Do You Worry Too Much About What Others Think?

February 11, 2014, by , Posted in Blog,LEADERtips,RICH Tips, 0 Comment

Speaking to a large group of executive women a few weeks ago, I made the comment, “I no longer worry what others think of me, and that has been the most liberating and transforming leadership quality I have ever experienced.”

I went on to say, “Although my resume is full of executive titles, travel, achievement, certifications and accolades; those things mean little if I don’t use them to influence change and improvement in other people.”

The room went quiet.  

I then quoted an unknown source:
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what people really thought of you if you knew just how seldom they do.”

I could tell from the look on their faces that they were either pondering the truthfulness in that quote, wondering how to get to that state of mind, or that I was totally full of myself. But remember, I didn’t worry what they thought of me; I only cared about what they thought of themselves, and it was that understanding I was after.  

Can you relate?

How often are you sitting in a meeting, and instead of being completely present and focused, you are all in your head about what impression you are making on those in the room? Maybe you are worried about asking a question and appearing unknowledgeable. Maybe, you spend countless hours shopping, dressing, and making yourself up for the sake of how others perceive you. Or, you hesitate saying or doing anything out of the norm; afraid of being judged, ridiculed or not accepted.

What if, instead of being consumed by what others thought of you and the so called position, power and prosperity you may or may not possess; you were consumed by what they thought of you as:

  • A giving, caring and loving individual whom they wanted to be around?
  • One of confidence, influence, strength, and compassion who they couldn’t help but respect?
  • An effective and productive leader they were drawn to follow?

The beautiful thing about focusing on those things is they don’t require money, title or power. They simply require you focusing on YOU, being the best person you can be, and having the confidence and belief in yourself – no matter what anyone else says or thinks.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

LEADERtipsfor being the best you and leader you can be:

– Acknowledge if you agree: The only person’s thoughts, judgements and perceptions you can control are your own, therefore I choose to control what I can and to let go of the idea of control around everything else.
– Write out what it is you want out of your career, business and life, which will make you happy, confident, and complete.

  • Indicate if you currently possess those things or need to focus on obtaining those things.

– Define a plan for pursuing and achieving those things above; since making one’s self happy is the easiest way to let go of what others think of you!
– Make note of the type of person, professional and leader you want to be, and determine what, if anything, you need to work on to achieve being that person.
– Now, make a list of the people you are most concerned about what they think of you.

  • A different angle is – identify those people you work so hard to impress.

– Write out, WHAT and WHY you care and/or worry so much about what they think of you.
– Assess each of the above and rank on a scale of 1 – 10, if they are credible reasons for you being so consumed by what they think(1 being ‘reasonable’ and 10 being ‘unreasonable’).

  • For any person you identified as a 5 or above (unreasonable), identify steps you can take to change your confidence, belief and worry; as the higher the number, the more stress, doubt and insecurity you are holding on to, negatively impacting your personal and leadership style.

– Once again, Answer Yes or No – I understand I cannot control what others think of me!

  • If Yes – go on with your life being you; you have a great handle on not being controlled.
  • If No – rethink why it is so important to you what they think. Decide for yourself if you will give them your personal power of who you are and want to be; as that is what you are doing each time you allow someone’s judgment to control your actions and beliefs.

– Apologize to yourself.

  • Every one of us experiences doubt and insecurity about fitting in, deserving what we have, being loved and appreciated. Forgive yourself for feeling those things and move on to focus on believing and caring about you.

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them.” John Holt.

Consume yourself with becoming the person, professional and leader others want to be with, work for, and follow….and you will be the best you, you can be!!
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Bernadette Boas is the ball of fire behindBall of Fire Consulting, a strategy and leadership consulting practice, and Ball of Fire Inc. (media/publishing). Bernadette is a business growth and leadership consultant, trainer, speaker, radio personality of Shedding the Bitch Radio, and author of her first book Shedding the Corporate Bitch, Shifting Bitches to Riches in Life and Business. Her focus is on igniting leadership in individuals, businesses and their company cultures to one of RICHness and profit.

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