5 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” ~Lao Tzu

We carefully pick out what we wear to the gym to make sure we look good in the eyes of the other gym goers.

We beat ourselves up after meetings running through everything we said (or didn’t say), worried that coworkers will think we aren’t smart or talented enough.

We post only the best picture out of the twenty-seven selfies we took and add a flattering filter to get the most likes to prove to ourselves that we are pretty and likable.

We live in other people’s heads.

And all it does is make us judge ourselves more harshly. It makes us uncomfortable in our own bodies. It makes us feel apologetic for being ourselves. It makes us live according to our perception of other people’s standards.

It makes us feel inauthentic. Anxious. Judgmental. Not good enough. Not likable enough. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough.

F*ck that sh*t.

The truth is, other people’s opinions of us are none of our business. Their opinions have nothing to do with us and everything to do with them, their past, their judgments, their expectations, their likes, and their dislikes.

I could stand in front of twenty strangers and speak on any topic. Some of them will hate what I’m wearing, some will love it. Some will think I’m a fool, and others will love what I have to say. Some will forget me as soon as they leave, others will remember me for years.

Some will hate me because I remind them of their annoying sister-in-law. Others will feel compassionate toward me because I remind them of their daughter. Some will completely understand what I have to say, and others will misinterpret my words.

Each of them will get the exact same me. I will do my best and be the best I can be in that moment. But their opinions of me will vary. And that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.

No matter what I do some people will never like me. No matter what I do some people will always like me. Either way, it has nothing to do with me. And it’s none of my business.

Ok, “that’s all well and good” you may be thinking. “But how do I stop caring what other people think of me?”

1. Know your values.

Knowing your top core values is like having a brighter flashlight to get you through the woods. A duller light may still get you where you need to go, but you’ll stumble more or be led astray.

With a brighter light the decisions you make—left or right, up or down, yes or no—become clearer and easier to make.

For years I had no idea what I truly valued, and I felt lost in life as a result. I never felt confident in my decisions, and I questioned everything I said and did.

Doing core values work on myself has made a huge impact on my life. I came to realize that “compassion” is my top core value. Now when I find myself questioning my career decisions because I’m worried about disappointing my parents (a huge trigger for me), I remind myself that “compassion” also means “self-compassion,” and I’m able to cut myself some slack.

If you value courage and perseverance and you show up at the gym even though you are nervous and have “lame” gym clothes, you don’t have to dwell on what the other gym goers think about you.

If you value inner peace and you need to say “no” to someone who is asking for your time, and your plate is already full to the max, you can do so without feeling like they will judge you for being a selfish person.

If you value authenticity and you share your opinion in a crowd, you can do so with confidence knowing that you are living your values and being yourself.

Know your core values, and which ones you value the most. Your flashlight will be brighter for it.

2. Know to stay in your own business.

Another way to stop caring about what other people think is to understand that there are three types of business in the world. This is a lesson I learned from Byron Katie, and I love it.

The first is God’s business. If the word “God” isn’t to your liking, you can use another word here that works for you, like the Universe or “nature.” I think I like “nature” better, so I’ll use that.

The weather is nature’s business. Who dies and who is born is nature’s business. The body and genes you were given are nature’s business. You have no place in nature’s business. You can’t control it.

The second type of business is other people’s business. What they do is their business. What your neighbor thinks of you is his business. What time your coworker comes into work is her business. If the driver in the other car doesn’t go when the light turns green, it’s their business.

The third type of business is your business.

If you get angry with the other driver because you now have to wait at another red light, that’s your business.

If you get irritated because your coworker is late again, that’s your business.

If you are worried about what your neighbor thinks of you that’s your business.

What they think is their business. What you think (and in turn, feel) is your business.

Whose business are you in when you’re worried about what you’re wearing? Whose business are you in when you dwell on how your joke was received at the party?

You only have one business to concern yourself with—yours. What you think and what you do are the only things you can control in life. That’s it.

3. Know that you have full ownership over your feelings.

When we base our feelings on other people’s opinions, we are allowing them to control our lives. We’re basically allowing them to be our puppet master, and when they pull the strings just right, we either feel good or bad.

If someone ignores you, you feel bad. You may think “she made me feel this way by ignoring me.” But the truth is, she has no control over how you feel.

She ignored you and you assigned meaning to that action. To you, that meant that you are not worth her time, or you are not likable enough, smart enough, or cool enough.

Then you felt sad or mad because of the meaning you applied. You had an emotional reaction to your own thought.

When we give ownership of our feelings over to others, we give up control over our emotions. The fact of the matter is, the only person that can hurt your feelings is you.

To change how other people’s actions make you feel, you only need to change a thought. This step sometimes takes a bit of work because our thoughts are usually automatic or even on the unconscious level, so it may take some digging to figure out what thought is causing your emotion.

But once you do, challenge it, question it, or accept it. Your emotions will follow.

4. Know that you are doing your best.

One of the annoying things my mom would say growing up (and she still says) is “You did the best you could with what you had at the time.”

