Gain self-confidence

How to easily let go of what other people think of you

Henk Veenhuysen
by Henk Veenhuysen
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Do you take everything personally? Are you afraid of other people’s reactions? Are you too concerned with how you come across or what others think of you? Does that make you feel like you always have to adapt? Then read on quickly because in this blog I will tell you how to let that go.

If you are afraid of other people’s opinions or you worry about what other people think of you then you are less able to show what you are good at. As a result, your talent is overshadowed and it remains to be seen when your talent will show up. It reduces your job satisfaction and prevents others from enjoying your talent.

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Can you recall a moment when you were quite tense?

For example, before an important presentation, or in a work meeting because you need to say something. Or just walking through a room with all the people you don’t know? You may be feeling a little down and, let’s face it, maybe a little scared and small.

You suffer from social insecurity or disapproval.

Introduction

What about this social insecurity anyway?

First of all keep in mind that social insecurity is a normal thing. Everyone has moments when he or she feels insecure in dealing with other people. But how exactly does this social insecurity come about? That’s because your brain is active throughout the day. Your brain is constantly making assessments about the world you live in.

The situations you are in, the people you encounter. Your brain is raving about it. Social insecurity arises because your brain signals that something is not right in your interaction with other people. It can be in what they say, but also in their look in their eyes or what they do. At that moment your brain issues an alarm response.

Then all kind of thoughts go through your head. Those thoughts usually have one thing in common: disapproval! If you suffer from social insecurity, you very quickly feel, that others disapprove of you and you fee a little bit like a fool. Or that they think you weird and would rather have nothing to do with you.

False alarm

If you suffer greatly from social insecurity, then it is usually a false alarm. You have the feeling and thoughts that you are rejected when in reality you are not. Your brain kind of fools you and limits you from doing the things you actually want to do. Your fear of other people’s opinions at times like that is “over the top” and hinders you quite a bit in your work.

Having a hard life

If you pay less attention to what you are good at and what is your personal fundament (your talent), and if you adapt to what others may or may not think of you, then you will have a tough life. Probably that makes you play it a little (a lot) safe and say nothing because you are afraid of being criticized or rejected.

Rationally you will know all that but how do you get rid of it? Perhaps the following ideas will give you a boost:

How to let go of what others think of you:

  1. Being more aware of your thoughts

  2. Develop a personal phrase

  3. Use your body as a compass

I explain them all to you.

1. Be more aware of your thoughts

If you have a lot of stress from what other people think of you then you can do some small exercises to reduce this stress due to social insecurity.

Perhaps now you are more aware/conscious of your limiting thoughts. (More consciously means realizing you have these thoughts and being able to look at them from a distance.) So you can think about statements that boost your self-confidence. I call that helping thoughts.

For example:

  • I can give presentations just fine
  • I can rely on my own skills
  • Knowing that you are totally ready for this job

These kinds of statements will help you focus on your qualities rather than the opinions of others. But if you really want to address this then you will need to further strengthen your self-awareness on this part of you. You will need to develop a stronger sense of who you are and what you are capable of in order to let go of this fear of another’s opinion.

2. Develop a personal phrase

A good tool to increase your self-awareness is a personal phrase. A word or short phrase that expresses your core value. Be careful not to crush it into a generic slogan or advertising slogan. Pay close attention in formulating that short personal sentence. It is your compass in your thoughts, decisions and/or thinking. The phrase is a personal friend in your daily life.

How do you make such a sentence?

You can do so with these questions:

  1. Remember a great day that you had, feeling good. On this day you were able to show yourself completely. What thoughts and beliefs did you experience on such a day? Write down these thoughts.
  2. Those around me are roughly on the same “wavelength” and have similar qualities to me. What qualities are these and write down these qualities.
  3. What are your favorite words and/or statements at this time in your life. Write these down.

Done? Get ready for the next step:

  1. Now circle all the words from these three questions that stand out (go purely on your feeling) and cross out the words that don’t matter or matter less.
  2. Put all the words that stand out on separate pieces of paper. Make a sentence or phrase out of that. 5 to 7 words is fine. They are the words that reflect exactly how you want to live!
  3. If you want, you can share this with a close friend. You might get some input that you can put to good use in refining your personal phrase a bit more.

Do not underestimate this personal sentence/quote. It is more powerful than you think because you can always fall back on this phrase. Even in more difficult times. With that phrase, you go back to your core, your strengths and qualities. The idea is that you live by this phrase but also express and tell (literally).

So feel free to share your personal motto with everyone. You will notice that you find yourself feeling good. Your qualities thus come into focus. Use the phrase at that important presentation, in the work meeting, toward your colleague or on that difficult project.

Free introductory call,

Run into a lack of assertiveness or self-confidence?

Want to get rid of that, once and for all? Then my 1-on-1 coach approach is really something for you. Lets get acquainted first, no strings attached. See if we have a 'click' and if I can help you.

> Schedule your free call now

3. Use your body/body as a compass

When you are feeling social insecure, your emotions play a big role. Your body is an important tool in dealing with these emotions. When you are less conscious you experience an emotionally bad/negative feeling when an unpleasant event occurs (for example, when you hold back because you are afraid of what other people think of you). That negative feeling makes you keep quiet and say nothing. You want to get rid of that negative feeling as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, that strategy does not work well … But then what does?

Better to appreciate that negative feeling or emotion as a signal from your body that something actually needs to be done. A kind of a good friend who helps you deal with something. If you dare to look at it that way, you are more aware of your emotions and can deal with them better.

How to use.

So you can practice this:

1. Breathe deeply

Take one deep breath. It only takes one conscious breath to change our perspective. With a single breath, you give pause to the chatter of your mind and a chance for your body to adjust if it has overreacted to the perceived danger. One breath can take you out of the story your body believes in at that moment.

2. Attention to emotions

Pay attention to emotions in your body. It’s completely ok that you have those emotions. Acknowledge them for yourself and above all do not push them away, do not suppress them. Non-judgmental coping correlates negatively with negative emotions. In other words, when you recognize and acknowledge unpleasant emotions, they have less power to cause you suffering.

3. Enjoy small things

Don’t underestimate how nice it is to take that first sip of coffee/tea in the afternoon. Often you pay more attention to pain than pleasure, but with some small exercises you can get pleasure from small things throughout the day by being mindful of your body.

Some examples:

  • Sit down if you have been standing for too long;
  • get up and stretch when you have been sitting;
  • hold a new pen with a particularly soft, ergonomic grip;
  • laughing hard when something is funny;
  • eat when you are hungry;
  • the relative quiet of the office after a morning of screaming children;
  • slip out of your uncomfortable shoes under your desk.

About dealing with what other people think of you

Dealing with what other people think or think of you is challenging but not impossible. In case you think (or hope) that it can be solved with a “quick fix” I am sorry to disappoint you. It is more about learning a life style – in which confidence in yourself is key – that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. A way of life in which you are more aware of your (sometimes) limiting thoughts. That really helps!

Free introductory call,

Run into a lack of assertiveness or self-confidence?

Want to get rid of that, once and for all? Then my 1-on-1 coach approach is really something for you. Lets get acquainted first, no strings attached. See if we have a 'click' and if I can help you.

> Schedule your free call now

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