Sometimes I like to ask you hard questions. I like to make you think. And feel. So, let me ask you, do you worry about what other people think of you?
If you are honest with yourself, I would say that at times that worry creeps into your thoughts. Maybe you can think about it less than others, but it really is a very very common struggle for everyone – but especially Moms. And definitely Moms who work. And especially Moms who own their own businesses (whether they have their own medical practice, are a private voice coach, a nanny, etc)
Women are naturally wired to care about what others think of us – our body size, how we dress, how we wear our hair, what kind of work we do or don’t do, how we parent, how much money we appear to have and how much we are able to spend, and the list goes on.
For some reason, so many of us look at others to decide if we are doing everything the “right” way.
Sometimes being a grown up is scarily similar to the struggle of middle school and trying to fit in.
But here is the irony – worry about how we fit in doesn’t make us thrive and be better people – it is the exactly reason we stay stuck and are afraid to follow our dreams and visions and go after what we want.
With the type of coaching I do; this is a common issue and discussion topic. As a matter of fact, this came up in one of my coaching sessions this week for a client. I absolutely can’t go into the whole dynamic of other people’s opinion and why they are so toxic and how you can change your way of reacting to them in one blog post, but I can tell you this is a critical skill to have.
When you learn how to really embrace the idea that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business (thank you Rachel Hollis!), you become more free and that enables you to feel more empowered and more confident to chase those dreams and make choices that suit you! Once you really start living this belief, you start living your best life!
Once you really accept that the opinions of others about you are none of your business, you have more free time to accomplish your goals and to spend time doing things you enjoy. Your free time is no longer bogged down with your mental and emotional energy worrying about what someone will say or think. . .YOU JUST DO YOU!!!
BUT my client said to me last week, “Meryl, I can’t let it go. . .I keep thinking and wondering what she will say when she finds out I made such and such decision about how our kids will return to school this fall”.
Often the reason you keep thinking and worrying about what others will say is because YOU ARE WORRYING AND WONDERING YOURSELF if you made the right decision.
Guess what my friend, once you made a thought out and responsible decision. . .OWN IT! When you can own it, and even accept ownership of your decision and acknowledge the risks, you actually take back all the control and power over your decision!
Let me explain what I mean. If you are a teacher and someone told you that your multi-color rainbow colored skull tattoo on your cheek looks awful and you didn’t have that tattoo, it wouldn’t bother you because you don’t have one and so you wouldn’t really care. It created no negative emotion inside of you because you don’t have such a tattoo. BUT if that same person told you that because you let your 4th grade child watch the musical Rent , you are an irresponsible Mom that makes bad choices, if you had a negative reaction to that it means that part of you believes this to be true.
Honestly – typically the only explanation as to why other people’s opinions of you hold any emotional weight for you is because there is a itty, bitty, teensy part of you (even if it’s .001%) that thinks they are right.
Guess what. . it is not enough to understand how this works, because this is where the hard part comes in. You now need to start examining why you perhaps think these opinions of you that you are worried about, bother you. You must dig deep and ask yourself why you think they are right. You must examine why are you not owning your decision 100% and embracing it and why are you letting other people’s thoughts have more weight than your own decision-making skills?
If you are confident in your decision than I challenge you to own your thoughts and decisions and to really embrace that OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS OF YOU ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. The more you can adopt this way of thinking, the more you are standing up for yourself and loving yourself and choosing yourself.
The more you choose yourself, the more you are making yourself a priority and the more you can realize you have the power to live your best life, to make yourself your priority and to choose happiness EVERY.FREAKING.DAY. . without the guilt!