I hated that saying.

I had high standards of myself and I always thought that I could have done better. So when I didn’t meet those expectations my inner bully would come out and beat the crap out of me.

How much of your life have you spent kicking yourself because you thought you said something dumb? Or because you showed up late? Or that you looked weird?

Every time, you did the best you could. Every. Single. Time.

That’s because everything we do has a positive intent. It may not be obvious, but it’s there.

Literally as I’m writing this post sitting in a tea shop in Portland, Maine, another patron went to the counter and asked what types of tea he could blend with his smoky Lapsang Souchong tea (a favorite of mine as well).

He hadn’t asked me, but I chimed in that maybe chaga mushroom would go well because of its earthy flavor. He seemed unimpressed with the unsolicited advice and turned back to the counter.

The old me would have taken that response to heart and felt terrible the rest of the afternoon thinking how this guy must think I’m a dope and annoying for jumping into the conversation uninvited.

But let’s take a look at what I had in that moment:

  • I had an urge to try to be helpful and a core value of kindness and compassion
  • I had an interest in the conversation
  • I had an impression that my feedback might be well received
  • I had a desire to connect with a new person on a shared interest

I did the best I could with what I had.

Because I know that, I have no regrets. I also know that his opinion of me is none of my business and I was living in tune with my values trying to be helpful!

Though, I could also see how from another perspective that forcing my way into a conversation and pushing my ideas on someone who did not ask may have been preserved as rude. And rudeness goes against my core value of compassion.

That leads me to the next lesson.

5. Know that everyone makes mistakes.

We live in a culture where we don’t often talk about how we feel. It turns out we all experience the same feelings, and we all make mistakes. Go figure!

Even if you are living in tune with your values, even if you are staying in your own business, even if you are doing your best, you will make mistakes. Without question.

So what? We all do. We all have. Having compassion for yourself comes easier when you understand that everyone has felt that way. Everyone has gone through it.

The only productive thing you can do with your mistakes is to learn from them. Once you figure out the lesson you can take from the experience, rumination is not at all necessary and it’s time to move on.

In the case of tea patron-interjection-debacle, I could have done a better job of reading his body language and noticed that he wanted to connect with the tea sommelier and not a random stranger.

Lesson learned. No self-bullying required.

At my last company I accidentally caused a company-wide upset. A friend and coworker of mine, who had been at the company for a few years, had been asking to get a better parking spot. One came available as someone left the company, but he still was passed over.

He’s such a nice guy, and as my department was full of sarcastics, I thought it would be funny to create a pun-filled petition for him to get the better spot.

I had no idea that it was going to be taken so poorly by some people. It went up the chain of command and looked like our department was full of unappreciative, needy whiners.

And our boss thought it looked like I used my position to coerce people into signing it. He brought the whole department together and painfully and uncomfortably called out the whole terrible situation and demanded it never happen again.

I. Was. MORTIFIED.

He hadn’t named me, but most people knew I created it. I was so embarrassed and ashamed.

But here’s what I did:

  1. I reminded myself of my values. I value compassion and humor. I thought I was doing a kind but funny act for a friend.
  2. When I found myself worrying what other people must now think of me, I told myself that if they thought poorly of me (of which I had no evidence) all I could do wass to continue to be my best me.
  3. When flashbacks of that awful meeting came back to mind, flushing my face full of heat and shame, I remembered to take ownership over how I felt and not let the memory of the event or what other people think dictate how I feel now.
  4. I reminded myself that I did the best I could with what I had at the time. I had a desire to help a friend and an idea I thought was funny and assumed would go over well.
  5. I realized that I made a mistake. The lesson I learned was to be more considerate of how others may receive my sense of humor. Not everyone finds me as funny as my husband does. I can make better decisions now because of it.

And after a short time the whole incident was forgotten.

Stop worrying about what other people think. It will change your life.

About Sandy Woznicki

Sandy is a stress and anxiety coach and mindfulness teacher helping women let go of worry, feel confident, gain control, overcome fear, and sleep better. Her coaching and free resources like the Stress Detox Course help women to live more fully and freely. She’s happily married to her goofy husband and loves connecting with nature in beautiful Maine.

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5 Q’s for a Luminous New Year in Business

Fire Starter,

On Team D we think of September as the new January, so a few months ago we dove into business-related retrospection and visioning to get free & clear for 2019. Whenever you’re ready to start fresh, here are a few laser-focused questions.

A SHORT HOW-TO FOR DOING A YEARLY RETROSPECTIVE

Step 1: Write a list of the highlights of the last year or season.
You only have five minutes. Write anything. It’s fascinating to see what surfaces when you don’t filter it, hence the time pressure.

Optional… Step 2: Have a good friend look over your list and point out anything you missed, and what they see as your patterns.
My friend, Steph, helped me with this one year… “You know what you didn’t mention on this list? HELLO! That the business made $X last year! That you did THAT business deal, and THAT business deal.”

