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Why you shouldn't care what others think of you


This topic comes up a lot of times. People are worried about their looks, what they do, what they don't, who likes them, who doesn't. Sometimes bypassing so many opportunities because of one single reason:

"What people will think about me?"

Honestly? And trust me on this one: they DO NOT CARE!

Everybody is so preoccupied with themselves and their lives; no one will care.

Just think about you look at a group photo; who do you look at first? Yourself!

It's human nature! Everyone has their own story, life, problems, challenges, issues, and responsibilities. So don't focus on who likes you. There were times I thought I needed everyone around me to like me. Because I am sweet, kind, caring, and loving, I expected the same enthusiasm from others towards me—such a huge mistake. I had to learn the hard way, I am not for everyone, and I have to be okay with that. Not everyone is going to like me. So what?

Never focus on the amount of friends; focus on the quality of your friends. If you have those precious individuals in your surroundings who are genuinely interested in you, those are your "keepers"! Otherwise, nosy people only want to know about you to be able to gossip later on. Simple as that.

The other thing I've noticed, and this is especially true for codependents: The urge to please everyone!

While an office manager at an international software company, I've learned a precious lesson: You can't please everyone! As hard as I tried, it was absurd. Different people have different needs, opinions, and wishes. So put, if you would want to satisfy everyone, you'll go crazy!

This rule also applies to your private life. Don't even try to please everyone in your inner circle (definitely not your outer one), your partner, parents, siblings, best friends, neighbours.

It's just impossible.

Everyone has their own opinion on where the hell you should be in your life, but it is only YOU who matter. Of course, you can listen to their advice but remember, the decision is in your hands. It's your life. Not theirs.

You feel you are not good enough when you try to please everyone all the time.

Hey, life is short. Try to think:

What do YOU want? What makes YOU happy?

Do you want to get married? Do you want to move to another country? Do you want to have kids? Do you want to have pets? Do you want to open a restaurant? Do you want to collect weird things? Do you want to colour your hair blue or shave the whole thing off?

It is your call.

Of course, I am not saying don't take any advice from anyone - sometimes people are solely trying to help or guide you with love and care and want the best for you. However, you should know from the relationship who are these people. I am talking about the unsolicited ones, the people who are never there when you actually need them; you wouldn't ask their opinion, but they tell you off and instruct you when you didn't even ask.

Guess what? These "unsolicited advisors" won't be the ones paying your bills, upbringing your children, changing their nappies, learning a new language, paying your mortgage, travelling the world, studying content you are interested in, feeling your emotions, nor speaking the words with your mouth. Instead, it's you, my dear!

Thus the decision is yours. Don't live your one life according to someone else's standards. You know what people regret on their death bed the most right? Just google it. The very first answer is this:

"I wish I'd dared to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

So, what are you waiting for? Oh, you are scared to make mistakes? Of course, you'll make mistakes—a lot. But if you do and are not learning from it, it was indeed a mistake. A person who never made a mistake is someone who never tried anything new.

Mistakes happen. What can you do about it? While I don't recommend dwelling on your mistakes for a long time, I advise reflecting on them.

I usually make a small note about it, what happened, what I've learned from it and keep it within my "Thank you jar notes" as these are what I'd like to keep in mind for the future.

Best way to deal with mistakes:

* Recognise what didn't go according to your plan, what was the error

* What did you learn from it?

* How can you fix the current situation?

* What objections you'll face in the future, how you can prevent them from happening again?

* How can you measure your progress on this intention?

"The only mistake you do when you don't even try!"

Since we are human beings, we do make mistakes. Yet, it's up to you what you do with it. I work hard on this method myself by finding a learning opportunity in every problem. The 5 point strategy mentioned above always helps me understand the mistake itself and the following advice helps dealing with people magnifying my bad feelings about them:

There will be people in your world (strangers, people from your hometown, schoolmates, or even family members) who never contribute to your success, don't have any positive words towards you, or praise any of your achievements. However, there is one flaw; you make a small mistake; they'll jump on it like hungry wolves to rip you apart, embarrass you in front of everyone or highlight your error to the broader audience. Why?

Could be many reasons behind it; most common is jealousy, boredom, or they just don't want you to succeed for whatever reason. Or, simply put, hatred is energising. When we feel helpless, frustrated, or disempowered, hating another becomes a way to climb out of those disturbing feelings.

That's why this quote is so applicable and always makes me smile:

"Your biggest fan is a stranger. Your biggest hater is someone you know well"

I think it was Lukas Graham who quoted this. Weird statement, huh? But re-read it and let it sink in!

So, how to deal with these people?

When I receive comments like those - I always take a step back and ask myself a very eye-opening question: "Would I ask this person for advice?" Utmost of the time, the answer is NO.

If you take one thing away from this post:

"Don't take criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from" (Dakota Meyer)

So God damn true! I got much criticism while lived in the US & UK at the beginning of my career as a teenager. I had to start somewhere to learn English and have money to live and travel. I was a live-in au-pair and did many house cleanings or restaurant cleanings early in the mornings. I worked my ass off every day, doing six days a week, sometimes 14-16 hours a day.

Was it my dream job to do? Of course not. But I knew that I needed to learn the language, develop my skillsets and build myself up to where I wanted to be.

Like a Phoenix, growing from ashes. 😊

Living abroad alone, without any friends, family or financial stability, trying to figure out how to drive on the other side of the road, learning a new language, and making a living while finding friends was incredibly challenging for a 19-year-old myself.

I needed somewhere to live, eat and sleep. But, instead of support and understanding, I've got some people telling me I shouldn't be the "slave of rich people", that I should return home to start studying at University to get a better job. They had no idea nor cared about my plans or feelings; they only projected their view on me whether I liked it or not.

After living abroad for three years, learning the language, culture, travelling, earning my own money (even if small, but my own), I couldn't imagine going back to school and study something I had no idea would ever use in my life.

Unfortunately I never knew what exactly I wanted to learn, what career path I wanted to myself. When you are experiencing "flying with your wings" once, you'll never look at things the same way again.

And you can guess where these advisors of mine are these days, nowhere near to the lifestyle I wanted to have.

Stay laser focused on your plans
Stay laser-focused on your plans

That's why I am saying; no one should know better what is best for you and what you should or shouldn't do with your own life.

I am also so interested in asking those people constantly worrying about "What others will say": "What did they say at the end?!"

"The only person you need to please, it's yourself, only!

As the one person you are with forever is YOU!"

Disclaimer: All images & content © 2021 Heidi Kalmar


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