There are lots of ways that we can – if we allow ourselves to – be our own worst enemy. A self-saboteur of the grandest proportions. The pourer of cement in our own boots. Feel me? Know what I’m talking about? I think we ALL do!
And often the way we treat ourselves poorly and hold ourselves back is by convincing ourselves that we are not actually doing that, but rather that it’s someone else’s fault that what we are wanting or not wanting is taking place. Oh the irony. We place blame outside ourselves and onto something or someone else when if we were just really honest with ourselves – we know that we are the real heart of the place we find ourselves in.
And one of the biggest ways I see people, (chiefly women), do this to themselves is by being worried about what other people think of them. In fact, I think this is a dis-ease so significant for some women that it’s almost an addiction; something they latch on to with fierce determination using it as a constant shield to stop them from doing what they really want and shining in the way they know they can. And they keep doing it because even though their light and soul doesn’t want them to do it and wants them to change, their fear and ego grips them because it keeps them safe, contained, and supposedly free from criticism.
How do you stop though? How do you give up worrying what others think of you when as a gender and even as a society we have become so used to turning to others for validation and reassurance? When we have found ourselves a ‘convenient’ way to stay small, sabotage ourselves, keep our wings clipped and held back – all while potentially blaming others by telling ourselves things like “But they will laugh at me” or “I will get pulled down” or “No one will get me” or “What if they don’t like it?” And all of this is very convenient dear heart. Super. And so easy to cloak yourself with and never do or say or be what you really want to do, say or be.
And to me there is no greater waste (yes I am going to use that strong word) than a life that is half lived in this way. A life that could of been so much richer and deeper and more joyous but not, because of fear of what others think, or might think, or say, or might say. If you can recognise yourself in any of these ways I want to let you know something very important. You’re reading this right now is a sign. It’s a sign that it’s time. Time for you to give up worrying what others think of you. Time for you to take back control of your life. Time for you to really be who you’re meant to be.
Let’s do this together. Here is how to give up worrying what others think of you gently, lovingly and with total commitment.
Recognise the Futility
This is the big one. If you think you can control what others think of you – you’re dreaming. You can’t. No one can. No matter what you do or do not do, you cannot control what anyone else thinks of you. This is not a statement that can be disputed. It is a fact. The only person we have control over the thought processes of is ourselves. We cannot control whether anyone else likes us, loves us, approves of us or dislikes everything we stand for and are. That is a choice that entirely rests with them. We can bend over backwards to please or impress someone and it still not end with them being pleased or impressed with us. And we can then simply be ourselves ‘doing’ very little – and someone will feel a gravitational pull right towards us. That’s the way that conscious relationships work. People make their own decisions about who and what works for them (and who does not) based on their own thoughts, needs and desires. And what you do or don’t do will not control an end result that entirely rests with them.
And so what does this all mean? Put it this way…
If you know that no matter what you do or do not do you cannot control the reaction or what anyone else will think, doesn’t it stand to reason that the only thing worth doing is what you want? What lights you up? What’s calling you? What’s stirring in your soul and demanding to shine out in the world? Doesn’t it make sense that you should just do what you want and know will please you? Because you’re the only person you can please and control?
It absolutely does. So stop not doing what you want out of the fear of how others may react or what they will think. You can’t control it. And what you can’t control – you need to leave well alone – focusing on what you can control and make your own.
Reclaim Your Power
When you don’t do things or hold yourself back from doing something to your full capabilities because what others may think, you are giving away your power. And sometimes you don’t even know who these people are you are giving away your sovereignty to. Yes, we can worry about our family and friends will think, but other times we get caught in a whirlwind about what people we don’t even know are thinking about in relation to us. “I’m worried people will think I’m pushy.” “I am fearful that if I put this out there people will criticise me.” “I am sure that someone will say something negative about this.” “What if they don’t like it?”
Who is they? Who are these people? Who is someone? It’s likely no one you know, but rather a ‘someone’ you have made up in your head that you are giving away your power to. And they may not even exist.
