I write most of these blog posts to share ideas, but also to identify ways to get better at certain things myself.
The purpose of this blog is to learn how to prosper, and when I think of the thing that has held me back the most it is: caring about what other people think.
Who am I to write a blog? What will other people think? What if I get criticized? What about all those haters and trolls out there?
In order to overcome these questions and fears I decided to do it anyway. So here it goes 🙂
I’ve been a chronic people-pleaser all my life. And for a people-pleaser there is no greater obstacles than upsetting people, saying no to requests, and confrontation.
For years of my life I’ve lived so as to not “rock-the-boat”, or upset others by not “meeting-their-expectations”. This is a sure-fire way to feel resentment and helplessness.
So, here for your consideration are several things to consider:
-Most people don’t care about you, and they are mostly concerned with themselves
This sounds harsh and I tried to rewrite it in several ways that didn’t seem so hard. It is what it is. If you are in a helping profession of any kind, you learn very soon that people are mostly focused on themselves. Especially people in any type of pain or difficulty. They will ask for the world and leave you a dry husk if you allow it. Of course this isn’t everyone, but most people with whom you have moderate to casual association. If you are worried about what other people think if you do this, or if you do that, consider their motivation. If their motivation for saying something to you, or having some expectation of you is only to serve themselves, why should you care? I wish every person that walked past me gave me a silver dollar. 🙂 Seriously, who cares what other’s think? Especially so, if their motivation is simply for you to make THEIR life easier or more convenient in some way. Always consider motivations and act accordingly. Even if their motivation isn’t simply to meet some personal need, consider the following points.
-Establish you own life plan, purpose, values and live according to these…not for the “approval” of others
If you don’t have a clear purpose and plan for your life, you are living someone else’s plan. And if you are always subject to someone else’s plan, you have given up your freedom. You have made a choice to let others dictate your life and future. In essence you have chosen to become a victim. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Get a clear grip on your purpose and mission in life. Then when people have expectations of you, at least you can see if what they are requesting aligns with your core values and purpose. This has been so helpful for me. I do have many people in my life that I admire and I want to help them achieve their mission and purpose. Because my mission and purpose align with theirs. But you must first have a clear purpose in order to draw people to you of the same motivation and life view. So yes, I do care what SOME people think, but even then I’m not seeking for their approval. I purposefully acting in accordance with my life’s purpose. In essence we are working in tandem to be a force for good. And when you are working in coordination with people that share your purpose, their motivation is for the common good.
-In five years will it matter? In 5 minutes?
This is a good test for many decisions or concerns. Will the thing you doing or being asked or expected to do matter in the future scheme of things? We are emotional creatures, so we can easily act on things based on how we are feeling in the moment. Feelings are what make us human, and they help us experience joy and happiness more fully. But emotions can be a bad master. If you are reacting to things based on emotions then you might be tossed around a lot. You might be all spun up about what someone said, or what they did, and none of it matters 15 minutes from now. Give things the “time test” when you feel a reaction coming on. In the world of medicine when your body has a “reaction” to something, that is usually a bad thing. If you take an antibiotic and your body “reacts”…not good. On the other hand if you take a prescription or apply an herbal remedy and your body “responds”…that’s a good thing. Now apply this to your emotional state. “Respond” to things, don’t react. You respond to things by applying thought and intention. The thought I like to apply is, “Does this matter?”. “Will this EVER matter?”. “Does this request or expectation align with my purpose?” “Does this person’s motivation align with my purpose and values to ensure the common good?”. If the answer to these questions is no, then I let it go. My response is, “Sorry but I don’t care what you think”. You don’t need to say that out loud or to their face directly (although sometimes that is necessary). This line of reasoning has liberated me.
-You are the creator of reality…YOUR reality. Is there another kind of reality?
This idea warrants a full blog post, and I’ll do that at some point. This idea of creating your own reality is related to establishing your life purpose, but it has it’s own characteristics. You are always creating your own reality. The way you experience life is based fully on your own thoughts, feelings and life view. Two people can be in the same circumstances, in the same place, seeing the same things, but have completely different realities going on inside their heads. You could be at a parade, with fireworks and music, and loving it. Some one next to you could have served in a war zone and every firework is triggering a reaction of extreme fear and discomfort. They hate it, you love it. And since you can’t control the way other people experience life and it’s circumstances, you can only influence your own reality. It’s not that you don’t care about people. Of course you care about people! People and relationships are all that matter in this life, and the next. It’s the only thing we “take with us”. You won’t be hauling that shiny golf set with you, or your set of gleaming sliver-ware. 🙂
Respond to what people think, don’t react. Do what you do intentionally, and in alignment with your life purpose, values and goals. Let everything else go.
Make it a blessed day! Kenny