In a previous blog post, I discussed why some individuals avoid confrontation. That post sparked a lot of feedback which caused me to address another issue many people have - caring what other people think about them. The need to be accepted or receive approval, on a personal level, is one that almost every individual grapples with. And, while it is something that is common, it is important to understand how it can impede your well-being and in some cases your life.
Depletes Your Self-Confidence
Seeking and relying solely on feedback from other individuals regarding a decision you want to make can have a impact on how confident you feel about your decision-making capabilities. If feedback received is repeatedly contrary to the one you initially believed was right, it could result in you having a higher level of self-doubt and uncertainty.
Impedes Your Values
The need to be accepted is something that can ultimately affect a person's values, especially if they are seeking acceptance from individuals who do not appreciate the person's beliefs. The need for acceptance can, in some cases, override what an individual believes in and may cause the person to resent themselves later on.
Affects Your Passion and Creativity
Lack of self-confidence combined with the need to be accepted can affect a individual's ability to "think outside of the box" and allow their creative "juices to flow." Someone who is always seeking the approval of others may easily be talked out of an idea they have or goal they wish to pursue.
So, what can you do avoid/fix such issues? First, start building your self-confidence. Spend some time each day reminding yourself of all the wonderful and important qualities you have as a person. Making a list of such qualities can help the process.
Second, spend more time with people who accept you as you are. In other words, you shouldn't have to change/curtail who you are just to "fit in" with the crowd. With technological advances like social media, it is easy to find like-minded individuals who can help support who are and ultimately help build your self-confidence.
Last, but not least, be realistic! Understand that not everyone on this earth will like you. Some will be jealous, some will misunderstand you, and some will straight out dislike you. It shouldn't be your mission to figure out why or to try to make amends. Whatever the issue may be, it is important to remind yourself it is their issue and it is for them to resolve if they so desire.
Do you have any other suggestions you would like to share about how someone can minimize how much they care about what other people think? Please share them below and also feel free to share your personal story of how you overcame this common problem.
One common theme among clients I work with is low confidence. For some, low confidence can affect career goals, friendships and intimate relationships. Low confidence can cause a person to feel inadequate, care too much about what others think, and disbelieve or discredit compliments he/she receives. Below are a few recommendations that have the potential to boost your confidence.
1) Create an Accolade List - One recommendation I suggest to individuals who are struggling to remember the positive qualities they have is to create a list of positive feedback they have received. Whether it is about your work or personal life, listing your current and past accomplishments and the praise you received can help lift your spirits and remind you about the good you have to offer to others when doubt begins to surface. Keeping the list handy and referring to it frequently is key, especially when you are feeling down.
2) Pay Attention - nowadays we are so connected and involved with our devices that taking a moment to explore our surroundings is often considered a luxury. For those clients who believe no one is interested in them, I often challenge them to take a moment to remove his/her ear buds, look up from his/her phone and observe his/her environment. The purpose of this exercise is to get them to take notice of things they may have not realized is happening around them (i.e. the person admiring them from afar, positive comments from a passerby, etc.)
3) Increase Positivity, Decrease Negativity - building one's confidence takes time and insight. Tapping in to what makes you feel good about yourself, healthy eating, quality sleep and surrounding yourself with positive people are all key ingredients to making you feel your best. Positive people who support who you are and are willing to help you become a better person are essential to improving your self-confidence. Surrounding yourself with negative people, on the other hand, may make you feel weird like an outcast and/or unworthy; Attributes that can ultimately hinder your confidence and self-esteem.
The road to building your confidence is not smooth and sometimes there are some road blocks. The above suggestions can help start the journey. Have these suggestions worked for you? Do you have anything else you would recommend to someone who is trying to build his/her confidence? Please share your comments below.