Worried About What People Think?

I was inspired for this week's article by two posts I saw from Gary Vee and Michelle Obama, and the heartfelt conversations I had with a loved one on life in general.

The post from Gary Vee says 99.9% of people that judge you or have opinions about you have no idea what is actually happening in your life, and it went further to beg the question: how can you value their judgment when they don't even know you?

The post made a whole lot of sense because most times a lot of us are insecure; insecure because we worry too much about what people will think about us.

This all seems fair, natural, and usually appears to be the right thing for us to do. We want people to see us as doing what is right, as living according to their expectations, and for our lives to be seen as "progressive."

Therefore, it comes naturally to be concerned about how people are judging or perceiving us. It also comes that way, I guess, as a way of naturally protecting ourselves. In the past, people have been publicly executed when the majority of people "judge" them for treason or for going against what is perceived as the norm or custom of society.

Subconsciously, even though we have evolved as a human race, we still fear scenarios like this. Being ostracized by society, worried about what people (who don't even know us as Gary Vee points out) would say or the actions they may take towards us if they perceive us a certain way.

So, as a way of trying to protect ourselves from people taking actions against us and our need to be perceived as "good/progressive" members of society, we actually care what people think.

This is flawed because when the fear of judgments overcomes our living truthfully and honestly, what our true realities are, we hurt secretly while pleasing "society" outwardly.

It is the ultimate destroyer because you are the only one who may be aware of what is going on underneath, but of course to society (most of whom don't really care about what is really going on in your life because they are busy with their lives too), will perceive that all is well with you.

So you hurt deeply, and the negative thoughts grow within you the longer you live that way. And of course, over time as it grows, there's a tipping point where you can't deal with it anymore and it manifests as an action that hurts not just you again but others.

So even though most people are worried about people judging them wrong, the risk of this in today's world is nothing compared to the risk of living with a mask. Because no matter how long that mask is worn, the tipping point negativity affects everyone else.

This point was buttressed by another point I saw in a post from Michelle Obama regarding her book "The Light We Carry." The post said, "when we share our stories with fullness and honesty, we discover that we are less alone and more connected than we might have ever believed."

I haven't read the full book yet, but her message is so profound.

In the message, she shares how important sharing our stories with fullness and honesty really is. How it can help us realize that we are truly more connected than we think.

Tying this into Gary Vee's post, I'll say that the fear of judgment we have of 99.9% of people who don't even know our stories is eliminated by the courage to share our stories with fullness and honesty.

How many times have you shared something with someone, and they were like "me too!"? And you were surprised to realize that they were going through something quite similar. How did that realization make you feel? And how did the relationship you have with that person become?

In my experience, I realized that the strongest relationships, where we judge less and treat others with love, compassion, and respect, are the relationships where we have shared experiences and connections from shared stories.

We are able to see our struggles reflected in the other person, and we suddenly realize we are not so different or alone.

It dawns on us instantly that what we were always afraid of and trying to hide is what we should be sharing because that gives us the ability to genuinely connect in much better ways to a lot of people within the "society" which we so perfectly want to fit into.

We realize that we don't really have to try "fitting in" by wearing a mask. Society is not one person. It's made up of people. You cannot connect or have meaningful relationships with every member of whatever society you find yourself in, but you can have meaningful relationships with a few members of society who truly understand you and who you truly understand and relate to.

The way to do that is to take the risk of genuinely sharing our stories. We find out the insecurities and fears we have about doing so are not even real.

Of course, there is no guarantee that people won't judge you when you attempt to share your story with them. As earlier mentioned, you cannot have deep, meaningful connections with everyone, and that's okay! No one else can. When you discover that some people are still bent on painting a bad picture of you and judging you when they know your story, take it as a sign that such persons are not meant to be in your corner.

There's nothing wrong with that. Never think that because some people may still not get you when you share your story, therefore you should not stay open and try sharing them with anyone else. Then it means you assume the negative by default and will never truly connect with anyone. That is more dangerous.

It is like saying you will never eat or drink because there might be microorganisms in your meal. You won't survive. Rather than fear that risk, see it as a way of knowing who is truly for you and who just isn't.

I hope you found this article meaningful. You can share your thoughts on it if you have any ideas.

Keep winning!



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