6 Mar 2016

12 Steps to Worrying Less About What Others Think of You.

It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March – but this post isn’t exclusively for women……
‘You will become way less concerned about with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do’ David Foster Wallace
1. It’s never about you.
Whatever judgement is being passed on you has very little to do with you and everything to do with the judges opinion about what you should be like. Hear the judgmental voice through the lens of listening for what they are really saying about themselves.
2. Let go of the need for approval
If you want to live your life in the direction you choose for yourself, rather than navigating according to the views of others, it’s vital to free yourself from any need you have for external approval. That way, you’re much more likely to find yourself at a destination that fills you with joy rather than one you neither like nor intended.
3. Distance from a perpetual judger might be the only thing that works
This advice applies to your mother, your boss or that schoolfriend who constantly criticises you. Sometimes the only way to stop feeling the pain of their critical words is to be too far away to hear them.
4. Quit the habit of judging others
If you judge others, you’re likely really to be comparing yourself against them and finding yourself wanting – so passing judgment is a subconscious way of getting back some power gained from ‘being right/wiser/whatever’. By developing a habit of observing and seeking to understand what their perspective or reasoning might be, you can quit the habit of judging, and ultimately be kinder to yourself and others.
5. Every time you judge someone else you perpetuate the cycle of judgement
When you make someone else wrong, you often have a need to correct, convince, control ,or change them. Someone should “be or do” the way you expect. Blaming, complaining, or condemning becomes acceptable. The truth is, they haven’t read all the ‘shoulds’ in your rulebook. If they’ve transgressed any of your rules, then ask yourself what you need from them in order for things to be okay, and why. If the answer is about exercising control or needing to be ‘right’, then let it go. And understand that when others are judging you – it’s just the same process going on with them.
6. Be kind to yourself.
When you make yourself wrong, you hold thoughts of how you should be, and end up feeling ‘not good enough’. When you feel the constriction of not being good enough, be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that you were doing the best you could with what you knew at the time, and look for what you can learn from the situation. It’s also worth checking if any of the ‘shoulds’ you breached are still relevant to who you are now – or inherited from well-meaning parents or other authority figures. Ditch them if they’re out of date.
7. A Taoist’s Measure of Man is to Release Judgment.
The only true measure of life is not to measure it at all, but rather to simply live it fully.
8. Identify a circle of friends/family whose judgment you value – and listen to them
We all strive to grow. Having a ‘circle of trust’ that holds the friends and family whose opinion you value most – because you know they have your best interests at heart- is vital. Ask for their opinion and listen to them – frequently. Add to the circle as you grow and meet more ‘like minded’ souls. Keep your circle relevant to who you are and who you want to become. Hold the views of those who bolster you close when around those who are harsh.
9. Failure is the hallmark of success 
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
Don’t worry if you’ve done something ‘wrong’; rather use the experience to make you a better person as a result, and encourage others to do the same. Carrying around a guilty complex doesn’t feel very good, and it facilitates the potential to judge others and yourself too severely.
10. Celebrate your success
Celebrate any success- fully and completely – and connect with why you made the decision that led you there and how right it feels for you. Taking in the happiness of the moment is a powerful way to strengthen your inner cheerleader.
11. Feel compassion for the person making the judgment
People who judge you are often themselves craving approval. By really understanding their need to be liked or approved of, you are enabled to see them as vulnerable – and their judgment of you loses its’ power.
12. If your boss judges you, you might have to listen
But the more objective you are able to be – intellectually rather than emotionally processing the feedback, the more likely your response is to be constructive instead of defensive.
What you think about me is none of my business’ Dr Wayne Dyer