Are you the type of person who cares a lot about what other people would say about your appearance, acts, or thoughts? Do you always feel that you have an obligation to other people or need to behave according to the norms of society?
If your answer to both questions is “yes,” then you are being unfair to yourself. You allow external factors to take away control over your life, letting them dictate your sense of well-being. It is normal to seek others’ approval or listen to their opinions, but trying to be someone else to fit their standards will only lead you to misery and emptiness.
It’s time to care less about what people say or think and live your life according to your own rules. Bear in mind that you are unique. You are powerful and talented. You can be the person you want to be and achieve extraordinary things.
Here’s how to begin your journey
Stop caring about anything, especially what isn’t in your control. Your perception will ruin life when you put so much attention to what people say and do. Whatever happens around you that you didn’t instigate, isn’t worth your caring. You can marvel at its beauty. You can learn from its failure. But don’t let it creep into your mind to alter your perception and feelings.
In every situation, we enjoy the power to respond. And how we respond will shape our lives. So when you waste your time on other people’s problems, you create a connection to that event that you didn’t ask for or wanted in the first place. Then one thing leads to another, and the person’s problem becomes your problem with all the negative feelings, fear, rancour, anger.
All this could have been stopped by your perception of the event. Acknowledging that outside events are out of our control gives us the opportunity to step back and let go. The Stoics wrote about this extensively: stop caring about everything outside our control. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.
“I’m constantly amazed by how easily we love ourselves above all others, yet we put more stock in the opinions of others than in our own estimation of self. . . . How much credence we give to the opinions our peers have of us and how little to our very own!” —MARCUS AURELIUS
5 Healthy ways to stop caring
What we want to achieve here is to stop caring about things that zap your energy, steal your precious time, and make you stop working on more important matters in your life. The key is to find the right balance to know what deserves your attention and what needs to be ignored.
Identify situations where you have no direct control
There are things that you cannot simply change—the past, what others think, and what-if-scenarios.
- The past. What happened is already a history. You cannot undo the past, but you can make your future better than today. Stop caring about what was done and over. If you made mistakes or regret some decisions in the past, do not let them affect your current life. You are allowed to commit errors and failures in life. What is more important is how you stand up after each fall. Learn the lessons of the past and make better decisions. Forgive yourself and move on.
- What others think about you. People form their own opinions on what they perceive. They also say what they want and hide what they don’t want to reveal. If you are busy worrying about their impressions or opinions, you will lose the magic moments that you should be enjoying. Stop caring about what they think and keep doing what makes you feel good and what is right.
- What-if-scenarios. There are many times in your life that others play significant roles. It is inevitable and can affect your life, but you cannot control them or know their decisions in advance. So, release your fear and stop worrying about the unknown. If you worry and focus your mind on what-if-scenarios, you are putting yourself on the losing side. Instead of becoming a prisoner of negative thoughts, focus your energy doing what is necessary. Keep improving yourself and becoming the best in your field. Face your everyday life with confidence.
Change your mindset
The way you see things have a lot to do with your own expectations. You are your worst critic and nemesis. Setting up high expectations versus reality is a sure way to experience anger, disappointment, frustration, sadness, and other negative emotions. Part of setting a high expectation is because you want to impress other people and be accepted. You care about your social image, to the extent of displaying a false persona and trying to be more sympathetic or generous.
You say “yes” even when you want to say “no” because you care about what they will say if you refuse to help them. But remember that, whenever you give in to people’s requests and demands, you are losing opportunities to become more. Changing your perspective is crucial at this point. You need to know which is more important—your unmet needs or others’ expectations. Understand that energy flows to where you focus your utmost attention and don’t forget to choose positive thoughts to attract positive results.
Raise your awareness
If you want a happy, meaningful, successful, and abundant life, you need to recognize the fact that you are the only person who can make it a reality. The only way is to become who you want to be, not what other people like you to behave or act. Your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, bosses, and other influential people will always have their opinions, but remember, you are the only person who knows what you truly want. You are also the only one who can do it best.
Self-awareness is very vital if you want to reach your goals. So, look inward and find your core values. Discern what is important to you. By gaining awareness of who you are and what you want in life, you are changing the way you think and act. You stop caring about what others say about you. Follow the path that you believe is best for you. Stop impressing people. Begin living your desired life.
Be conscious of the people you surround yourself with
If you are surrounded by negative or judgmental people, naysayers, and emotional vampires, you need to get out—fast! These people would suck your energy and focus on your dreams. Obviously, there are people who you don’t always see eye to eye, but who cares? You are free to remove yourself out of their influence and choose to mingle with positive, motivated, and inspiring individuals. Being with a small circle of people who inspire you to become your authentic self is better than having a big crowd who are cheering your false identity.
Create your own life and happiness
Life is short. Do more to create your dream life. Stop caring about things that do not really matter. Instead, direct your energy caring about what is essential to your life. So what if some people close to you think that your venture will be a failure or untimely? They cannot predict what the future holds. Believe in your decision and do your best to make it a success.
At the end of the day, your life is defined by how you face it. It is always your choices, decisions, and actions that create a difference, making it positive or negative. Stop caring much about what others think or say about you. Dance to your own rhythm. Sing when you feel like it. Act on your dreams. Live your life for you, not for them.