The Secret To No Long Caring What Others Think

I used to tell anyone who would listen that I didn’t care at all what other people thought of me.  I thought I was wearing that fact around like a badge of honor, but what I’ve now come to realize is that I was using that statement much more like a suit of armor. 

I said that to shield and protect myself from the opinions of others.  I needed that protection because the truth is that I didn’t really believe what I was saying.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  I so cared deeply about what other people thought of me that I had lost myself in the opinions of others.

Last week I told you that I identify as a recovering people pleaser.  Making people happy was my drug of choice for a long time, and it wasn’t easy to give up.  Of course, now I know that I can’t actually make other people happy.  To do that I’d have to have the ability to reach into their brains and change their thoughts.

In fact, I’ve pretended to be happy myself more times than I can count because I knew that was what someone else wanted. 

Gaining that knowledge was the first step in my recovery.  When you fully accept that there is nothing you can say or do that will directly impact the emotions of another person, you free yourself from the immense burden that comes from saddling yourself with the responsibility for how other people feel.

You can’t make people feel better.

That alone, however, won’t completely set you free. 

The ultimate freedom comes from learning how to unconditionally love and support yourself.

It wasn’t until I realized that I could provide myself with the same validation that I got from making other people happy that I was able to start handing back reins of emotional responsibility to those I was always trying to please.

It felt like shedding layer after layer of heavy skin, and with each layer I could feel this light shining inward.  Slowly it began to illuminate my authentic self, and as I rediscovered that incredible woman, I began to practice loving and supporting her FIRST.

When you have your own back no matter what, no one’s opinion or emotional state can hurt you.

This is true because another person’s opinion is just their thought until you agree with them and adopt it as your own.

I only felt ashamed when other people told me I was too loud or over the top because I believed them.

I only felt guilty when I didn’t stay late or pick up another shift because I believed that if my colleagues judged that this was lazy, they were right.  The interesting thing about this is that other people were rarely if ever judging me, but because I didn’t know how to support my own needs, I convinced myself that they were. 

The other thing that this type of behavior does is it makes the emotional responses of other people all about us. 

If my husband is unhappy, it must be because of something I’ve done.  That means now I need to fix it.  Have you ever had a really bad day that was made even worse by someone you love trying to make it better?

I know that no matter what happens in my life, my #1 priority will be to support myself with loving kindness.

Now I’m free to approach my life in a way that makes me feel proud.  I do my best to show up in every situation in a way that serves me, and THAT IS ENOUGH.  Even if something doesn’t go well or someone else is upset, I will hold myself in a loving embrace as I would a child, and from that place of love, I will decide if I’d like to do something differently next time.

I will also remember, however, that even if I decide to change something in the future, I will do it because I want to.

I’d love to help you learn more about this.  I can’t think of anything that has had a more positive impact on my life.  I invite you to sign up for my free course How To Feel Better On Your Next Shift, and watch your email for more opportunities to work together.