We all want to be loved. We want our talents, characters, and personalities to be appreciated by everyone or at least those we care about. The problem arises when some people start relying on other people's opinions and making them the focal point of their success. When this happens, such people tend to tailor their lives to meet up with other people's goals and expectations, and they become trapped in a mental prison. "Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner," said Lao Tzu.
Most of us have fallen in this mental trap. I was there some time ago. I used to do everything to please the people around me and make them like me more. I would dress up the way my friends wanted me to dress, I would sit for hours worrying about what I had said or had not said in class that could have made my classmates feel like I was not intelligent enough, I would take about 10 pictures and will post the one which I felt most people will like and also add filters so as to get the most likes. I was always seeking people's approval. I was no longer living my life, I was no longer trying to reach my own goals, I was always worried about what A, B or C will think/say.
I did this until I realised I was living in a vicious cycle. I realised that it was impossible for me to please everyone. No matter how hard I tried, there would always be someone who will be unhappy about a choice I made, there would always be someone who will criticise me. I gave so much power away to other people, and I no longer recognised myself. The truth is, no matter what you do or who you are, there are always people who will like you and others who will hate you, but none of that, really, is your business. So how do you stop caring too much about what other people think of you?
Firstly, what I did was focus more on what mattered to ME, and only ME. I decided to focus more on my goals, my values, my dreams, my aspirations, my ….because, truly, that is all that matters. It’s all about you. You will start enjoying your life more when you actually start living your life again.
Secondly, I realised that I could not really affect whatever people thought, said or felt about me, so I concluded it should not be my business. It was perfectly illustrated by Byron Katie. There are 3 types of business in the world; Nature’s/God’s business, other people’s business, and your business. Where and when you were born, your race, your sex, the weather are all Nature’s/God’s business. You can’t control any of that, so it is not your business. The second type is other people’s business; what anyone decides to do is their business, what your classmates think about you is their business, whether your colleagues come late/early to work is their business. The third business is your business. If you get angry when your colleague comes late, it is your business. If you care about what your classmates think about you, it is your business. So, the only business you should be concerned with is your business, because that is what you can control.
At the end of the day, whether you have the best of intentions or not, some people will still hate you. So why spend all that energy trying to please people? You need to make a conscious effort to let go of what people think of you. Live your life, mind your business, make your own decisions and be responsible for them, and you will enjoy your life more.
1 : What other people think or say about you is not your business
2 : You can't please everyone no matter what you doCategory: Values / Subcategory: Authenticity
Tags: worry, change, values