This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.
Podcast version: HERE
Quote: “It's not our responsibility to control how others perceive us, nor should we be controlled and dictated by that either.”
Adding to the quote:
Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind, their own reality, perceptions, assumptions, imaginations, stories, etc. They are in a completely different world from everyone else, just like your reality is unique to you, like your fingerprints. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in another person's reality, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements that they have in their own minds.
Understanding this fully, not just in your logic but in action in your own life you’ll be free of the burden of worrying about what others think of you. They likely aren’t thinking about you as much as you think.
“How do you not care what people think about you?
I’ve struggled for what feels like my entire life with how people perceive me and it’s only gotten worse as I got older. I’m at a place in my life where I know who I am and I know what I’m capable of but I let what people might think of me or how they may view me stop me from doing what I want to do. Even imagining me where I want to be and the thought of people looking at me making fun of me. It affects every part of my life down to the way I eat in public. It’s gotten to the point where I put myself down before they can and I’m sick of it. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I’ve tried so hard not to care and to shift my perspective but it doesn’t stop.”
My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.
I can sense how heavy and painful all this seems for you.
This poem may be of help.
The way people view you
Sometimes I think about the different characters I play in everybody’s story.⠀
I’m a terrible person in some people's narratives and a Godsend in others.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And none of it has anything to do with the person I truly am.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The lens that others view you through is colored by their upbringing, beliefs, and individual experiences.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Some people see your bright personality as endearing and others see it as annoying.⠀⠀
Some people think you’re weak and emotional and others feel safe to be themselves around you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Some people think you’re rude and selfish and others respect the way you stand up for yourself.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Some people admire the way you take pride in the way you look and others think you’re conceited.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And none of it has to do with who you truly are as a person.
What you have to understand is that you have no authority over how people view you so never try to control the way others see you because the only thing that truly matters when the dust settles down at the end of the day is what you genuinely see in yourself. ~ Cody Bret
It sounds like you’re deeply attached to wanting to control how everyone feels and thinks about you. This isn’t anything that’s possible.
Desiring to control things that we can't automatically washes the feeling of hopelessness over a person. It uses up vital emotional and mental energy that you could use towards things in life that you would deeply enjoy. This is also just a thought habit, learned, and can be unlearned.
What can you control?
How you think, feel, and act/respond - that's all. (Thinking, we can command and shift our automatic thoughts with great importance and intentionality.)
It’s rather clear how you currently feel, but how do you want to feel?
Wanting no longer to feel afraid, isn't clear. The brain is a super simple machine and needs clear precise language and words of what you want, not what you don't want anymore.
Being able to articulate how you want to feel not only holds a lot of power but also has the potential to be transformative. By expressing your desired emotions, you are not only shifting your focus from overthinking and feeding your brain more words, thoughts, and stories of what you don't want, but it also opens up your creative mind, guiding you into your intuition and wisdom. This empowers you to take control of your own emotions and experiences.
This simple act of self-awareness and self-expression can lead to a profound sense of clarity and purpose in your life. It allows you to align your thoughts, actions, and intentions with your deepest desires and aspirations, values, principles, morals, and what YOU want for yourself in this life. It is imperative to have a life that feels meaningful and purposeful. Living from a place of doing what other people do, what they want you to do, what you think they want you to do, becoming what you think others would be proud of you doing is living life from the outside in, and sure to provide even more hopelessness.
Take a moment to reflect on how you truly want to feel and let your words and intentions pave the way for a more vibrant, joyful, and meaningful life. Embrace the power of articulating your desired emotions and watch as it transforms your reality.
The words you come up with can't be googled, and they should hold power, energy, and a unique meaning that's important to you.
Thinking, ruminating, fighting with yourself, and looking for solutions externally to solve your internal feelings all create more suffering.
The mind likes certainty and familiarity, that's why I stated it's a habit of thought, and your mind will go into action and gather proof that you are a certain way. If you believe you are broken, not good enough, it will find proof of it. Remember, your brain doesn't care if you are happy, successful, beautiful, liked, adored, or have a nice car. It simply thrives in a space of familiarity and what feels good, and if there has been any time in your life that your brain saw controlling what people think of you as a means to keep you safe, it will repeat that pattern over and over again. Doing what brains do well.
Learn to differentiate between what is worth your attention and what is not. What you put attention on, it grows. Choose how you want to feel carefully, choosing words that give your mind and brain something to gather useful, helpful, and supportive information on that serves you along the same lines of how you articulate how you want to feel.
You're not broken; you don't need to be fixed.
You are worthy, you are enough, and you are more powerful than you realize. You can create a life, a reality, a way of being that feels good and empowering.
You're simply stuck in a story created by your mind. These stories are thoughts. We feel our thinking, so they feel rather real.
When you see thought for what it really is you become resilient.
Being able to articulate how you want to feel and giving your mind the task of gathering proof that you are that way will give it a new story to build on and create a sense of safety, certainty, and comfort.
When we want to change things that are out of our hands, we end up causing ourselves great stress and a feeling of hopelessness. When we focus on what is out of our control, not only do we cause ourselves unnecessary suffering, but we also focus on the wrong things. Choose to focus on things that bring you joy, pleasure, happiness, and activate all of your five senses, opening up your consciousness to new heights.
Your mind will adapt; it will mold to what you deeply want, what you value, and find important. How do you want to feel? What's the new script for your story moving forward? What can you focus on that will make you feel how you want to feel?
There's really nothing to do. In fact, doing, resisting, numbing out, avoiding, pushing aside, suppressing, and fighting with your thoughts and feelings make them stronger. The key here is to see your thoughts for what they really are: your brain serving you by protecting you in some way. Make peace with this magnificent process, deeply understand and find evidence and proof in your own life that you can shift your mood, energy, and your feelings via new thinking.
Have you been to a movie that made you feel a different way than what you did when you walked in? What do you make of that? Thought!
Train your mind and brain to work for you rather than resisting it. This often seems hard or seems impossible. This is why it's important to get help and support from someone like me!
I hope this helps.
I wish you all the best.
Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!
If you want to send a question, please send to [email protected] please include:
A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it.