

Redirect Your Energy to Something Positive

Social anxiety and worrying about what others think can really bring you down. Therefore, it’s vital to surround yourself with positive people and things. Instead of focusing on those who do not respect you, focus on those who do, regardless of the number. Having one or two close friends you can trust is much better than having lots of superficial friends with whom you cannot confide in.

As well as creating a healthy external environment, work on creating a positive inner environment too. Observe your mind and catch yourself when you find yourself thinking negatively. Whenever you notice a negative thought, replace it with a positive one instead. This practice takes some time. But, if you dedicate 10 minutes a day to sitting in stillness and observing your thoughts, you will slowly start to build a more positive mindset.

Realize That Life Is Too Short to Worry

Remind yourself that you are only here on the planet for a short time, and your mission here is certainly not to make others like or respect you. Instead, focus on what you value and want to create in this lifetime, and don’t let others deter you from your goals.

Finally, allow yourself to have fun and be yourself, warts and all. If you want to dance, dance like nobody’s watching. If you love to draw but think you are not creative, who cares? Do what you enjoy because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself on your deathbed with far too many regrets!

Final Thoughts

The world does not need more people who act small, nor does it need more people who follow the status quo. So be bold, be you, and do what you want to do. Yes, not everyone will like it when you show up as your authentic self, but those people don’t matter. The only person’s opinion that matters is yours, so be your own biggest fan and forget the rest.

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