I worked in corporate America for a long time and for some reason, I never really cared what people thought of me. Looking back, I probably was protected by my product and if someone was unhappy, I always knew in my heart that I had done my best and so their dissatisfaction was most certainly with the product and not with me. I have always kept a close circle of friends, and Wha-la, not one care given.
All that changed 4 years ago. I decided to open my own business. I was going to work for myself and do my own thing. Now, I am smart enough to know that you can’t make everyone happy, but I found something curious happening to me. I started to care TOO MUCH and I knew I needed to change.
I do think there is a biological reason why we MUST care about what others think. Getting kicked out of the tribe could mean injury or even death as cave men! But I’m not a cave woman, and the only people I really need to be concerned about are my family, the people closest to me, and other than that, I just need to do my best, be honest and care about people. Outside of that, there is nothing I can do.
Coming to this conclusion was such an evolution, and I see people online all the time having the same trouble I was.
I wanted to share with you some things I did to help me focus more on the things that mattered! What you think about yourself is WAY more important than what anyone else around you thinks, and if you are doing these things, you can rest easy.
Be the kind of person you would like to be friends with. Don’t be one who goes around talking about everyone. Words are like a boomerang in the universe and they come right back at you. If they aren’t nice words, don’t say them. We are all so broken and we all want love and acceptance. Something special happens when you only breathe life into others, you start assuming that everyone else is doing the same. Be the kind of person that if someone said something negative about you it wouldn’t matter, nobody would believe it anyway.
Focus on your own lawn! I found that if I really spent my time focusing on the things I was doing that were positive, and on trying to effect change in my own little world, I didn’t care so much what other people were saying (or not saying!) because I really had no idea. Not one care given!
Focus on the present moment. All anxiety, I found, is because you are worried about the future. If you are focused on the present moment, then being worried about the future is really hard to do! There were times where I felt anxiety about something, and I would ask myself why? Then to that answer, I’d ask ‘why’ again. I’d do this over and over again until I’d get to the heart of it. Once I got there, I could either fix it or realize it was something silly and I could get back to the present moment. I found meditation helped a lot with that. You can read more about that here.
Remember how your mama said, ‘You can’t please everyone?’ Well, she was right. If you have an opinion, you will have people who disagree. If you don’t have an opinion, some people will disagree. No …. really, no matter what you do, some folks just won’t like you. Do you like you? Okay then. If they are focused on you at all, you must be ‘doing something’. And whatever you do, don’t ever stop ‘doing something.’ It’s special to stretch and not do what everyone else is doing.
Realize nobody really cares. Honestly, everyone is so worked up about themselves and what they are doing, they hardly notice you. If they DO have an issue with what you are doing, it’s mostly because you are a mirror to themselves, and they don’t like something about themselves that they see in you.
We are all mirrors remember? So chances are, what they DO care about is whatever is shining back to them from the mirror. Maybe it’s reflecting back their own lack of passion; or they feel left out; or they have some sort of other issue that has NOTHING to do with ME. The people who do the poo-pooing are NOT people who have their own passion! Those folks are happy I’m happy and they are excited about what they are doing (refer back to Focusing on your own lawn).
Once I got all this figured out, I didn’t care who didn’t follow me, I only cared about the people that did.
This has been an evolution and growth and sometimes a little painful.
So go out there, fill your heart with whats important to you and be done with all the rest!