"Just keep moving forward and don't give a shit about what anybody thinks. Do what you have to do for you." - Johnny Depp
I currently have a meme featuring that Johnny Depp quote on my desktop as a handy reminder for any time I find myself caught up worrying about the opinions of others. It's something that we all do, and unfortunately for many of us, it is one of the most crippling thought patterns we can indulge in, preventing us from pursuing dreams and even being who we really are.
While I am still far from perfect in my pursuit to not be impacted by the opinions of others (except from when I actively seek guidance), I am grateful to have made some drastic strides. Here are 7 steps/mind shifts that I personally feel can be beneficial in helping you to care less about what others think of you:
1. Remember: They Are Too Preoccupied With Themselves
Just as we are largely preoccupied with ourselves, the same can be said for virtually everyone else. So even when you feel that someone is obsessing over a particular opinion of you, chances are they've already moved on to a concern about how someone else is viewing them. And even if they are still thinking it, they too have been opposed just as often in their lives and are bound to be derailed from derailing you soon enough.
2. Drop The Past
One thing is for certain about the past: it cannot be changed. That being the case, we can make a big step towards not being so affected by the opinions of others by dropping any past confrontations with them. The more we hold onto these moments, the more inclined we are to let them play a role in further charging us negatively when the person comes around or shares another opinion. (Note: If the person consistently plays a negative role in your life, I'd also consider dropping them completely, only of course if it is realistic to do so.)
3. Recognize The Role
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that mentality has helped me to move beyond a number of challenging situations in my life. Rather than choosing to make yourself a victim to the opinions of others, opt to see those who are casting judgement as characters playing the perfect role to challenge you. This challenge, if handled maturely, can become the foundation to an even stronger version of yourself that isn't so easily wavered by how others see you.
4. Become Your Own Biggest Source Of Love
As much as praise and appreciation from others can feel incredible, you would never want the receipt of it to be the primary factor in your current level of happiness. It is often from this dependency that the opposite of praise, an opposing opinion, can have the biggest negative impact on us. Instead, focus on what makes you feel best and make time for it regularly. You're likely to find yourself in a good enough place that other's opinions won't faze you nearly as much as they once did.
5. Understand Social Media's Influence
One of the biggest keys to moving beyond the opinion of others is to remember the times in which we currently live. We live in a world dominated by social media, where people are guarded by usernames and the safety of their computer screens, enabling them to be a lot more harsh than they ever would be in person. (It has also become far more popular to be comedically mean rather than supportive online, further inciting negative opinions.) Remember that this fact fuels much of the online bullying or heckling we may be subject to, and you'll quickly realize how hollow so much of it actually is.
6. Check Your Intentions
Another factor that needs to be considered requires a little self-reflection. Before posting something online, take a moment and check your intentions for sharing it with your network. Is it genuinely something that you'd like to share with the world? Or is it solely something you are sharing in hopes of receiving praise and/or admiration? It's not to say that the second is inherently bad, it's just a clear cut signal that you may be overly sensitive to the opinions of others.
7. Focus On Your Goals
The final tip I'll offer is to always bring yourself back to what you would like to accomplish in life. Whether you have a written or a mental checklist, we all have goals in life and the more time we spend dwelling upon the opinions of others, the less time we are spending working towards them. If you instead focus on your goals, you'll soon find yourself living by this other infamous Johnny Depp quote:
"One day the people who didn't believe in you will tell people how they met you."