30 Sep How to stop worrying about what others think of you
Happiness can be hard.
In fact happiness can be damn hard if you do the wrong things … things like constantly comparing yourself to others.
And even worse, happiness will be virtually impossible if you compare your worst bits with other people’s best bits!
Social comparison is normal; but you can learn to manage it so you can enjoy more happiness…
via the Harvard Business Review by Michael Gervais
If you want to be your best and perform at a high level, fear of people’s opinions may be holding you back.
Think about a time when you were extremely anxious — say, before standing up to publicly speak, raising your hand in a big meeting, or even walking through a room of strangers. The reason you felt small and scared and tense is you were worried about social disapproval.
Our fear of other people’s opinions, or FOPO as I call it, has become an irrational and unproductive obsession in the modern world, and its negative effects reach far beyond performance.
If you start paying less and less attention to what makes you you — your talents, beliefs, and values — and start conforming to what others may or may not think, you’ll harm your potential. You’ll start playing it safe because you’re afraid of what will happen on the other side of the critique. You’ll fear being ridiculed or rejected. When challenged, you’ll surrender your viewpoint. You won’t raise your hand when you can’t control the outcome. You won’t go for that promotion because you won’t think you’re qualified.
Unfortunately, FOPO is part of the human condition since we’re operating with an ancient brain. A craving for social approval made our ancestors cautious and savvy; thousands of years ago, if the responsibility for the failed hunt fell on your shoulders, your place in the tribe could be threatened. The desire to fit in and the paralyzing fear of being disliked undermine our ability to pursue the lives we want to create.
This underscores why we need to train and condition our mind — so the tail is not wagging the dog.
If you find yourself experiencing FOPO, there are ways to dampen the intensity of your stress responses. Once you’re aware of your thoughts, guide yourself toward confidence-building statements (I am a good public speaker, I’ve put in the work so that I can trust my abilities, I have a lot of great things to say, I’m completely prepared for this promotion). These statements will help you focus on your skills and abilities rather than others’ opinions. Take deep breaths, too. This will signal to your brain that you’re not in immediate danger.
But, if you really want to conquer FOPO, you’ll need to cultivate more self-awareness. Most of us go through life with a general sense of who we are, and, in a lot of circumstances, that’s enough. We get by. But if you want to be your best while being less fearful of people’s opinions, you need to develop a stronger and much deeper sense of who you are…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE