By Lilian Wamaitha
When I was still in campus I went through an event that I must say shaped me to stop worrying or seeking approval from people. I have lived with this principle until now and I must say that it has shaped me in to who I am today.
We all want to be liked, admired and even praised. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The problem comes when you allow what other people think or say about you affect the person you are -when you start changing to please another human being.
We tend to sweat over big stuff as well as small stuff.
What will people say if I take this job and not the other one? What will people think if I choose this dress? What will they even say if I don’t agree to this and that?
Question is, who are these people that we are so worried about?
It’s about time that you stopped worrying sick about what others will think and start living your own life. It doesn’t matter what floods you timeline every day, you are unique and only you can define your path in life.
Here is why;
1. Somehow, what other people think about you is actually none of your business
“A lion does not concern himself with the opinion of sheep”
Are you living your life? Are you breathing? The only thing that should concern you is your own life.
Because the more you care about other’s opinion, the more their opinion ends up affecting your life. I have seen people make life changing decisions all based on what someone somewhere said.
What I am trying to say is, if your entire belief in life is based purely on what other people think; their opinion will eventually become your reality.
Think about it this way, do you really want to mould your life into people’s impressions about you? Do you actually want to make their expectations your reality? Do you want to set yourself limits based on someone else’s opinion of you?
The truth is, people are free to think what they want to think about you, just like you are free to think what you want about them. And just like what you think is nobody else’s business but your own, what other people think is none of your business either – even if it’s about you.
2. People don’t really care as much as you think they do
Throughout your life, you are going to be talked about, criticized and even judged. But the thing about life is that, no matter how many people talk behind your back, judge or criticized you, we are all pretty self-centered, whether we care to admit it or not.
It may be selfish but you must admit that we all tend to give a great deal of importance about our own lives.
Probability is that while you are so caught up worrying about what other people think about you, they are too busy worrying about themselves to let it affect you.
3. You don’t need everyone’s approval to live your life
Being liked, admired and praised is a pretty incredible feeling you must admit. And equally gaining someone else’s approval for something that you have done, equally feels really good. But since you can’t control people to offer all this to you, you can go insane thinking about it.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t need anyone’s approval to feel important. While being liked is awesome, what is even greater is accepting the fact that some people will dislike you no matter what you do or how good you are and being okay with it because your life does not revolve around them.
This is the one way of deriving happiness in you rather than from other people.
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4. Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t even mind
What this basically means is that we concern ourselves with things that shouldn’t concern us at all.
Naturally, once you impress one person, you will need to impress another to feel good about yourself. And once you get that other person’s approval, you will go looking for some more. This is human nature.
But why bother seeking approval elsewhere while there are people in your life who will continue to like you no matter what, achievement or not?
Sometimes, we tend to focus on people who don’t matter and end up neglecting those who do. These are people who you can count on because you know that no matter what happens, they will always have your back.
What it all comes down to is
The thing about life is not to stop caring completely. It’s to stop caring enough that you are able to make your own decisions based on your priorities, values as well as ambitions and not anything anyone says about you. Learn to be your own cheer leader and embrace the fact that not everyone will like you or even support you, just hold on to those that do.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya and has a passion of improving other people’s lives through everyday inspiration. Leave a comment below if you agree with this article.