How To Stop Caring What Other People Think of YouJan 09, 2020
It's natural to care what other people think of us. It's part of our DNA. But when our need to fit in becomes greater than our level of self acceptance we're headed for suffering.
For many of us co-dependent or people-pleasing types, our value is linked to the opinions and approval of others'. If people like us, we feel great. If they disapprove, we feel bad. From the outside we look totally fine and happy. No-one knows what we're actually feeling because we've honed the skill of becoming what other people need us to be. But inside we are struggling to make it through the day.
Years ago when I was a full-fledged people pleaser, one of my friends innocently said that my yoga class (I was a new teacher at the time) was a bit slow. This nuetral remark put me in bed for days. Eventually I had to call my therapist and get help. During our call she said, "Joy, just because someone has an opinion about you, doesn't mean its true".
Why I couldn't figure this out on my own was a great mystery! But today I know that neutral remark made by my friend instantly became layered with my own self-doubt, shame and unworthiness. In fact, it took lots and lots of pain for me to be where I am now - confident, happy and truly love who I am.
But.. I could write a book about the ways I tried to get people to love me. More on that coming soon...
Osho says this: “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”
If you're adjusting your life based on others' approval or expectations, it may be time for some self discovery (not just analyzing). Because you, like everyone else, deserves freedom.
The great news is that freedom is actually your nature, along with confidence and joy. So it's not as far away as you might have believed. It's not something you have to earn or gain or find "out there".
The spiritual practice is not about attainment, but about fulfillment. It's the process of coming to experience (not just learn about) the fullness of who you already are. Yoga psychology teaches that If you knew who you were, you could be who you are, and would never suffer.
So how do we stop caring what other people think of us?
The big shift came in my life when I realized all of this unnecessary suffering was coming from within me, not at me. As long as our focus is out there the pattern will continue. But when we shift our attention inward and commit to doing the work from there, we are at the place of power - and the source of all we want.
I am not talking about a quick fix concept. Knowing this and taking action are two very different experiences. That is why the spiritual tradition, specifically yoga psychology, is anchored in daily practice. We can't avoid it.
In November I hosted a 4-hour LIVE course, "Master Your Mindset". The four-lesson, 4-hour program was dedicated to discerning how our thoughts, beliefs and emotions play a BIG part in shaping our experience. For example, if I didn't already believe I wasn't worthy, my friends comment about my class being slow would not have had the negative impact on me that it did.
But knowing this isn't enough. More information won't change us. It can inspire us, but it won't produce the change we want. The rest of the course is divided into 3, 1-hour lessons: identifying limiting thoughts and beliefs and what to do about them, the power of choice and how to make a new decision, and the application of mastering your mindset.
I am so happy to be offering these teachings now as a self-paced course with video, audio and a custom workbook, available on my website. If this interests you, you can learn more or purchase the course here: https://www.joystonecoaching.com/master-your-mindset-audio-course
Whether our connection is simply through this blog or our paths have crossed in another way, please know that I am always cheering you on.
"Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering" - Don Miguel Ruiz
Master Your Mindset Online Course! "Your mindset is the operating system for your life" Become more confident and love who you are.