Getting Past What Other People Think

Personal Growth

Image by Glynnis McDaris

Getting Past What Other People Think

by Courtney Somer

We’ve all been there, wondering what our friends, family or peers will think of us based on our actions. In a recent study conducted on the top three greatest fears…

The #1 response was public speaking, followed by peer rejection and then, death. Interesting that death is actually third on the list and that fear #1 and #2 are linked. Both are based on validation of an external source and coincidentally, when asked what they wanted most, the #1 response was recognition. So, people want recognition but they fear putting themselves out there – a set up for quite the paradox.

Personally, this was a very real fear. I still cringe at the thought of public speaking and I wavered for months over doing this site or not, over writing about personal topics and putting myself out “there.” I sat with this fear many times and what helped me move forward was I asked myself if I would regret not moving forward and the answer was a clear yes. This propelled me to keep taking action to make my vision a reality.

As humans, we’ll all want to be loved and feel significant. If you consider what Yogi Bhajan quoted and gave as the first of his 5 sutra’s for the Aquarian age, that the other person is you, he is advising that people will reflect back to you the very image you carry within. The most important relationship we can have is with our self and it is your challenge to let others wants go.

Learn to know the difference between your desires and those of others, society, etc. What is right for you, wont always be right for them. What most people want is for you to be you. When all parts of you show up and are there, and you’re not doing what others are expect of you, you are in alignment with your true self. And as a result you are clear, open, more joyful, fun and your most authentic self, this is the most powerful and impactful way to be. One of my teachers told me a story about a professor that was more serious and teacher-like with her students because “that’s how teachers are expected to be”, but she found that when she told more personal stories, and let her humorous, playful side out, the students were more engaged and inspired by her then when she played the role of what was expected of her.

Here are some ways to step into your own power and get past the fear of what others think:

1. Consider how you judge others and in what way you do so. If you are judging others then you are still judging yourself.

2. Do whatever it may be for yourself and for the experience of it. Not for your parents, partner, friends or pets. Never will everyone be happy or give you their approval. If you waited for this, you’ll wait forever. Come from a place of love and contribution and seek internal vs. external validation.

3. Move in the direction of your fear. If you are moving towards something that excites you and is what you desire but is also an area of uncertainty i.e. starting a business or a new relationship, this means you are moving out of your comfort zone and making your wants into reality. Embrace your fear, feel it then do it anyway.

4. Sit with yourself and reflect on what is it you are afraid of. Looking back years from now, will you regret not doing it? If yes, then you have your answer.

5. Set an intention. Why are you doing what you are? What are you seeking? Get clear about it, write it down and look at it daily. If you are coming from a place of service and contribution, where you are looking to give instead of take, and you are coming from the right place.

6. Have a neutral mind and remove yourself from the attachment to the outcome. I always remind myself, the day to day minor stresses I have now will be gone a week, month or year from now.

The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you really are – Joseph Campbell