Have you ever wondered why you care so much about what others think? Perhaps it’s time to stop caring about these things and live the life you want to.
It recently dawned on me that I was spending so much time caring about other people’s opinions that I wasn’t really living my life. In fact, I was letting others spend my precious time on earth for me.
I was basing many of my life decisions on what other would think of my choices. By doing this, I was allowing others to influence my work, relationships, home, clothes and even my beliefs and opinions.
I decided that I had to stop caring about others’ opinions and get on with living my life the way I chose.
If you are ready to live your life for yourself, here are a few things you should stop caring about right now!
1. What other people think about the way you look
We can spend a lot of precious time and money on our appearance, just to gain acceptance from others. Give up caring about it! It’s not worth it. Life is too short to worry about whether your bag matches your shoes or you are wearing the ‘right’ labels.
Then use all that extra spare time and money to do something worthwhile, rewarding or just plain fun.
2. What other people think about the job you do
I used to think people were judging me for not having a proper job, but I was scared I would sound pretentious if I called myself a writer. I thought only people with best-selling books had earned the right to that title. Now I am proud to call myself a writer because that’s what I love to do.
Stop worrying about how others judge what you do. It doesn’t matter if you are a high flyer, an eco-warrior or a full-time parent. Follow your passion with pride and if anyone asks what you do tell them and let the enthusiasm shine through. Love and passion beat a fancy job title any day of the week.
3. Whether other people like you
I was spending so much time trying to make people like me that I never got round to doing the things I really cared about. It took me a while to realize that on my deathbed I won’t be counting how many Facebook friends I have or whether I made the prettiest cupcakes for the school bake sale. When I come to the end of my life I will care about how much I loved, what dreams I achieved and how much joy I extracted from my precious life.
Being liked is important to us as we grow up, and no one wanted to be the odd one out in the playground. But now we are all grown up, we don’t need to try so hard to fit in. Be yourself and your tribe will find you.
4. Whether other people agree with you
While it’s good to be open-minded and to be able to see different sides to every story, I realized that it was okay to have a definite opinion about some things. I stopped second guessing my own beliefs and opinions and began to value my ideas.
Often we are taught not to be troublemakers when we are children. But we are grown-ups now and it’s okay to have an opinion and to stand up for our beliefs.
5. Fretting about mistakes you’ve made in the past
We often think that because we’ve had a job, relationship or dream that went wrong, this makes us a failure. When we constantly remind ourselves of our failures or let other remind us, we are judging a person from the past, not the person we are today.
Don’t let your mistakes define you for another second. You are a new person today and just because you made a mistake or two in the past doesn’t mean you will fail in the future.
6. Protecting others from making mistakes
We can also spend a lot of time trying to protect others from making mistakes. We worry that our children or friends might experience the same pain that we did. But others may need to experience failure in order to develop and grow. And we don’t have time to keep running around making sure no one ever gets hurt. To be honest we are grown-ups now and need to learn to mind our own business and let others do the same.
7. Worrying about things you can’t control
Spending time worrying about things we can’t control is a waste of time and energy. It also saps our strength meaning we have less to give to those areas of life where we actually can make a difference. The serenity prayer offers good advice on what to do about things that are out of our control ‘God give me the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.’ Whether you believe in God or not it’s good advice to follow to make sure you aren’t wasting time worrying about things outside of your control.
8. Stressing about how tidy your house is
I used to keep my house pretty tidy all the time because I was scared of what people might think if they turned up unexpectedly. I even felt ashamed if a delivery person caught a glimpse of my hallway in a mess. Now I understand that my value is not based on the state of my home. If the house is a bit messy, it’s probably because I am busy working hard and trying to make a difference in the world.
We have places to go and people to see, dreams to achieve and love to share. So let the dust settle and the cobwebs dangle while you get on with changing the world and living the dream.
While showing consideration of others is important, it is vital that we use our lives to achieve the things that are meaningful to us. It’s all too easy to fritter away our lives in trying to impress others while saving only the scraps of time and energy left for our goals.
This article originally appeared at Learning Mind