I used to care what other people thought about me. I always found myself making decisions based on how others would react. I was reluctant to do things I really wanted to do in fear of how it might impact someone else. When I finally stopped living my life for everyone around me, I started to live for me, and my whole perspective on life shifted. I realized that your opinion of yourself is always the most important step in living a happy and peaceful life.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” -Lao Tzu
1. You finally see that whatever’s going on in another person’s mind shouldn’t impact your decisions anyway. The inner-voice in your head is the only opinion that truly matters and when you finally grasp that concept your thoughts will change in a positive way. You used to constantly worry about what people thought about you. Your appearance, your choices, your dreams, your passions, your hobbies, whatever it may be. You finally understand that the only person that truly has a say in your life is you.
2. You start giving your energy towards your interests and people that actually matter. Stop paying attention to toxic people and dull relationships that used to consume your thoughts. You no longer need another person’s approval in order to be happy. If you have a hobby you love, pursue it with open arms. You aren’t concerned what anyone else is doing and you’ve learned how to give your full attention to the place you’re occupying, and the people you’re with at every given moment. You know how to entirely be present and let go of irrelevant things that have occupied space in your mind for such a long time.
3. You stop trying to prove yourself. Stop wasting time and energy on shaping or adjusting people’s perceptions of you. Instead of trying to gain someone’s respect and attention, you know how to do those things for yourself. If someone is unable to see what you bring to the table, distance yourself from that person. You don’t need to surround yourself with make you feel like you need to prove yourself. Because to be utterly honest, you really don’t.
4. You start to do things you actually want to do, not things you just think you should do. When you stop paying attention to what others think of you you start to see life from a new, exciting perspective. You start living for yourself instead of worrying about what others expect from you. You do things because you want to do them, instead of doing them in spite of a reaction from others. You make decisions based on what you want, not based on how you will appear to others. You used to worry about how your decisions would impact people around you. What would they think if I did that? Would that upset them? Now, you’re able to make beneficial decisions for you without guilt being a factor. If someone doesn’t like a decision you make, that’s their problem, not yours- and you finally recognize that. It makes life so much more enjoyable when you care about what you think and not what everyone else thinks.
5. You don’t need to explain yourself anymore. If you don’t want to go out to a bar on Friday night, simply say “no” without feeling the need to justify why. Come to terms with the fact that not everyone will always agree with the decisions you make. But, as long as you’re happy with those decisions it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Life is a lot easier and a lot happier when the only person you owe an explanation to is yourself. You have full permission to make choices without having to explain yourself. You are no longer a slave to trivial judgement from others.
6. You realize that there’s actually no one that you’re required to answer to, and there’s no correct way to live your life. The way you decide to live it is entirely up to you, and only you.