This is your life. Live powerfully and at your centre. How do you do that? By making conscious decisions for you. Conscious decisions that serve you and show that you are a woman who puts their self-love in action and believes that they, and they alone, are the opinion that matters most.
Don’t Future Trip
So much of worrying about what others think of us is done when we are in what I call ‘future tripping’ mode. We are worrying about something that might happen. Someone who might say something. A person out there that might react a certain way. Now I know that you know we cannot predict the future. However if that is the case why do we spend so much time worrying about what may happen in it by people and in circumstances we cannot control? Please refer back to my point about futility. Got it? Right!
And so please beautiful one – be here now. Cultivate moment to moment and daily practices that consciously see you create a divine relationship with the present and where you are. Letting your ego launch you into future territories that you have no control over is something you are allowing yourself to do out of fear. And I can promise you that the present is a much gentler, kinder and more soulful place to be. Try exploring meditation, yoga, breathwork, crystal work and journalling, as ways to help you fall in love with the beauty of the now.
Be With Your People
If you have had an experience of putting something important out to the world and being criticised or pulled down in some way about it – congratulations. I really mean that. Congratulations for having the courage to have a go at something. For putting yourself out there. For leaping off the ledge. For getting out of your comfort zone. For creating something so worthwhile that you caused such a strong human reaction. You’re amazing. Your courage has been on display. Don’t for one moment think because of the reaction that one person or even many people had to what you did, means that is going to happen every time or that it’s a sign you shouldn’t shine or do more. Not at all.
It’s actually a beautiful and powerful sign to you of who your people are and who they are not. And when you know that, you are one step closer to really finding your own divine community, sisterhood, and circle of people who are meant to journey through life with you. You will never be in a situation in your life where everyone will like or resonate with you. No one can be. There will always be detractors, dismissers and even trolls and haters. Always. And the simple truth is nothing more than – they are not your people. They are for someone else and not for you. They are not people to worry about, be consumed by, or try to convert to your way of thinking, doing or being.
Your people are those that organically, ease-fully and beautifully ‘get you.’ Those who see you for who you really are at a soul level. Those who love what you do from a place of honesty and core values. Those who find it easy to believe in you, support you and love you. Those who you never need to worry about what they might think. (See the full circle here?) Those are your people. And those are the only people – the only people – that you should surround yourself with. Everyone else is either not your people or they are not your people yet. Keep leaping off the ledge and your sisterhood will magnetically grow bigger with your people.
You Only Get One Life
Final thought. Big one.
You don’t get to come around this way again. This is the only life you get in this form. You are here now. You have been gifted a soul and body presence to fulfil a destiny of your own creation. You do not have time to worry about what other people think of you. You’ve got work to do. And one shot. Don’t be wasting time and effort and energy on things you can’t control.
Focus on you – the only thing you can control – and the magnificent work you are here to do and contribution you are here to make. We are waiting for you. And so ready for you in all your glory.
Thank you Julie for an amazing post. This came at the right time for me. Much love and appreciation xx
I’m so glad it found you at the right time Angela. Thank YOU for being here with me.
Julie Parker, this is so incredibly amazing! Thank you for your beautiful heart and sharing these truths and words of wisdom with us. I’m so inspired!
That’s wonderful Alana. I hope you really take that inspiration and create something amazing for yourself by way of your life, thinking and purpose. It’s so much easier to do without the shackles of worrying what others will think while doing it!
The timing of this is so significant for me. Thank you for this thoughtful and loving piece.
So glad it found you Julie.
I couldn’t agree more with every word of this Julie! What an amazing world of opportunities we would have if we could all let go of this pressure… Thank you for reminding us.
You’re so right Lucy! Let’s hope we ALL can sooner rather than later.
Oh yes! For me – being 45 has a lot to do with it. In my 20’s and 30’s I was so much more caught up in self-consciousness. I wouldn’t go back for anything. Great piece Julie. ♡
Yes Kylian! There is no doubt that becoming graciously older and wiser can help with this need in our life – a LOT.