From personal interactions to virtual conversations, it is difficult to stop worrying about what other people might be thinking of us. Whether that includes our appearance or general mannerisms, it is inevitable to wonder if others may be silently judging our every move. In reality, people don’t notice the small things you are insecure about, and are too preoccupied with themselves to care about you - seems harsh, but it’s the truth!
Changing your mindset around the fear of judgment is easier said than done. During my freshman year of college, my speech professor gave a lecture about the trials and tribulations of public speaking. Why is it such a common fear? Evidently, people worry about how the audience may perceive them; if they will notice an embarrassing slip of the tongue, or the endless beads of anxious sweat. In truth, audience members are often too preoccupied with their own personal thoughts and ruminations to be analyzing your every move. And even if you have that one outlier who is intent on judging your every breath, what gives them power over you? The judgements passing through their mind are as relevant as a bygone breeze. They bear no relevance to the real world, or to your personal life.
Caring what others think arises from personal insecurity, and does not genuinely reflect people’s actual thoughts. If you are insecure about your appearance, you care what people think of your outfit, your hairstyle, your makeup, etc. When emphasizing how you are perceived, you may fall into the habit of perfectionism and people-pleasing. It is important to live life for yourself, and recognize that everyone makes mistakes. Imperfection is inevitable! It allows us to grow, learn, and evolve with the passing times. Strangers’ opinions are not relevant to your life, and should not impact your daily functioning. That random girl in the mall shouldn’t have any jurisdiction over how you look or feel. Your classmates don’t know your life story; they never walked a day in your shoes. Their judgements should not dictate your choices!
When feeling insecure, gently remind yourself that you are the most important judge of your life. Other people’s opinions are subject to change, and should not harbor a direct influence on how you conduct yourself. If you keep trying to satisfy strangers, friends, and even family members, you are doing an immense disservice to your well being.
The second that you stop worrying about what others think of you, is a powerful moment. I remember when that “f*ck it” attitude overcame my mind, and redirected how I live my life. Of course, I always take the opinions of friends and loved ones into consideration, but on a daily basis, I’m living life for me. By evolving your mindset, you will start living the life you want for yourself, and the negative thoughts will slowly drift away. With freed up mental space, you will really be able to start to notice your own growth.
Only you know who you truly are on the inside, which is the most important and interesting part about you. Even on the days when you feel low, practice some self love. Repeat those affirmations. Do that face mask. Go on that bike ride. You are the main character of your life. It’s time to write your story.
Written by: Brianna EvingerInstagram: @breannaevinger