WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT: YOURSELF
I had a coworker tell me, “you really don’t care what anyone thinks of you, do you? That’s awesome, but it’s also risky, how do you do it?” I actually laughed, because I do care about what others think of me. But, for roughly 30 seconds and then if fades away. It’s something I have worked on, but now it has become such a part of me that I forget that I intrinsically do it.
So, I want to share how I do it. The hope is that it helps you in your personal and professional life.
First things first, you need to know yourself. What I mean by that is you need to know what you value before you have a solid foundation of identity. So, I want you to take the time to list the three most important things to you. My three big things are: authenticity, freedom and recognition. Some more things that I have heard are: family, communication, faith, community and so on.
It shows you what is important in your life. For example, if someone makes a comment about you and it does not fall within your three values, you do not need to worry about it.
Once you have the three values selected, determine why they are so important to you. Using my three values above, I will show you how to do this:
- Authenticity: I like people to be upfront with me. If something is wrong, I want to hear about it. I consider it a waster of my time when someone withholds info from me because they are worries I won’t like the answer
- Freedom: I don’t like feeling trapped, plain and simple. How this comes into fruition in my work is I like autonomy in my work. If I do not get that, I know that I will not last long. In relationships, I need people to let me be myself. If I feel censored, I will be unhappy.
- Recognition: Important for me because I like to hear when I have done something good. If I am putting in the time or effort, I like someone to thank me for that time or money. It is very important for me to be recognized for me to feel valued.
Now, do this with yourself. The importance of this is to teach yourself the deeper reason why you value these things. By knowing what you value, you will learn where you are most likely to care about what people think of you.
Start applying these to real life examples. For example, I care a lot about what people think of my performance or my personality. The way I remedy this by knowing that I like to be recognized as one of my core values. So, I know that I want people to recognize me and when they don’t, I worry that I did something wrong or that they don’t like me. So, here is why knowing this helps. Let’s say I just wrapped up a big project at work. I know that I would want to be recognized for that. So, when I have my next meeting with my boss, I would hope to be praised or acknowledged. What if that doesn’t happen? Do I automatically think that my boss hates me or thinks I did a poor job? Nope, not even remotely.
I know that I like to be recognized, so I will recognize myself internally. That way I know that I did a good job and do not need anyone else to tell me so. It’s nice if I get it, but not a requirement for me anymore. Give yourself that internal high five and you will be surprised how much less you care about others. The reason you care about others thoughts, is because you are valuing their thoughts over your own.
Corny, yes. Effective, hell yes! Love yourself, friends. Once you start to love who you are and what you care about, the world is your oyster. Ever noticed that people flock to those who are self-sufficient? It’s because they are a beacon of badassery. They know who they are and therefore do not need anyone else to validate their identity.
Still need more help? Start here.