Do you worry about what other people will think about you? Do you worry about what they’ll think of your choices? Or the choices of your partner, your children, your siblings – or anyone else, for fear that there’s a “guilt by association” issue?
If the answer is “Yes,” ask yourself why.
“They might think I’m nuts!”
“They might think I’m awful!”
“They might think I’m (fill in the blank)!”
And your point is…???
Chances are, they won’t think any of that. Sure, some might, but truthfully most won’t because really, people aren’t spending all that much time thinking about what we do. I mean, do you sit around for countless hours worrying about everyone else’s decisions? Do you spend loads of your time contemplating and judging the actions of others to the point that it keeps you from your own life? I doubt it.
Sure, maybe you give them a passing thought now and then. Perhaps you even chat with other people about it. And maybe you even have an opinion or you admit to judging them.
But do you really spend loads of time being preoccupied with other people’s business? Not likely. And if you do, it means you’re probably doing it to avoid looking at your own life, your own unhappiness and what needs to change.
Even more importantly, so what if they do think you’re nuts or awful or (fill in the blank again)? Anyone who really knows you and really cares about you isn’t gonna give a rat’s @$$ what you do.
People who want to judge you are just being arrogant
People who want to judge you are just being arrogant, forgetting that they aren’t perfect and forgetting that they’re probably doing things about which others might have a comment or two to make. It’s something people do sometimes to compensate for their own failings. When they can feel superior to others, somehow it makes them feel better about themselves.
Those people’s self-righteous attitudes don’t deserve your wasted time and energy. Leave them to their own insecurities and inadequacies. Let them gossip as much as they want with others. Are you really going to worry about what people like that are going to think about you?? I sure hope not.
Besides, even if you tried to live your life based on what everyone else thinks, you’d never get it right anyway. You’d get some of it right with some of the people some of the time. But there would always be a lot of people who’d be thinking you were doing it wrong because everyone is going to view things differently than others do.
So you might as well not bother trying to make them all happy, and just worry about pleasing yourself.
Doesn’t that make a whole lot more sense? And doesn’t it give you a happy little lift in your chest? An expanded energy that feels kind of light and delicious with a good dollop of freedom, perhaps?
After all, that’s the only way you’re ever going to find your bliss, be fulfilled, feel happy, explore and discover who you really are and help you become who you’re meant to be. Do you suppose you’ll be on your deathbed someday, wishing you’d spent more time trying to dance to everyone else’s tune? Do you suppose that you’ll be lying there thinking about the choices other people made throughout their lives and how you could have given them advice on how to do it better?
Do you suppose those people will be on their deathbeds, thinking about you, your life and choices, and wishing you’d done things their way?
Uh, probably not happenin’. More likely, they’ll see the error of their ways and be wishing they’d been more tolerant, less judgmental, and allowed people to thrive and grow and just BE.
So if you’re just going to end up causing yourself and a lot of other people nothing but deathbed distress, perhaps you’ll want to start now and just look after yourself, doing what you want, don’t what you need, and doing what you think is right – for you.
It’s the best chance you’ve got to be happy, to be the best YOU that you can be, ’cause at the end of the day – and at the end of your life – what else is there that’s worth the effort?
Liberty Forrest is an award-winning author, an editor, and contributor on Huffington Post and Thrive Global.