While there are certainly many things in this world that can quite easily get our "knickers caught up in a bunch", there are few that personally bother me more than the reality that in a world with over 7.5 billion people, far too many of us allow ourselves to be controlled by the opinions of just one or two of them.
We have countless dreams, ideas and opportunities all of which we're more "comfortable" shutting down rather than pursuing, no matter how excited we were upon initially coming up with them.
If this sounds familiar to you, and trust me it's an ongoing battle for most of us (myself included), and you'd like to do something about it, here's some of what I've found to be the most effective at getting yourself to a point where you're far less bothered by the opinions of others:
Accept That Haters Will Always Hate
This may be a tough pill to swallow for some, but realize that no matter what you choose to do and not do in this world, there will always be people who dislike and/or disagree with you. Even those who pride themselves on being a master of people pleasing, have a number of non-supporters that they're simply either discrediting or genuinely not aware of.
Especially in the social media driven world that we live in, public displays of dislike and displeasure have become far more prevalent so chances are you'll have plenty of opportunities to find out who's not into what you're up to.
Knowing this, set yourself free of the wishful thought that a world of 100% undying support is possible, and focus on instead being yourself and being grateful for whatever support you do receive.
Identify The Opinions That "Matter" Most
While all non-supportive opinions have the potential to impact us, there is typically a particular opinion or two or twenty that hit home a bit harder than the rest. Common sources tend to include: parents, close friends, co-workers, and other people that we may either openly idolize or subconsciously be modelling ourselves after.
If you can peg down someone specific, think back on what could have triggered you into putting their opinion on a pedestal above the rest. And realize that allowing their opinions to control you and ultimately not being yourself is not doing them any favors. (Pardon me while I potentially get a bit too spiritually "woo-woo" for some) It may be avoiding certain conflicts in that moment, but at a higher level it's actually a disservice since you're preventing both of you from having to deal with a conflict that in the long-run will help you both to grow stronger.
Ah! I'm Afraid Of Everyone's Opinion
If you find yourself particularly sensitive to and fearful of any form of criticism, take this brutally honest truth in: PEOPLE DO NOT THINK ABOUT YOU NEARLY AS MUCH AS YOU THINK THEY DO.
We are all naturally self-conscious to some extent in this world, some far more than others, and all typically much more than we are willing to admit. With that being the case, do you not think that most people are far too preoccupied with concerns centered around how everyone else is perceiving them to give much attention to their perception of you?
This somewhat sad reality is even more true once again thanks in large part to our social media driven world where it's not uncommon for people to spend more time crafting a highlight reel moment worthy of sharing on Instagram than they do actually living it.
Some Extra Inspiration
So rather than shutting yourself down out of fear of what someone else might say, do or think, get excited by what might come from you alternatively choosing to express yourself. Realize that everything you now like to brag about was once outside of your comfort zone and that pretty well everyone you admire once (if not many times) had to take a leap into the unknown. And once they got there, they had to keep on going through plenty of criticism, differing opinions and mind stories all set on selling them on the idea that quitting would be more optimal.
But they didn't let it stop them, because in a world with over 7.5 billion people they knew that their opinion mattered, and so does yours!
If your self-consciousness is a trigger of anxiety you're not alone! To help, I've created an ONLINE COURSE based on sharing everything I used to conquer my own severe anxiety. Check it out, take the first lesson for free!
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