Overthinking and worrying about what other people think of us is something we all do. However, some people do it more than others.
This is a very draining activity and at the end of the day, is completely pointless and detrimental to your wellbeing.
It affects your mood, it affects your sleep and most importantly, it can stop you from doing what you want to do.
The 3 R’s
Here are 3 ways to calm your mind when it starts going into overdrive about other people’s opinions of you:
1. Record – Try writing down the thought that you have in your head. An example “Mary didn’t say hello, she must be annoyed with me over the joke I made last week” Here you have recorded what is going on for you, what your mind is telling you is going on.
2. Rationalize – Take the time to truly examine the scenario and try to see what actually might have happened in the scenario. For example: “Mary actually laughed at the joke at the time, and we talked every day since”.
3. Replace – Look at replacing the negative thoughts that we often allow into our head to take over, and call it out; tell it you don’t need it and then replace it with a more positive thought (which is often the reality anyway). For example: “I was standing behind something and Mary obviously didn’t see me. When I shouted hello, she didn’t hear because she had her ear pods in. Mary isn’t ignoring me; she isn’t annoyed with me”.
Remember, it takes a bit of time and a bit of practice, and you will need to learn how to train your mind to see things in a more fair and balanced way but keep at it and no doubt you’ll feel the positive effects soon.
The hidden cost of worrying too much
While some of us worry about others will think of our goals or dreams but do them anyway, many of us let our fear of how others might react scare us out of ever doing the things we want to do.
Because that’s the key thing – it’s your ‘perceived’ idea of what others think that is holding you back. Unless you’ve put your ideas on social media and others have commented on them, there’s a good chance that you don’t actually know what others think of your plans. They might love them!
Think of everyone on social media who has started their own business or brought out a line of clothing, makeup, fitness or lifestyle products. They all had to start somewhere. They were all at the mercy of what others would think of them. But they did it anyway.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Wayne Gretzki
Be true to yourself
It might sound corny but this is important: when you truly see yourself for who and what you are and become comfortable with this, what others think won’t matter.
We can do certain things to boost our self-esteem:
- Take time to look deep within ourselves and examine ourselves in a balanced way, with fairness and honesty.
- Make a list all the wonderful traits you have. This will help take away the worry you have about what others think of you because you know who you are and appreciate these qualities about yourself. People who matter will appreciate these positive qualities about you as well and for those that don’t, chances are you’re better off without them in your life.
- Remember that thoughts aren’t facts. You may think that other people are thinking negative things about you, but it doesn’t mean that they are, and it doesn’t mean that their thoughts are true.