“What will people think of me?”

If you’re a people pleaser or a nice guy, you’ll often find that you’re held back by the idea of: “What will people think of me?”

So whether it’s speaking your mind or engaging in some endeavour that’s brave and bold, what will hold you back is this catastrophic idea of being negatively judged by other people, leading to mockery, rejection and even total ostracism.

But one thing that you’ll often fail to do is ask yourself,

Who am I talking about?

Which people are you worried about, specifically?

Because when I work with clients on this issue and I ask them, Who? Who are the people? When you say you’re worried what people think, what do you mean by “people”? Inevitably, we discover it’s the people they don’t even care about.

It’s not their inner circle. It’s not the people who love them and care about them and want what’s best for them.

It’s strangers. It’s work colleagues they don’t even like. It’s a vague idea of the public.

And because you never asked yourself Who? you don’t really ask yourself, Why should I care what they think?

Before you decide that other people’s potential judgments are worth considering, check yourself on which people you’re worried about and question why you give their opinions so much weight.

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One Response

  1. A great reframe for this is to counter the question with, “What will the people who care about me and respect me think?”

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