Do you often find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night wondering if they are talking about you? Do you keep asking yourself will they judge me if I do this? Do you end up doing something altogether different than what you wanted to do based on your assumptions of how they will perceive it?
Certainly, you have done it and so have I. We spend a good chunk of our lives wrestling and caring about opinions. The need for approval has been conditioned in us since the day we were born. Apparently, seeking approval gives us a sense of higher self-esteem. In the wake of pleasing others and trying to fit in the crowd, we inadvertently let go of the various opportunities that lie ahead of us. We also tend to give others the power to shape ourselves thereby losing our true selves. You can either choose to be yourself and be indifferent to opinions or you can be what others think of you because at the end of the day, neither will matter to those who have already painted you in the colour they choose to see.
One can never be happy if they continue to worry about what other people think of them. When one puts off taking care of themselves for so long and keep putting others before them, it really takes a toll on them both physically and mentally.
Following are the red flags that you suffer from the Approval Addiction:
- You always find yourself distressed over what others think about you
- You are afraid to follow your heart
- You are hesitant towards acting upon your ideas and plans
- You are scared to face disapproval
- You often find yourself morphing just to fit in the crowd
Here’s the thing, all you need to do to come out of this addiction and start living a happy and carefree life is convince yourself that what others think about you is an extension of their own selves and has got nothing to do with you. If you are always thinking about what others think of you, then you are living for them. Not for yourself.
To conclude, I will leave you all with some tried and tested solutions that will surely help you to be indifferent to opinions:
1. Alter your perception
Have the courage to be your real self in a world constantly trying to hold you back. Perception does not define reality; if they bring out the worst in you, remember that their attributes don’t shine any brighter. If they try to tear you down, remember that it doesn’t make them any stronger. Stop creating scenarios in your mind, rather fill it with positive thoughts.
2. Eliminate the toxicity
Purge your life of negative and toxic people and you will be amazed to see how indifferent you will become to their opinions. When you are surrounded by people who constantly criticize you, it’s evident that you will worry about every step you take. However, surrounding yourself with people who support you in your endeavors allows you to grow and discover your real self.
3. Understand that they are busy in their own lives
In this rat-race world where everyone seems to have their own agenda, people spend more time thinking about themselves than thinking about others. Embrace reality and make yourself a priority!
4. Take charge of your own life
The more you are fixated on how others perceive your choices, the deeper you get trapped in the vicious cycle. Keep reminding yourself that it’s your life, not theirs. Life is too short to worry about others and keep yourself from doing the things you want to do.
5. Seek constructive feedback
Filter the people who bring out the best in you and forget the rest. Talk to those who know how to give feedback that’s both constructive and specific. Just because you encounter some people frequently, doesn’t mean you need to worry about what they think of you.
People will love you, people will hate you, and none of it will have anything to do with you. Make your choices and live by those decisions because it’s time to stop caring about what they think and let those opinions fly!