Recently I’ve become increasingly aware of how much attention I give to what others might think of my life. In fact I’d say that a good 50% of my worries are related to what others might think, and I stress the might!
Frank Sinatra had a brilliant song titled ‘My Way’ in which he looked back on his life and reflected on how he could happily say that he lived it the way he wanted to. And I’ve been thinking lately about how many of us can actually say that we are not ruled by the worry of what other people might think?
From choosing what to wear in the morning, to what we say in a meeting or at our tea break, our choices are determined to some extent by what others might think of us.
Obviously when choosing our words we have to consider other people’s feelings and we need to ensure we cause no hurt or disrespect, but when it comes to little things we might add to a conversation, but decide to hold back for fear of being thought “weird” or “silly”, don’t you sometimes wish you could just talk a bit more freely?
Growing up, my best friend was my total opposite. She was confident, bubbly and could talk to anyone, qualities which I always greatly admired and wished I could possess. I always felt that confidence was something given by the Gods and that I just somehow missed the queue for receiving my dose of it, and so I’d pretty much accepted my fate of being forever shy. I’d accepted that this was the way I was as if it was something physical, for some reason unable to realise that the secret to attaining this ease of speech that I dreamt of was simply not caring so much about what others would think. Now that I’ve finally uncovered this so obvious secret, I make a conscious effort to talk without fear of judgment, and to slightly shorten the length of the filter in my brain so that I can actually get out what I want to say before the topic has been removed and replaced, leaving my greatly deliberated and calculated sentence sadly out of date and useless.
I have also always cared far too much about what others may think of my life choices, when really the only person that I should be seeking to please when making these decisions is the person who must experience the consequences of them, ME! Why do I let my life be influenced by those to whom my choices will only sit in their mind for no longer than a minute rather than considering me who is going to actually be living it?!! It really is absurd when you think about it.
So a new focus I’m adding to my mental “Steps to Conquer Stress” list is not putting so much weight on what others may think to the extent that it actually diminishes my enjoyment of life. I want to free myself of other peoples’ (potential!!!) opinions. It’ll probably take some practicing as it’s become too deeply rooted in my brain, but I’m determined to keep at it as I reckon it’ll be so worth it. I have one life and so I want to live one that fits me, rather than living one made for others and having to try make myself fit it.
Anybody with me? Let me know in the comments if you too want to/ are trying to/ have succeeded in lessening this fear of judgement! I think the world would be such a happier place if we each fearlessly embraced our wonderfully unique personalities.