Do you worry about what people think of you? If you are human, you probably do. I do, but I do it a lot less than I used to. For many years, I made all my decisions based on what other people would think. I dressed like everyone else, I talked about things that other people were talking about, and I tried very hard not to say or do anything that would make me stand apart from the crowd. Now that I am middle-aged, I finally realize the error of my ways. I finally realized a VERY important thing:
PEOPLE AREN’T THINKING ABOUT ME! People have better things to do than worry about me. Everyone I know is busy thinking about her own life decisions.
To test this theory, I conducted a little study. I selected 40 names from my address book. My list included friends who I consider very close, friends who live in distant states or countries and are just “birthday card friends,” and acquaintances I know through work or just from the community. I called each of them and asked them not to consider my feelings while answering the following questions:
- Have you thought about me today?
- When was the last time you thought about me?
- If you thought about me today, in what context did you think about me?
What a shock! Hardly anyone thought about me! My hairdresser saw my name on her schedule, so she thought briefly about me. A friend who was making one of my recipes for dinner thought about me for a second and a half because I had given her the recipe. And that was it! Not one person was spending any time wondering what I was wearing or thinking or doing. And here’s the thing…I hadn’t thought about any of them either! Do you see my point?
All the time and energy we spend worrying about what people think of us is wasted time and energy. The people who succeed in this world don’t give a hoot about what others think. The man who invented the computer was laughed at. People told the Wright brothers they were crazy for thinking that human beings could travel in the air. My own mother thought The Beatles would never last because their music was silly. The list goes on and on and on.
While you are young, give up the idea that anyone else cares what you wear or say or think or do. If you like purple hair, dye your hair purple. If you enjoy surfing and all your friends prefer to sit on the beach, surf your heart out!
There is only one person whose opinion counts…yours! Feel free to be you!