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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Deanne Coaching

7 Ideas to Help You Stop Obsessing Over What Others Think

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

As entrepreneurs (and especially as women), we often find ourselves preoccupied about what others think of us. We worry about how we look, how we talk, how we dress, and how we run our businesses. We want to be liked and respected, but sometimes we can become so consumed with what others think of us that we forget to focus on our own goals and aspirations. In this post, we'll explore 7 ideas to help you stop caring what others think and start living life on your own terms. As the iconic character Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation once said, "I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself." So, let's focus on inspiring ourselves and not worry too much about what others think!

Focus on your own values and goals

One of the best ways to stop caring about what others think is to focus on your own values and goals. When you have a clear sense of what's important to you, it becomes easier to prioritize your own needs and desires over the opinions of others. Take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you and what you want to achieve in your business and personal life.

Writing down your values and goals can be a powerful tool to help you stay focused and motivated. By having a clear idea of what you stand for and what you want to achieve, you can use these as a guidepost to keep you on track. When faced with decisions or situations that may cause you to doubt yourself or care too much about what others think, refer back to your list of values and goals. Ask yourself if the decision aligns with your values and if it brings you closer to your goals. This can help you make more confident and authentic choices, and can also help you let go of the opinions of others that may distract you from your path. Remember, your values and goals are unique to you and should be based on your own desires and aspirations, not on what others think you should want or be.

Embrace your uniqueness

We all have quirks, flaws, and idiosyncrasies that make us unique. Rather than trying to fit in with everyone else, embrace your individuality and celebrate what makes you different. Remember, it's your unique qualities that set you apart and make you stand out from the crowd. So, don't be afraid to show off your personality, style, and interests.

When you let your true self shine through, you give others the opportunity to appreciate and respect you for who you are (whether they chose to or not is out of your control). Trying to conform to the expectations of others can be exhausting and ultimately unfulfilling. By embracing your authentic self, you give others the chance to see the real you and connect with you on a deeper level. People are drawn to authenticity and sincerity, and by being true to yourself, you can build more meaningful relationships in both your personal and professional life. It can take courage to be vulnerable and show your true self, but the rewards can be worth it. Remember, you are unique and have something valuable to offer the world. Don't be afraid to let your light shine!

Stop seeking validation from others

One of the biggest reasons we care about what others think is because we're seeking validation and approval. We want to feel accepted and valued, so we look to others to provide us with that validation. But the truth is, seeking validation from others is a never-ending cycle that can leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Learning to validate and trust yourself is a key step in stopping caring about what others think. It can be easy to doubt yourself and seek validation from others, but this can be a slippery slope that leads to a never-ending cycle of seeking approval. Start by recognizing your own strengths, skills, and accomplishments, and give yourself credit where credit is due. You have the power to make decisions and choices that align with your values and goals. Trust that you know what is best for you and have the ability to navigate challenges and setbacks. It can also be helpful to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Over time, as you learn to validate and trust yourself, you will become more confident in your abilities and more resilient in the face of criticism or judgment from others.

Believe in yourself and your abilities, and know that you don't need anyone else's approval to succeed. And I’ll pass along this gem from one of my mentors: “Never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t go to for advice.” Mic drop.

Practice self-compassion

Self-compassion is the practice of treating yourself with kindness and understanding, rather than criticism and judgment. When we practice self-compassion, we're better able to accept our imperfections and mistakes, which in turn can help us to let go of the opinions of others. So, the next time you make a mistake or feel self-conscious, try to be kind and gentle with yourself. Remind yourself that it's okay to be imperfect, and that you're doing the best you can.

Being kind and gentle with yourself is an essential part of stopping caring about what others think. We are often our own harshest critics, and it can be easy to fall into a pattern of negative self-talk and self-judgment. However, treating yourself with kindness and compassion can help you break free from this cycle and cultivate a more positive and supportive relationship with yourself. Start by practicing self-care and doing things that make you feel good, whether that's taking a relaxing bath, going for a walk in nature, or indulging in your favorite hobby. Treat yourself as you would treat a dear friend, with kindness, empathy, and understanding. Remember, you are deserving of love and respect, including from yourself. By being kind and gentle with yourself, you can build a foundation of self-love and acceptance that will help you let go of the opinions of others and embrace your true self.

Surround yourself with supportive people

Surrounding yourself with supportive people can be incredibly helpful in letting go of what others think. These are the people who lift you up and make you feel good about yourself. They can be friends, family members, mentors, or colleagues. When you have a strong support system, it becomes easier to let go of the need for validation from others. You can also seek out professional support, such as a therapist or coach, to help you work through any issues related to caring too much about what others think.

Having a strong support system is crucial when it comes to letting go of the need for validation from others. When you have people in your life who believe in you and support you no matter what, it becomes easier to trust your own instincts and decisions. They can provide a sounding board for your ideas and goals, and offer encouragement and motivation when you face challenges or setbacks. Additionally, a strong support system can help you keep things in perspective and remind you of your own worth and value, even when others may not see it. By surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting people, you can build a sense of confidence and security that makes it easier to let go of the opinions and judgments of others.

Challenge negative self-talk

Negative self-talk can be a major barrier to letting go of what others think. When we engage in negative self-talk, we reinforce the idea that we're not good enough, smart enough, or capable enough. To break this cycle, it's important to challenge negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations.

Let's say you're dealing with a difficult situation at work or in your personal life. You might start thinking things like, "I'm not good enough for this, I'm never going to figure it out," or "Why do I always mess things up? I'm such a failure."

To reframe this negative self-talk, you could try saying something like, "This is a tough situation, but I'm capable and resourceful. I've faced challenges before and come out stronger for it. I can do this," or "Making mistakes is a normal part of learning and growing. It doesn't define me or my worth as a person."

By reframing negative self-talk in a more positive and realistic way, you can avoid getting caught up in a spiral of self-doubt and negativity. It takes practice, but with time and effort, you can learn to reframe your thoughts and cultivate a more positive and supportive inner voice.

Practice gratitude

Finally, practicing gratitude can be a powerful tool in letting go of what others think. When we focus on what we're grateful for, we shift our attention away from our insecurities and worries, and towards the positive aspects of our lives. Take some time each day to reflect on the things you're grateful for, whether it's your business, your family, the inventor of dry shampoo, your dog, or that one coworker who always brings snacks to share.

The human brain is wired to be negative as a way of protecting us from potential threats and dangers. This can lead to a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of our lives, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and dissatisfaction. However, research has shown that practicing gratitude can help to rewire the brain and cultivate a more positive outlook. By focusing on the things we're thankful for, we can shift our attention away from negative thoughts and emotions and create a more balanced perspective. Over time, this can lead to a more positive mindset and greater overall well-being. So, even when things feel challenging, taking the time to reflect on the things you're grateful for can be a powerful way to retrain your brain and cultivate a more positive outlook.

Remember, caring too much about what others think can be a major obstacle to success and happiness. By practicing these seven ideas, you can start to let go of the need for validation and focus on your own goals and values. Remember, it's not easy to break free from the opinions of others, but with time and effort, it's possible. So, go out there and live your life on your terms, unapologetically and authentically. As the great philosopher RuPaul once said, "What other people think of me is none of my business."


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