Do you find yourself living your life according to how society dictates or letting the opinions of others determine the clothes you wear, the car you buy, or even the music you listen to? You’re not alone. Many of us obsess about what others think because of social conditioning. Society has programmed us to believe that approval from others equates to our sense of self-esteem.
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Of course, seeking approval is inevitable, but doing it even in situations that don’t matter will lead to problems down the road.
If you find yourself scared to take action because of what people would say, here are 4 steps you can take.
Determine What Matters
First of all. It is important to determine what really matters in your life.
Before you take action, ask yourself “Can I afford to stop caring what a particular person thinks about me”? If the answer is “Yes”, then do so by all means.
There is a difference between being aloof about your passions or interests and caring about something that adds no value to your life. Determine whether your life would be better off if you removed your focus from something or if it is the other way round.
Practise Makes Perfect
Nothing worth doing is easy in the beginning. You have to keep trying and failing until you stop seeking validation from the wrong people or through the wrong things.
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Instead of beating yourself up, the next time you find yourself caring about something you shouldn’t care about, dust yourself off and promise not to find yourself in that position again.
Care Intensely About Just A few Things
If you want to stop caring about the opinions of others or things that don’t really matter, start caring intensely about just a few things.
You’re not defined by your car, your favourite brand, or the money in your bank account. It is the life philosophies and values you hold dear that matter in the long run.
Write down these things. This could be art, music, building a business, or contributing to society in some way.
Care About Other People
As they say, no man is an island. That’s why it is important to divert your focus to caring about the wellbeing of others.
This doesn’t mean you should try to fit in or do things to court the approval of others. Instead, get involved in situations that include other people.
Try carrying out an act of kindness to someone that needs it, contributing to a charitable cause, or defending a weaker person. Doing this helps you divert your focus from your problems and prevents you from wallowing in despair about them.
Featured Image Source: Remodeling Magazine
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