Worrying About What Others Think

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to impress someone and yet spent more time worrying about whether you had or not and therefore stumbled over your words and actions?

Over the years I have worked with hundreds of women from a variety of backgrounds and no matter how educated they are, what background they come from or how they are fixed financially, worrying about what others think of us is reoccurring and highly destructive habit.

‘I never speak out in meetings, what if I say something wrong? The rest of the team will think I’m stupid.

‘I hate going out, what if I crack a joke and no-one laughs. What will they think of me?

‘I had to deliver a presentation and hated every minute of it. I am sure that everyone thought it was boring!

These may look odd written down, but read them out loud, hear yourself say them  and be honest, how often do you say things like this in  your head? These thoughts impact on your career, social life and personal confidence.  As woman I think we need to take a leaf out of one of the greatest of women – Cleopatra. She was an amazing woman in her time can teach us some lessons, the first of which is about believing in the value of yourself and not worrying about what others think!

Due to her family history, beliefs and being a leader she had plenty of people around her who liked her and just as many who hated her! Yet this didn’t stop this young woman focusing on what she wanted and going for it.

What would you like to do this year but until this moment have been worrying about what others might think? Change careers, start up a new business, get married, get divorced, have children or not? The list is endless and destructive.

This isn’t an easy thing to change and yet letting go of what others think it is liberating and can take your life onto a new level of freedom.

We spend so much time being paranoid when most of the time people are too caught up in their own stuff to even notice or as I have experienced in countless situations, when that question or comment is made in a group meeting, at least one other person in the room feels the same and is grateful that you made your thoughts known.

If when you think back over the past year you can think of things you would like to have changed, well you can’t, it’s happened, let it go. What you can change is your future, today, tomorrow and beyond. So how do you want that to be, continue worrying about what others think of you? Or consciously make a choice to focus on what you need and want to express and how you can best do that to be heard.

“We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do”
Olin Miller