The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think. I know. Because I lived in that prison for most of my life. “3 hots and a cot” was my mindset.
If I spoke to someone, I wondered if I said the right things or if they picked up that I was “not so smart” while we talked. Or if I met with someone else, I wondered if they were thinking, “Why in the world would he dress like that?” My insecurity appeared like Freddy Kruger ready to haunt me.
“Why did you do it that way?” The boss would say far too often. “They don’t even come close to falling in the category of our current clients.” While I knew very well they did, but I had trouble facing my accuser. I’d never retort, even though they didn’t fit his demographics. I knew they fit the profile’s psychographics. And more often than not, I hit the nail on the head. I closed the deal.
But, rarely did I enjoy it because I was so focused on my boss’ “opinion”, or what I thought his opinion was.
When you live in that kind of hell, always afraid of what others think about you, you can’t function at the top of your game.
You cannot put your best work out there, whether “work” is selling, creating or building anything. You’re in this game to move beyond where you are. So how are you going to change where you are if you don’t change how you think?
Worrying about what people think allows them to control who we are, what we do, how we think, and all of that? Changes who we are on the surface, you know, where people can see us. But, it doesn’t change the inside stuff (our hearts, souls or are belief system). Self doubt kicks in. It is a dream killer.
We are who we are.
Whether we fit someone else’s definition of awesome or not, we are. I don’t care who you are. You have an amazing talent that the guy next to you doesn’t have. You have music in you that needs to be played. So why let his or her opinion of you mold and shape your life into a nothing more than a mannequin?
You have conditioned yourself to believe the crap that you think other people think about you, you’ll settle. You sit yourself down in your chair at work and you do the work that you believe they believe is meant for you. So, you bite down on a sandwich filled with “average” and “mediocrity” and it becomes an acquired taste
The deal is this: You control you. It matters NOT what Bobbie Jo thinks of you. Bobbie Jo isn’t trying to help you get ahead. You are. So the hell with what Bobbie Jo thinks.
Your thoughts are dictated by your beliefs. And if you believe that of the 50,000 thoughts we have each day, that someone is focusing any more than 0.01% of their brain power on you, well, you’re probably wrong.
And in that case, you’re wasting your energy worrying about what they think of you. Instead of working on your lawn you spend more time admiring your neighbor’s grass.
It’s time to stop. It’s time to own your life and break free of the prison you’ve locked yourself in for years.
Give up. Give up the notion that someone else’s opinion matters. Every time you catch yourself worrying or even giving two seconds of thought to what someone else may (not) have thought about you, your behavior, your work, STOP. Say to yourself, “Only I matter.”
You will have to make this a habit. And you will have to make yourself aware of your thoughts. It won’t be easy, but with consistency, you can pull your own opinion of yourself to the top of your mind, where there’s no room for your thoughts about their thoughts.
Meditate. Sounds hokey, I know. But it works. Before you start and end your day, focus your thoughts on the amazing things that you did that day (even if it’s only getting out of bed when you didn’t feel like it). Keep a success journal to review on the days where you don’t feel like you have anything to be proud of.
Sit quietly for a few minutes and read your success journal, add to it, or just focus on the words, “I am a high-quality [insert your position here] and my work is impeccable.” Even if it’s not true (yet). Because it will be.
Write it. We’re talking about our minds here. They control our actions. So we have to control the thoughts we think. Write down your vision for yourself: I am more than enough. I am more than capable of a good job. What I think about me is all that matters.
Say it. A lot. Until it has sunk into that beautiful brain of yours.
It won’t be easy. In all of this, are the keys to the prison you’ve locked yourself in a long time ago.
GO Grab the keys NOW. Open the doors… The world has changed a great deal since you last stepped foot outside your cell.