Oops. I laughed, “Oh yeah. Money. We done good. But! I also got the BEST HAIRCUT EVER and that is monumental.” And then the laughter/dismay tears/laughter came back. I completely blanked on the dollars and deals. All I could remember was that song, and that day at the beach, and crying in the cafe, and THAT idea and THAT idea, and the ONE THING I said that day that made it all better… “My body remembers everything that really matters.” I thought.

Step 3: What pattern do YOU see?
What very obviously gave you joy? What was “big” but didn’t even make it on to the list?

Step 4: What really matters?
Chill out more and really think about what moved you and mattered the most in your past year.

Step 5: Focus.
Determine the five things you’re going to focus on in the next year or phase of your life. (Easier said than done, and/but… such focus is ESSENTIAL to your success.) Go back to Step 3.

And… that’s it. If you want to go deeper, you can always tuck into the retrospection + visioning exercises we have as part of The Desire Map Planner Program. It’s a year of Desire Mapping support that you can use for your life and biz. (It’s $45 á la carte, but comes free with every 2019 Desire Map Planner.)

The key to truly rewarding focus, in business and life, is doing what lights you up. Here’s wishing you a LUMINOUS 2019!
Bright Love,

danielle-signature1-copy

Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries. Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.

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Connecting Your Creative Visualization and Motivation

Some people, when they hear the word, “visualization,” think it means sitting around daydreaming.

But that’s not at all what it is…

Visualization is the practice of intentionally creating detailed pictures in your mind – both still pictures and movies – of the outcomes you want to achieve.

Visualization is a powerful tool that can help motivate you to achieve any goal – such as writing a book, getting a promotion, making more money, paying off your debts, becoming financially independent, taking that dream vacation you want, losing weight, or improving your golf game.

Visualization helps you achieve your goals for several reasons.

Why Visualization Works

Visualization works because it creates something called “structural tension.”

This is a psychological term for something that happens in your subconscious mind when you visualize something that doesn’t exist or hasn’t happened yet.

When you clearly visualize something – and generate all of the emotional feelings you would if you were actually achieving that situation – you experience the same physiological reactions as if you were actually living that experience.

And so your subconscious mind seeks to resolve the tension your visualization has created.

And there are only two ways it can do that – it can either give up the goal or it can figure out how to make it happen.

So if you make it a daily discipline to imagine the end result as already achieved, like brushing your teeth every day, you’ll find yourself making decisions and taking actions that move you in the direction of your goal—even if you’re not consciously aware of it.

A Visualization Example

For example, let’s say you dream of living in Australia for a year.

You imagine yourself getting on the plane, finding a nice place to live on the beach, and spending your days surfing and making friends with the locals.

Every day you take time to imagine yourself living this dream life in Australia.

You imagine how it will feel, who will be there with you, what it will look like, sound like, smell, feel, and taste like.

And before you know it, you start to get creative ideas about how to make this dream a reality.

You find yourself taking actions and making decisions that will help you get to Australia.

You spend your lunch hour researching job opportunities in Australia, and what you need to do to get a visa.

You start to notice more people around you speaking with an Australian accent, and you find yourself striking up conversations with them.

As a result, you make more Australian friends and you are building connections with people who might be able to help you achieve your goals.

You find yourself starting to save money for your big move. And you take advantage of every opportunity that brings you closer to your dreams.

Why? Because the structural tension will create the motivation to actually take the action steps to make it happen.

And it will help you maintain motivation even when you are faced with obstacles and challenges.

How To Start Visualizing

The great thing is, that visualization is a fairly easy skill to master. And you can do it pretty much anywhere – at home, at work, on a bus, or in the park – anywhere you can sit for a few minutes without too much distraction.

All you have to do is close your eyes and imagine yourself experiencing your desired outcome.

Think about:

What goals you want to achieve.

What your life look like when you achieve it.

Where will you be.

What your surroundings look like.

How it feels. What sounds you’re hearing.

What it smells and tastes like.

Your visualization can be created to appear like a movie in your head.

You might even imagine yourself sitting in a theatre, watching it play out like a movie on a screen.

Or it might be like a dream or a video game where you are a part of the action.

However you imagine your vision, immerse yourself in the experience as deeply as you can, so that every detail is as clear as possible, whether it is something you clearly see like a 4D high definition picture or just more like an intense thought you are thinking.

Visualize Daily

I encourage you to engage in this practice every single day.

Do it first thing in the morning, right after you get up, and right before you go to bed at night is ideal.

That way, you go to bed with your goals fixed firmly in your mind, giving your subconscious mind something to work on while you sleep, and you’ll find yourself waking up and starting your day crystal clear on what your goals and priorities are.

Once you make visualization a non-negotiable part of your daily practice, you’ll find it so much easier to stay motivated and focused as you work toward creating your ideal life and making all your dreams come true.

I challenge you to make the commitment to do it every day for 30 days in a row. I guarantee you will begin to see results.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

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