Are you worried what other people think about You? Does it exhaust you?
I was there too. There is a way out. But first let me tell you a story.
One of my clients and beautiful friend Laura came to me with a problem. I asked her permission to share this story as we both know that many of us can refer to that.
Laura is a beautiful, successful women. She never tells it herself, but everyone around finds her a great person. In spite of that, she always seemed to worry what other people think about her, where she was good enough friend, college and so on. Whether her best friends were busy to answer the call or her boss wasn’t in the mood she was looking for the reason in herself. I mean of course being a smart person she clearly understands when someone is busy to answer the call it’s NOTHING about her! BUT all this Buzz started going on in her mind. Is that about me? Have I done something wrong?
At one point she couldn’t take it anymore, so she came to me with a phrase: ‘Constant worries is killing me! It seems I can find what’s wrong everywhere, but at the same time God, my life is fine! Why do I struggle so much?!”
We decided to take a deep look at her problem and understand it step by step, coming to the solution.
She was constantly worried. Why? What other people think about her bothered her, that's why she was trying to meet other’s expectations. Stay with me, here where it gets interesting. We can dive deeper into parents (and childhood) story but now what I want more is to show you the basics.
Why is the opinion of other people so important for us? Have you ever thought about it?
It seems sometimes that we are addicted to the impression we make.
I believe the answer is very simple.
I used to ask myself, so I asked Laura and asking you right now, what is the character of the need to meet expectations or (worrying too much what other people think)? What is the deep reason of it? I believe it is a lack of understanding what your individuality is, why you, in particular, are special and what you can bring with it. Or as Beyonce would say “feeling yourself” (feeling myself)
One of the most important and essential needs everyone has is a need to connect with others. When we are too worried what others think, deep inside we probably don’t believe we are worth connection, our individuality is worth attention. That’s why often we are desperate to be what others want us to be, we are desperate to meet expectation so we can find connection we need.
Nowadays science has incredible discoveries about the way our brain works. It is simple and complicated at the same time. What is simple about it is the way we can apply it in everyday life, break down into small pieces and use to form our life the way we want.
What I really want to pay your attention to is the way you seek connection (subconsciously). The way you seek connection whether it is trying to meet expectations of others' or something else is a HABIT. Our brain formed a neural connection to fulfill this need since early childhood. And we have been repeating this habit for years.
Trying to meet expectations of others is a HABIT.
Let’s look at Laura again. When she was a kid her parents were very busy at work. When I asked her: “How did you find approval when you were a little girl?”. We usually discuss questions like this in a state of deep meditation, working with visual images to get very honest answers from the subconscious mind. We do the same in a group in the School of Confidence.
She told: "Be a nice girl, always be a nice girl..". "Great, - I said, - is there anything else you feel about it?". "Yeah.. be quiet and don’t ask about anything...don’t distract”
She opened her eyes: “God. - she gasped, - I never ask for what I need at work! It just feels unnatural... But I struggle so much because of it. I resent and get sad when people don’t pay attention. But I think I got it… I never asked!”. "So what is your way to connect with people?" - I asked."Be a nice, quiet girl..."- She replied quietly.
Habit is what we repeat subconsciously on auto pilot. So to change it it is important to acknowledge it first.
Worrying what other people think is a HABIT. And as any habit it could be changed.
Let me provide an easy and effective algorithm for You:
1.Recognize that your worries about others’ opinion are YOUR way to make necessary connection with people
Even if it feels ridiculous and it is hard for you to admit that you are the one who is creating your own troubles, this painful (only at first) truth will give you the freedom you want. Freedom to move on to the better word for yourself, the one you see in your head.
2. What did your parents expect from you when you were a kid? Which of yours behavior did they enjoy most of all?
A couple of weeks ago my friend called me with a desperate question. She moved in with her boyfriend not long ago and was experiencing anxiety since then. She was afraid to lose her independence and felt like a victim as she forced herself to cook for her man every day, clean for him and so on.
I know her family very well so I asked her just one question. I said: “Tell me, what was the way your mom showed love (=make connection) to your dad?”. She thought and gasped: “She played a victim all the time!”. “Exactly, - I said, - You were observing this behavior your whole life! Our brain is like loam. Until you take responsibility to print a different model there it will repeat what you already have”.
Please, don’t get me wrong here about the parent-child story. I understand the influence our childhood have (it’s science)), but I don’t make it the most significant part. I believe in absolute independence and responsibility of every single person, including YOU. So let’s focus on solving our worries on a max level with a max responsibility for our lives.
3. What is your subconscious way to make connection? Or how do you try to meet expectations?
4. Were you at some point of your life afraid to express your individuality?
5. What would you do differently back then to know and show your true identity more?
6. Do it now!
There is no promise you will stop worrying what other people think straight away. It is a complicated process. But the only way to change a habit is to know it and REPLACE with more constructive actions.
This exactly what I suggest you do today,
You deserve to be yourself and what is more, the world will be honored to see your individuality,
I definitely will,