I used to be so worried about what other people thought about me.
When I quit practicing law to become a certified financial planner, people had a lot of opinions.
A few years later, when I quit financial planning to become a life coach and online entrepreneur, people had even more opinions (spoiler alert: they weren’t good).
I used to care so much what other people thought. It made me a people pleaser.
Until I learned that people pleasers are liars.
Yes, that’s right.
People pleasers are liars.
As a people pleaser, you know what you want, but you don’t do what you want, you do what someone else wants to please them. You lie to the person because they believe you want to do what it is you’re doing. But really, you don’t.
When I discovered this, I made a conscious effort to do what I wanted—not what someone else wanted.
I stopped being a people pleaser. I stopped caring.
This meant being me. It meant showing up authentically. It meant people had opinions about me. It meant not worrying what other people thought about me.
It wasn’t exactly overnight that this happened. But it did happen.
The way I stopped caring what other people think was by changing my thoughts about what it means when people think something about me. It wasn’t a step by step process. It was a fundamental shift in my thinking about what other people are thinking.
In this post, I’m sharing the fundamental belief shifts that I made to stop caring what other people think. If you use them yourself, you’ll find freedom, peace, and a whole heck of a lot of success.
Here are the belief shifts I made to stop caring what other people think…
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — What Other People Think.
What Other People Think Is Based On Their Thoughts
First, let’s look at what it even means to have an opinion.
What other people think is based on their thoughts.
It has to do with their experiences, their lives, and the way they’ve programmed their brain to think about the world, including you.
What people think has nothing to do with you.
Here’s an example: Some people don’t like chocolate (or olives or fruit or something else!). It doesn’t mean anything about the chocolate. It means something about the person who doesn’t like chocolate. Another person may love chocolate. Same chocolate. Two different opinions. Which is right?
If someone doesn’t like you, it has nothing to do with you. You may remind them of their sister in law who they can’t stand. You may dress like their sister who they’re estranged from.
So, the next time you’re trying to figure out what someone thinks about you, or what they mean by the text they sent, just stop. Don’t read into it. Let people have their own thoughts. You have yours.
Related blog posts you’ll love on this topic…
- How To Solve Any Problem
- It’s Supposed To Be Hard And Problems Are Forever
- Life Hack: Ask Your Mind Questions
What Happens When You Try To Control How Other People Think About You
When you try to control how other people think about you, it doesn’t work.
It may look like you trying to be really overly nice (and coming off creepy!) to someone in an effort to get them to like you more.
It may look like you trying to convince someone that what you’re doing is the right decision.
It may look like you trying to figure out how to make someone else want to be with you.
We do this all the time. Trying to control other people’s thoughts.
The truth is, you can’t control other people’s opinions of you.
Here’s an example: Someone comes up to you and says they don’t like your pink hair, you’re not going to think anything of it if you don’t have pink hair. You’ll think that person is weird and dismiss it right away. You aren’t making their statement mean anything. Now, if you did have pink hair and they said that, then you may make it mean something. But the person saying it is the same. Nothing is different.
The truth is you have thoughts in your head and other people have thoughts in theirs. You can’t jump in their minds and change what they’re thinking. So, even if you try, you’ll fail. You can never get inside their minds and make someone think differently about you.
When you try to control what other people think about you, you don’t show up as you.
You try to get people to like you and approve of you. It doesn’t work. People end up thinking you’re needy and creepy. OR people end up liking you but it’s not even the real you.
Whose Opinion Matters?
Think about the people in your life. Now, think about whose opinion matters to you. Is it…
- Your spouse’s?
- Your kids’?
- Your friends?
- Your colleagues’?
My challenge to you is to decide whose opinion matters.
I want to suggest the answer should be you. You should care about your own opinion above everyone else’s opinion.
If you put someone else’s opinion ahead of your own, you’ll be out of your own integrity. You’ll lie. You’ll be fake. You won’t be yourself. This feels terrible.
If you believe your opinion matters the most, think about what opinion you have of yourself.
- What do you think about you?
- Do you have as high of an opinion of you as you do of someone you absolutely love and adore?
- Isn’t it funny how sometimes we have higher opinions of the people we love than we do of ourselves?
This is something I teach in Grow You. I teach students how to create a 2.0 version of themselves so they can practice loving themselves as much as they love other people.
When you love yourself the most, you aren’t being selfish. You’re showing up whole, so you can love other people. And part of loving other people means letting them be them.
If you really like yourself on the inside, be that way on the outside.
We tend to be someone different on the outside because we fear judgment from other people.
But the truth is, people are already judging you. So you might as well be judged for who you are instead of for who you’re not.
So, ask yourself… what is your opinion of you? And how strongly are you committed to it?
Are you willing to have your own back when someone else says something bad about you?
If you have an amazing opinion of yourself and someone disagrees with you and doesn’t like you… they’re wrong. Why? Because what makes someone wrong? They don’t agree with what you know is true.
I want to have an opinion of myself where I’m so proud of myself, where I’m high fiving myself, looking in the mirror saying, “damn girl, you did that. Way to go.” Then, it doesn’t matter if anyone else is applauding because I have my own back.
When I started to think this way, I felt so much more comfortable in my own skin. Not only that, but my relationships deepened, too.
There’s nothing better than fulfilling the dream and desire in your heart and not holding yourself back.
I don’t care if anyone acknowledges me for my business. I truly feel really proud of myself for all it. I did it. I’m showing up as me. And that feels good.
Let People Be Wrong About You
When you show up as you,
- You may be misinterpreted
- You may be judged
- You may be disliked
But you know what, that’s okay.
People have the freedom to like and dislike what they want.
You dislike certain food. You dislike certain things. You dislike certain people.
This is a privilege we all have as humans.
Let people be wrong about you.
You don’t have to defend or stand up for anyone or anything. The defensiveness and righteousness come from scarcity.
You can just let people be wrong about you.
And you know what, if people dislike you for being you, you still have you! And this is amazing. You always have you.
You know what happens what you show up as you, though? People love you.
If you fail, and people judge you… WHO CARES!
You don’t have to care. You don’t have to care one bit. You can be as happy as can be and let other people be as judge-y and as miserable as they want to be.
A Final Note!
People don’t understand what I do at all in my business.
(Side note – if you want to learn more about how I make money from my business listen to this podcast episode.)
And that is totally okay with me.
I care about my own opinion of me and my work.
I care about my audience’s opinion of the work I put out there. If they don’t love it, I don’t make it mean something about me. I make it mean that I need to adjust and create something new and different for them.
Circumstances—everything other people say and do—are neutral. They don’t have meaning until you give them meaning.
- If you want to learn more about circumstances vs. thoughts, read this article about how to shift your mindset.
If I’m going to make up a story about what other people think (since I can’t jump in their head and know for sure), I’m going to make up one that serves me.
I highly suggest doing this.
Default to making up good stories, not bad. And be totally and completely yourself.
People are going to look at you and judge you. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you just didn’t care what people thought when they did that?
The stronger you opinionate and love yourself, the better you’ll feel, the more results you’ll get, and the more people will follow you. It’s like you show people what to think about you when you do this.
Remember this: other people’s opinions are none of your business.