If you’re on social media then you may have seen one of those memes that tell you “what other people think of you is none of your business”. But why is what other people think of you not as important as you may think? Here are my 3 reasons:
You have a different purpose in life
We are all different. We have different DNA (unless your an identical twin/triplet etc), different fingerprints, different experiences and we all have a different purpose in life. Mine is to help you achieve your true potential. Your’s maybe to teach the world to sing, to bring criminals to justice, to be the fastest person in the world, to climb the highest mountains. The point is, your purpose in life is as individual as your DNA.
The thing is, if you try to be someone you’re not, you just end up joining someone else on their journey. That’s great. For them. They get to where they want to be, and have some company on the way. But what about you? You end up in a place where someone else is happy for you to be there, but where you find that when YOU get there, you’re as miserable as hell.
Once you get clear on your purpose in life, then you can start travelling on your own journey. You will be clear on what that journey is, what the destination is and the different routes you could take to get there.
You have different passions
Your purpose in life is what you’re meant to do. Your passion is the love of something. Talent will get you so far, passion, or the love of something, will take you further.
If someone criticises you based on their passion, then they are judging you based on something they love. That’s ok, but don’t get sucked into the idea that there is only one opinion or one right way of doing things. If that was the case, life would be very dull.
When you are clear on what you love, on what makes YOU happy, then you can start to enjoy the journey that you’re taking. You’ll also go further, because you really want to be there.
You have different values
Our values are deeply personal to us. They are the things that are important to us and they are the things that drive our behaviour. Sometimes, they only show up when something annoys us: someone making racist comments, the pro-life/pro-choice arguments, the right to consent. When I started thinking about my own values, I realised that I had loads of them: family, integrity, freedom of choice, independence, compassion, creativity, innovation, colour.
When someone criticises you or your behaviour, it’s because your values and their values are inconsistent. If they persist, then they are trying to impose their values on you. If you accept this, then it just doesn’t feel right and it could lead you to feeling stressed.
For me, family is my highest value. There are reasons for this, but when I make decisions, I always take into account my family: will there be someone to pick up my child from school, is there someone to care for my Dad, how can I help my husband be the person he is? I get really stressed when I’m called upon to do something that conflicts with this value. So, I’ve created boundaries for myself: I check that if I want to do something that conflicts with collecting my child from school, that there is someone I trust who will be there instead. I won’t accept meetings, courses etc that conflict with this. Honouring my values makes choices clearer, and makes it easier to say sorry or no thank you.
If you don’t understand what your values are and honour them, then you’re going to be consistently stressed.
For some people, what other people think of them is so important, they change what they do, how they act, who they interact with and how they spend their time. They shape themselves to fit a mold that someone else created. The problem is, fashion changes. What was acceptable 40 years ago is no longer tolerated.
Be guided by your own values.
Why what other people think of you shouldn’t matter
You have a choice.
Be the person you were meant to be.
Or be someone else’s version of what you should be.
Guess which choice will make you happier?
Take care for now